Recognizing the Infinite Worth of Ourselves and Others - IBZ Coaching

Recognizing the Infinite Worth of Ourselves and Others

Recognizing the Infinite Worth of Ourselves and Others:

Engaging the Strengths of Hope and Kindness

During these challenging times, it can feel like our world is floundering and we are too small to make a difference. Yet awakening personal character strengths such as hope and kindness can invigorate our awareness of the value of each human life. Realizing that all of us matter and that everyone is born with infinite worth offers a pathway to listen to our inner voices, enlivening the light that interconnects each of us with our families, workplaces, and communities across the globe.

How can we wake up to the profound understanding that all of us – regardless of gender, race, religion, ethnicity, socio-economic status, or sexual orientation – have infinite worth?

How can we wake up and undertake the actions, large or small, that lead toward repairing our broken world?

Noticing the essence – the essential worth in ourselves and others – can generate human acts of kindness from the smallest daily interactions to larger acts of social justice. Two pathways toward honoring life’s infinite worth are mindfulness and strengths. Mindfulness practice builds our capacity for awareness of the present moment without judgment. Being aware of our character strengths and using them in positive ways can invigorate our well-being and support our efforts to repair our world, moving toward relationships, communities and organizations that value human life.

Twenty-four character strengths have been identified by positive psychologists as gateways toward what’s right with people (Niemiec, 2018; Peterson & Seligman, 2004). Hope and kindness are two character strengths that can invigorate our awareness. Hope, or future-mindedness, involves expecting a good future and working to achieve it. Kindness is care, generosity, and compassion for others..

Getting into Awareness and Action:

    • Talk with other people about what the infinite worth of each person means to them. Discuss strategies to bring kindness into the spaces you share – at work, community groups, families, friendships.  Remember to include self-kindness and compassion toward yourself (Neff, 2011). Ask questions, explore ideas, listen carefully.
    • Identify a focus phrase to support your valuing of human life (Margolius 2018). Post your intention in a visible location where you’ll see the phrase frequently. Here are a few examples: “I am enough.” “I am worthy and part of our interconnected world.” “You are filled with infinite light, as am I.” “I make a difference.” “Each person makes a difference.”
    • Try a daily mindful moment of kindness and hope:
      1. Pause and notice the flow of your breath (in-breath, out-breath) for a moment or two.
      2. Ask yourself how you can generate even a moment of kindness or hope toward yourself or another person today.
      3. Try it.
      4. Repeat this daily mindful moment for a week.
    • Journal or contemplate one or more of these questions:
      1. How do I feel when I am engaging in hope or kindness?
      2. How can I experience more hope or be kinder toward myself?
      3. How can I express hope or kindness in interactions with others?
  • If you’re interested in learning more about your top character strengths, access the free VIA survey at www.viacharacter.org. It’s evidence-based and has been taken by over 5 million people throughout the world (Niemiec, 2018; Peterson & Seligman, 2004).

Each of us makes a difference. Wherever we are and whatever we are doing in our daily lives, there are opportunities to recognize the infinite worth of others and ourselves. Even in the simplest ways, our intentions and actions can bring greater kindness and hope to our world.

Resources and References:

Ilene Berns-Zare - Life and Work Coach
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Ilene Berns-Zare, PsyD is a life and leadership coach, psychologist, and educator. Ilene has dedicated much of her career to the personal and professional development and integrative well-being of others. As a life and leadership coach, psychologist, and educator, she inspires others to find fresh perspectives and access their full potential as creative, resourceful, whole persons. Find Ilene online and access free resources at http://ileneberns-zare.com.

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