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You Are Valuable, Even When You Don't Feel Visible


Person holding wrapped gifts that cover their face
Your visibility doesn't define your value

"I been gone for a minute now I'm back at the jump off." Well, not quite the jump off, but that Lil' Kim line has been in my spirit as I thought about easing back into writing, or soul unpacking as I like to think of it. Yes, it's been a minute since I last blogged for leisure, and for good reason.


I took to heart the words that award-winning British screenwriter and actress Michaela Coel told us during her 2021 Emmys acceptance speech for best writing.


"In a world that entices us to browse through the lives of others to help us better determine how we feel about ourselves, and to, in turn, feel the need to be constantly visible, for visibility these days seems to somehow equate to success, do not be afraid to disappear, from it, from us, for a while, and see what comes to you in the silence.”

What I love about these life-giving words and her invitation is that she challenges the value that we place on visibility. I need that gentle truth. And the older I get, the more clarity I'm gaining about who I am, who I am not, my worth, and what I value in life.


Every day that I choose to decouple my value from my level of actual or perceived visibility (online, at work, in group chats, in my community, on my blog, etc.) is another day that I choose happiness, soul care, and self-compassion.


What's ironic is that my day job is all about being visible to the community of ~1,500 colleagues I serve as the director of employee communications and engagement. So it's not that I take issue with the desire or necessity to be visible.


Hear me out. We are wired to desire love and belonging and to be esteemed. This is not about forsaking a core need that we all have.





But the slippery slope is when we make visibility the foundation that defines our value. The more visible we are, the more valuable we are. The less visible we are, the less valuable we are. Or as my husband would say in the early days of marriage and career climbing, "If you live by the praise, you'll die by the praise."


Oh, I've lived, died, and came back to life with greater clarity about where my value comes from. Not people, not metrics, not my feelings, but the simple yet profound fact that a great God loves me. The me who gets it right, and the me who gets it wrong. The me who I face daily in the mirror, flaws and all. To know you're loved beyond (or in spite of) your shortcomings is a love worth attaching your value to.


My happy place is knowing how to receive praise when it comes and how not to devalue my worth if it doesn't come. Do you still know your value with or without the applause? With or without the LinkedIn or Instagram post?


If no one but you knew about the goodness in your life, could you still savor it?


You are valuable and you matter, even when you don't feel visible. It might be the visibility you crave in your career, from your partner, from your friends, or from strangers on the internet. They don't get to decide your value. Not even your feelings have the final say. Like Michaela, I invite you to challenge the value that you place on visibility. I'm also leaving you with these affirmations to make your own.


I am valuable.

I am valuable because ______. (On what or whom are you basing your value?)

I am valuable to _____ (i.e., God, friends, family, and community.)

My visibility does not determine my value.

2 comments

2 Comments


Cameca Murphy
Cameca Murphy
Jun 04, 2023

Such a great reflective post!

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usingwordsforgood
usingwordsforgood
Jun 04, 2023
Replying to

Thank you for reading and for taking the time to share your thoughts, Cameca! You are valuable, and we appreciate you!

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