From Dr. Larry

Dr. Larry Gelman is fiercely devoted to each client, with a deep and profound respect for their own self-agency and self-determination.

What Are You Worth?

Many people I have encountered over the years erroneously believe they are “worth” what they want to be “worth,” what they hope to be “worth,” or even what they idealize themselves to be “worth.”

Those who are extremely concrete and literal, incorrectly, assess what they are “worth” by the “bottom line” of their financial portfolio or the kinds of “perks” they have at work or the “pedigree” of their material possessions.

In my opinion, however, “you’re worth what you settle for!”

How many times have you heard someone proclaim that they would “never tolerate an abusive spouse” and yet, even if they divorce, may find themselves re-engaged with the same ’type’ of abusive person in a new relationship?

How many times have you heard someone proclaim that they have “high standards” and, yet, either behave in ways, or allow themselves to be treated in ways, which markedly “fall short” of their declarative statements?

How many times have you heard someone proclaim, “I’m better than that” or “I would never stoop to such a level” and yet, their actions, in vivo, seem to contradict their “best laid plans” and “good intentions?”

Of course, there are lots of reasons why we “settle” since the variables of time, place/ space and person are highly fluid and what is “good and true” today may be just a little less good and just a little less true tomorrow.

I am reminded of how lobsters are “cooked” by putting them in a pot of tepid water and very slowly, but steadily, increasing the heat so that when the lobster starts to realize something is wrong, it’s too late. They’re “cooked!”

People are like lobsters and sometimes go to great lengths in allowing themselves to justify why “it’s OK” to be “not OK” and then wonder why their life “turned out” to be so much worse than they expected.

There is an important corollary to my thesis that “you’re worth what you settle for,” with respect to “the deal you cut,” either with another entity (i.e., individual, group, employer, religious or political party, etc.) or with yourself!

“The deal you cut” is the “bargain with the devil,” figuratively speaking, which entitles you to rationalize for as long as you can play this “no-win” ’game’, that “it’s OK” to be “not OK.”

Then, as time marches inexorably onward, a very slow, but steady awareness begins to awaken inside of you that always was there from the first moment you accepted “the deal you cut” and you realize that you’re “cooked.”

Since “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” the challenge is not to “cut” any “deal” that you will not, can not and must not “settle” for...ever!

And because there is always a “price to pay for everything,” including every “deal” you “cut,” then truth be told, “you’re worth what you settle for.”

Author Note: Dr. Larry B. Gelman is a Clinical Psychologist and a Personal Mentor


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