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Mattering beyond roles

By Virginia Nava Hieger

I know you love your career, your advancement, your work, your family, your loved ones, and what you
do matters. Otherwise, you wouldn’t spend your time on any of that.
Have you taken the time to matter? You may say “I know I matter because I am a leader, a VIP, a mom,
an entrepreneur”, this and that.
What about you matter versus what you do matters? There is a subtle difference there. What you do and
who you are like two sides of a coin. While what you do is on the outside, who you are is on the inside.
Where are you focusing your attention? 
It is pretty common to be aware of things happening on the outside and neglect self-awareness. When I
realized that the inner reality shapes what I do, everything started to fall into place. I understood that I had
to explore myself and focus my attention on inner reality.
So, I started my journey to uncover who am I and whether I matter. On this journey, affirmations showed
up and I gave it a try.

Do affirmations work?

Well, almost a year ago, I shared a story about them that changed my point of view. They told me
affirmations work and I believe them… 
So, I was doing these affirmations: “I matter”, “I am valuable”. I looked at myself and repeat them like I
was a trained professional parrot. Then, one day, I looked at myself and asked am I really valuable? And
what does it mean?
These questions were some of the deepest questions I have ever asked. Underneath, it meant “do my
actions reflect I am valuable?” Not my work or something outside of myself, but me doing my hobby is
valuable, what I published is valuable. If meant, I am valuable.
Then, I started paying attention and I listened to myself. These questions came to my mind:
– What does it mean “I am valuable”?
– What is the essence of being valuable?
To me is listening to myself, and journaling. Taking a walk in nature in silence. Communing with outer
creators like me, co-creating, using my gifts and talents, growing myself, and trying something new.
After some thought on the affirmations “I matter”, and “I am valuable”, I noticed that affirmations only work
when you have a good comprehension of what those phrases mean for you. Otherwise, you would be
repeating empty words.
What makes a difference is internalizing those affirmations, accepting them, and making them part of you.
Introspection is the only way to dive into the vast and rich reality happening within you.

How do you do introspection?

Ask yourself “am I valuable”? And then, do an activity that brings you closer to mattering yourself. Or
simply be with yourself, listen to yourself, and journal.
As I said before, the outer reality is intertwined with the inner reality. If you love yourself, you can give
love to others. When you feel compassion for yourself, you can be compassionate with others, and so on.
We all want to matter to others. Yet, do you matter to yourself?