According to CDC, the suicide rate between teens and youths rose by 60% between 2007 and 2018 1.
There is a sense of worthlessness.
As the clinical psychologist, Anthony P. DeMaria, Ph.D., explained, one of the major reasons people commit suicide is hopelessness 2.
People decide to end it when they lose all sense of any significance attached to their lives; when the pain of staying alive becomes higher than the pain of death.
Truth be told.
Sometimes life can be so dark it’s hard to see any hope for tomorrow or any light within ourselves.
However, the hard truth is this: we often get depressed and sad because we measure our importance with the wrong metrics.
Here are vital things you can check to know that you are important as a person even though it doesn’t seem like it.
1. You Have Unique Experiences to Share
Everyone has a story.
And even if you may not be aware of it, there are millions of people around the world who are dying to hear yours, no matter how dark.
Shared experiences connect us deeply.
Look at it this way.
We live in a world of highlight reels. No one is willing to show any form of weakness.
Social media is booming with presentations of perfection even though more people are getting depressed and committing suicide now than ever.
Sharing your experiences even with a small number of people helps them understand that they are not alone in theirs.
If you have unique experiences that can inspire someone else, your life has value.
2. You Can Make a Change
On the first day of December 1995, a young lady took an action that will forever change the course of American history.
Out of courage—and frustration—at the injustice black people were experiencing, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger at Montgomery.
Though her intention wasn’t to start any form of movement, her act of courage would go on to inspire thousands of black Americans to speak up concerning the injustice they experience.
As Mrs. Parks would later write in Reflections by Rosa Parks,
“I want to be remembered as a person who stood up to injustice, who wanted a better world for young people.”
Here’s the thing: You never can tell what a simple action from you could lead to.
Your actions don’t need to be as grand as Park’s. Just by simply treating low-class citizens with more kindness and respect, you might be sowing seeds that will go on to affect generations.
Each person on earth is in a network. Meaning if you meet 1000 people in your lifetime, those 1000 persons will meet another 1000.
Indirectly, your actions will go on to influence billions of people. That’s huge.
3. You Are The Best Version Of You
You may not be the best you can be yet, but you are doing the best job at being you. Period!
Think about it.
We are all running different races. Right from birth, we’ve all been exposed to different experiences at varying points of our maturity.
Meaning, even when we experience the same events as others, there is a low probability that our interpretation of those events will be the same.
Therefore, it is impossible to tell how another person (including those you wish to be like) would have handled your own experiences if they were you.
Look at it this way: Life is never fair. What some people have had to endure at 13, some adults have never conceived it in their minds.
Your life is unique.
The experiences you go through and your interpretation of them are peculiar to you as a person. Therefore, there’s only one unique version of you out there.
4. You’ve Survived Till Now
Think about it.
You are alive, that means a lot.
Look at it this way: Your life is significant because right from birth, a series of events have come together to lead you to where you are now.
From the beginning, it’s been a huge competition.
Millions of sperm had to compete before one (YOU) could emerge the winner. You may not have been aware of it, but that’s no small thing.
Moving forward, even if you were lucky enough to have parents or guardians who understood good emotional nurturing, you’ll still come across vices of all kinds.
Bullies, enviers, haters, emotional baggage, bad luck, etc., yet, you’ve survived till now.
Don’t trivialize such an accomplishment. A lot of people have been overcome by them.
5. You Are Important Because You Have Potential
Dead people don’t have potential no matter how talented they were in their lifetime.
Potential means unrealized abilities, and when you’re dead, all possibilities about who you could be are closed.
Being alive, on the other hand, means you have infinite potential.
It means you still have the chance to savor the chaos that life has dealt you with so far and produce something beautiful.
Life is hope.
As Jordan Peterson said, “You are not just all that you are now; you are also all that you could be if you would.”
The onus is on you to narrow down the “Infinite potential” in you to something more tangible.
Potential is only useful if it can be used; this is why being alive makes you important.
6. You Want To Have A More Meaningful Life Too
Meaning is like food for the soul.
Every single person on earth wants to have a more meaningful life. We just approach it in different ways.
Some may take drugs, get more degrees, explore their gifts to the fullest, or donate millions to charity in Africa, it’s all in an attempt to have a more meaningful life.
Your innate tendency to seek out things you feel will make your life more meaningful says something vital about you as a person.
It means there’s a high chance of you becoming a powerful force for good if you channel your need for meaning rightly. You can become a solution to a need.
7. You’re Still Improving Yourself
One of the greatest attributes a person can have is the ability to grow.
When you understand that the person you are today isn’t the best you can be, the extent to which you can grow becomes limitless. That’s potential.
It doesn’t matter where or who you are today, if you never stop improving yourself, you’ll become a powerful force in your generation.
Here’s the thing: As we grow up, our natural urge to seek things out begins to fade little by little.
By the time we are adults, most of our views about the world have solidified. We become confident in our conclusions.
This is why making self-improvement a lifestyle makes you important.
If you keep growing, then there’s no limit to what you can become.