Hunting for Self Worth: Less is More

Hunting for Self Worth: Less is More 150 150 Mary Ann Faremouth


The Fifth Step of the Faremouth Method is “Be a Hunter.”  Lately, I’ve really been trying to hunt for meaning and purpose during these challenging times with COVID-19 among us. Not only for myself but to impart understanding and meaning for my many clients and candidates who are trying to cope with reductions in staff, job losses, and changing identities.  This step really leads me back to the First Step of the Faremouth Method which is “Do A Self Inventory.”  In searching deep inside of myself, it led me to the words of wisdom my grandmother always imparted, which was:


“Less is More.”


The origin of the phrase “Less is More” is a 19th-century proverbial phrase credited to Robert Browning’s poem which later was made famous by the architect Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe in reference to his simplicity of style, and the beauty of it.


Not having so much going on in the design of structures allows one to see the creation of the building and its beauty.  When we are able to strip away the excess and what is not necessary, then we are able to see the value of what we have.  As we simplify our lives and surroundings, we have a much better gauge of our value.


Maybe we can all translate that into how when we change our thinking on this matter, we are able to see a different kind of beauty within ourselves that is not so much tied to STUFF, possessions, titles, and material things. That is not to say that trying to become our best self and seeking to improve and grow and contribute to the world isn’t a good thing.  It is, for sure.  In my 30+ year career as a career consultant, I have been dedicated to helping people find the best jobs that compensate then well, have the potential for growth, and allow them to contribute their talents to the world in a meaningful way.


Maybe in these tough times, we are able to come to an appreciation of a new way of looking at things and, in so doing, we are able to craft a new way of being that allows us to grow in a different direction.   A new direction that even if our previous identities have changed, i.e., loss of a prestigious job tile, not able to afford to go out to eat at our favorite restaurant because money is tight and the fear of being in a crowded place is too risky these days, etc.  When we are changing our thinking on this matter, we free ourselves to pursue a life worthy of esteem and respect and are not restricted to a life we used to know.  We can improve our self-worth regardless of our net-worth.  We don’t make judgments about our own life value by the possessions that we own, and the wages we earn.  The wages we have earned in the past have provided for our lives, but they do not define our lives.


There is newfound importance on our self-worth where we shift our focus on our true intrinsic value. While high paying jobs can provide extras, we really have to evaluate what’s really important in our lives and what becomes a filler.  Those fillers do not provide happiness, self-worth, and healthy self-esteem.


Consider the following steps to improve your self-worth regardless of your net-worth.


1. Live a life of strong integrity. There is no greater feeling than to look at yourself in the mirror and be proud of the reflection you see looking back at you.  Make sure your dealings with others are always filled with strong integrity.  Always give more than you take.


2. Cultivate worthwhile endeavors. There is no limit to the amount of love and consideration you can show to others, the amount of hope you can spread, or the number of encouraging words and advice you can speak.  Cultivate these things in plentiful supply as they will be well-received and remembered.


3. Take Calculated Risks to Expand Your Sense of Self. If there is a job description that isn’t a direct match but would utilize your transferable skills, make sure the keywords in your resume highlight why you might take the risk and be a possible candidate for the job.


4. Don’t be afraid to take a step down now to take a step up later. Don’t get hung up on what was, but be realistic about what is.  If you have to take a job that you consider beneath you in tough times to pay the bills and provide food and benefits for your family at a reduced salary, do it.  When things turn around and a prospective employer sees that you did what you had to do to survive, they will applaud you.  It’s the people with big gaps on their resumes during these tough times who will have a harder time explaining their reasons than those that hustled.


5. Live courageously. Find the mental strength to accept new challenges without regard to the fear that may lie beneath.  If the prospective new job might involve new challenges, do what you have to do to be able to take them on.  The strong always are the ones to survive.


6. Be humble and kind. Call that old boss who gave you that great promotion and tell them how much you learned working for him.  Show gratitude every chance you get.  Call your Mother and check on her, and don’t forget that persnickety Uncle Bill who always makes you crazy.  He might need some help in these tough times, too.


Hunt for what you can do now to prepare for your future. Your true self-worth is up to you.  Don’t allow your life’s purpose to be only caught up in the acquisition of material things, etc.,   Its in the doing of those things that might be considered “less” that might end up being “more.”