Know Your Worth!

Thursday, 07 March 2013 18:42 Written by  Iya Bakare

Every once in a while in life, we’re forced to assess what’s important in our lives. Over the course of the last few months, I’ve been tested with a situation that ultimately led me to evaluate what I’m worth to myself and others. When the enticing opportunity that catapulted this test initially presented itself, it was attractive because it was something new and refreshing. It made my adrenaline rush, but I realized that “different doesn’t mean better” and the “grass isn’t always greener on the other side.” Life taught me to love my grass and to nurture it in order to make a fertile environment.

After the “honeymoon phase” of the situation faded, the blinders were removed and I started to see the situation for what it truly was – an opportunity for another to take advantage of me and my talents. I started to witness my behavior change into something I didn’t recognize, and quite honestly, I didn’t like too much. As time progressed, I slowly morphed into this behavior pattern around this situation as I continued to feel disrespected. Before I knew it, I was a part of a verbal tug-of-war and the former alluring prospect turned into a throbbing pain.

It took the words of a loved one who overheard some of these verbal wars to lend encouraging insight, along with an epiphany, to force me to check myself and my behavior. After all, I can only control my actions and my reaction to the actions of others. I decided to take a step back and look at the situation with a different perspective. As a result, it was easier to communicate and it was a borderline pleasant situation again, at least for a little while.

The situation complicated itself almost two months later when my integrity was placed in jeopardy and the work I spent so much time on and invested so much in was no longer something I enjoyed, or even recognized. Confronting the issue was no picnic and led to another heated war that led to a day-long headache and an untested blood pressure that was probably at stroke level. Why did I have to deal with so much for standing up for myself and my beliefs? After I sought the advice of trusted loved ones, I made the decision not to put myself in that situation again. I could no longer willingly place my integrity or self-worth in a position where they would be questioned or taken advantage of.

Singer and songwriter Kenny Rogers’ song “The Gambler” speaks about “knowing when to walk away and when to run.” The fighter in me always wants to give it my all and exhaust all possibilities before backing down. But, sometimes you have to look at things for what they are because once a situation reveals itself, it’s up to you to believe it and act accordingly. You have to decide what you’re worth and if the work put into it will positively affect the outcome.

Iya Bakare

Iya Bakare

Iya Bakare, GMO's managing editor, earned both her Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in print journalism. She earned her B.A. from Delta State University with a minor in English and graduated with a M.A. degree from Columbia College Chicago. In her spare time, the Chicago native continues to freelance and ponder ways to both inform and improve her community one story at a time.

She can be contacted at
Follow her on Twitter: @ibakare