Poker Chips- How Many are You Playing With? By Allie Mac.

The players with the most Poker Chips in their hand take the most risks.

It’s true.

I’ve watched people play poker in Vegas and the players who “go all in” or “double down” are not the players with 2 chips left.

My friends who have the most risk in the stock market are not the ones struggling to make their car payment.

What if each little bit of our self-esteem was like one poker chip?


When a speaker at a seminar suggested this, it made me think.  I thought hard.

I thought about how my own self-worth influenced so many of my decisions in life as well as my behavior.
  • Several years ago, I was invited to audition for “The Voice” TV show based on a recording I sent in, but I never showed up because I was too worried about having to ask my family to watch my kids that day. And what my boss would think if I missed work. And what if they didn’t like my voice?
  • I always wanted to avoid conflict with people (especially my ex-husband) so I did not speak up when something bothered me or when I was let-down.
  • Expressing my opinion or asking for something might cause him to think I’m a “nagging” wife.
  • I was overly apologetic with everyone, even if it wasn’t warranted.
  • This led to resentment with no confidence or strength to change.

When self-esteem is lacking, we settle. 

  • We don’t speak up for what we want in life. 
  • We allow people to use us. 
  • We are fearful to say “no” to anyone, even if our plate is overflowing with commitments, for fear of how we might come across to that person.
  • We want to be nice, liked, and loved more than we want to take care of ourselves. 
  • We care so much about what “others might be thinking” that it controls our behavior more than we do.
  • We build resentment towards spouses, friends, and others because we blame them for our unhappiness.
  • We risk being stale and stuck in the mundane “duties” of life rather than embracing our interests and running with opportunities.

The more self-esteem we have, the more risks we are willing to take.

I collected “poker chips” a number of ways, but primarily used 3 strategies.

These helped me build self-worth and start taking control of my own happiness.

  • I started speaking highly of myself; no more “my thighs and butt are so big.”
  • I stopped comparing myself to others; no more “If I only had her talent or her body.”
  • I respectfully said what I needed to- when I needed to- and quickly realized the result was not what I feared.
  • I realized that healthy disagreement is ok and can be empowering and build respect.

Yes, there are still times I catch myself comparing my legs to hers, but I stop myself quickly.

Risks don’t have to be dangerous or crazy.

Trying a new job that excites you can be a “risk.” Or telling your spouse how you really feel about something or asking him/her for something you need. 

I didn’t realize how low my self-esteem had become until I gained it. 


With it came an exciting, rewarding life, with more amazing friendships and plenty of adventure!

  • I do even more for other people now, but it’s because I choose to and it makes me happy.
  • I travel more.
  • I have an opinion about things to discuss with people.
  • I enjoy motherhood fully.
  • I make time for personal interests, goals, and dreams.
  • I take risks because it makes me feel alive (Yes, I hailed a cab naked!).

Think about yourself, your self-esteem, your self-worth, and add up your “poker chips.”

Are you the confident and adventurous one with stacks of poker chips in hand?

Or are you the one with just 2 chips, who doesn’t have enough to risk anything; the one who doesn’t value themselves enough to have a say in their own happiness?

How many poker chips are you playing life with?  How could life change if you collected more?

Woman with poker chips

Build your poker chips!  You are worth it.

Flavor Your Life with an Ounce of Salt.