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What're You Worth?

That’s a loaded question if ever there is one. Right? But, that’s the first question that I ask when I meet with business development clients. I’ve asked it thousands of times and I’ve gotten millions of answers. If the math doesn’t add up, it’s because most of the time responses are ramblings, chock-full of flashbacks to childhood memories; rivers that lead to an ocean of truth. We all discount our value.

More often than not we confuse the correlation between self-worth and deservingness and self-worth and entitlement. It’s not the latter. Entitlement is the conviction that you have a right to something. Self-worthiness is the belief in your own worth.

Doubt in self-worth is a sign of uncertainty that you’ll measure up against everyone else. If you’re ever wondering if you’re good enough, the answer is always yes. If you’re afraid you’ve made a very healthy number of mistakes, you have; if you feel those mistakes make you a bad person, they do not. And, fundamentally, you’re enough — you’re a good person and you deserve good things.

Doubt is dangerous. How many times has someone on the outside telling you that you’re not good enough; that something is wrong with you; and too fast, too soon we begin to believe them. Now, imagine when that doubt and negativity originate on the inside.

Take care of yourself.

At face value, this advice would be obvious and seemingly unwarranted. “I know,” you’ll say to yourself, “I try, but life is busy and I get lost in the day-to-day.” Most problematic in this truth is that most of us are conditioned to believe that prioritizing our own needs means we’re selfish. It is not.

Inversely, when our energies come in contact with someone who prioritizes their own flourishing and balance we would never consider the thought of rejecting or even discounting their commitment to self. There are four things, areas of self-care, that “these people” prioritize regularly:

  • SLEEP: Our bodies need regular, adequate sleep. Every single night.
  • DRINK: Our bodies are 70%+ water, and that water needs replenishment. Hourly. Up your water intake and watch your body flourish.
  • NUTRITION: Nourishment comes in the form of whatever enters our bodies, right? We need to make sure the fuel is clean and reliable.
  • STRESS: Stress is a killer, right? Relieve it. Meditate. Journal. Start your garden. Pray. Whatever it is that brings you closer to the ebb and flow of the Universe.

Be the person you can count on.

Ok, maybe you can’t think your way into believing you’re worth it overnight. But, you can act your way there; by that, I mean, walk the talk. Keeping the commitments we make to ourselves can increase the feelings of our own worthiness. (Plus, it increases your confidence too.)

Think about it, for a second: Of the hundreds of commitments we make a day – to eat, to drink, to keep in contact with people, to contribute to the universal shift – most of them are for other people. When we don’t have a strong sense of self-worth, we agree to almost all incoming requests. That, always (and forever), leads to overcommitted. When our calendars are totally committed, something has to give – and 90% of the time it’s us.

Stand up for yourself.

Depletion in self-worth makes you an “earner.” Earners spend their time, money, and energy earning love. This shows up in a multitude of ways:

You can become a please — saying yes when you really mean no. You can become a performer — the life of every party and a chronic overachiever. You can become a doormat — allowing others to treat you poorly, convinced that being the release for them leads to some sort of appreciation or respect.

It gets worse. Our lives, when lived as earners, lead to an increased attraction of users. Users are people that live at our expense without giving it a second thought. If you’re willing to hand it over, they’re going to be willing to take and keep it. They, in their own parallel universe, believe they’re entirely deserving in the taking; these people like to keep you scared, small, and doubting in your deservingness.

Study the types of earner personality traits and learn to catch yourself in the act. Learn the who and the what of your triggers of the earner response. What are you most afraid of? What are you ultimately trying to prove in the earner role? If you feel bad – or drained – about your actions after you’re with a specific person or in a place, you need to reconsider the value that person (or place) brings to your life.

Every time we speak up for ourselves we remove another pin from the heart. Speaking up for ourselves and keeping our boundaries raise our sense of self-worthiness. We also show others what it looks like to know our own worth and live as we know it. That is true power.