Do you devalue yourself, and the work you do? Well, it’s time to change that. Let’s talk about how to value yourself and your work.
Whether you’re an employee, a business owner, a fulltime mom or anything in between, it’s so important to value what you do – and what YOU bring to the people you serve and work for.
I was with a client recently – someone who is wonderfully talented and very intelligent – who was not valuing themselves and their work enough. And I’ve had this kind of conversation with other clients too. It’s quite common actually.
Here’s some of WHY this can happen :
1. The problem with ‘being a natural at it’ :
We do what we’re good at so naturally, that we almost discount it’s significance to others (who don’t have it as a strength)
2.Lack of encouragement from others
We don’t get a lot of positive feedback and encouragement (and hey if you’re a mom, you’ll be saying a RESOUNDING YES! to this one!} Who ever heard of a kid who said to their mom at the end of the day ‘Hey well done Mom! Great job parenting me today!!’ LOL
3. Our negative bias
We don’t FOCUS on our positive strengths, but always gravitate to thinking about our weaknesses (it’s called ‘negative bias’)
4. Not knowing ourselves enough
Some of us DON’T KNOW what valuable strengths, talents & knowledge lies within us and need to do some examining to find out! Or we do know, but we think less of ourselves anyway. Maybe we grew up without much affirmation from significant others, or grew up always feeling or being told that we were never quite good enough, unless we accomplished at a very high level.
Socrates has been attributed with saying, ‘Know thyself’.
Do you have an ability to get to know others really quickly, make people laugh and put them at ease? So many people can’t do that – it’s such a strength!
Are you a natural writer, able to just put words together effortlessly, when others sweat and mull over it for ages?
Are you a technical whiz – grasping technical concepts easily and actually ENJOYING the process – when most people are afraid they’ll break something and find learning technical stuff very frustrating.
There’s no doubt about it – you’re GOOD at certain things. And if you’ve worked on that natural talent and learnt more about it, you’re REALLY GOOD.
Why should we value ourselves, you may ask? Well, because if you DON’T, this is just 2 ways it impacts you :
1. You’re regularly unhappy and don’t feel good about yourself, even when you’ve done a good job in the eyes of others.
2. You don’t go for that promotion you would love, or you under-price yourself with clients in your business, or don’t believe you’re worthy of a great relationship with a quality person.
Big impact, right there.
Here’s some action steps you can take to help you value your abilities more – try 1 or 2 of them:
1. List ’em:
If you’re never done it before, list your strengths – time to focus on them 🙂 And no editing. If you find something relatively easy to do, it’s a strength!
2. Collect all good feedback :
Keep a collection of every piece of positive feedback you receive (via email, text or instant messaging, cards, notes or even verbally)
– Have an email folder setup for them (to read when you need reminding!)
– if you’re a business owner, create a pinboard with them on them so you can look at them regularly.
I’ve kept mine to read when I need to.
Now I know what you’re thinking if you’re the modest type – oh that’s so show-offy or proud. Well, I’d like to turn that thinking on its head – no it’s not. It’s wisdom. It’s not being proud – it’s recognising that there will be times when you’ll need encouraging, and you can setup your environment so that it’s ‘ready-to-go’ with encouragement for when you need it. I know a couple of very successful business people who have this ‘thank you’ board in their office space for when self-doubt hits.
3. Now for every small accomplishment :
Keep a list of your accomplishments somewhere – as you do them. And ANYTHING you do can be an accomplishment!
4. Celebrate ’em :
Instead of moving-right-along as soon as you’ve finished something significant or hard – whether a challenging project, cleaning out an entire room, redecorating or winning a battle with a child – CELEBRATE YOURSELF. Bring out the party hats & cake if you need to! Just take a moment to sit & reflect on what you’ve got done, how far you’ve come and how hard you worked.
5. Review what-went-well :
Do a weekly or monthly review of what you did that week/month and which parts of it went really well. This is different from a list of accomplishments – a list of accomplishments is for e.g. I completed a software project or I organised an event for the team.
A weekly or monthly review is a 10-15 minute exercise where you look at the PARTS of what you do that went well. Not only do you start to realise all the things you’re doing well, but you learn from it how you can repeat the small successes or components WITHIN a project or piece of work.
6. Get Happy on Happify :
Finally, you might want to get onto a cool website called Happify.com and start conquering that negative bias in your brain. There’s very small, quick exercises that take only a few minutes but help you to think more positively – one is called ‘Today’s victories’ where you focus your brain on the little things that went well that day. It’s cool – check it out if you want!
Now I’ve given you a number of ideas – if you’re a Type-A personality, you’re going to want to leap into all of them – DON’T!
Do 1 or 2 for now. Make it manageable. Pick the ones you think will make the most impact for you.
And this week, really really VALUE what you do.