How can you ask for more if you believe that you are not deserving of more?
I used to dread any kind of negotiation and money conversations because it always felt like I was negotiating the very essence of who I was when I should be grateful for whatever I was being offered and should just take it and leave. When it comes to money, we are constantly being told to be grateful for what we are being offered by our clients and employers. I’ve since learned that no one is a better judge of my worth and value than myself. So, for this week’s newsletter, I want to encourage you to think differently about self-worth and understand how it impacts your earning potential. I really enjoyed writing this and I hope you find value in it.
HIJACKED BY BRANDS
Self-love and our very worth have been hijacked by beauty and lifestyle brands, so they can sell us more of their overhyped products and consumables, all under the guise of wellness, self-love, and worthiness. Yet no amount of shampoo, hair dye, designer bags, or potions can give us that inner feeling of self-worth that they claim their purchases can provide us. Instead, this constant messaging makes us value our authentic selves less and question our true value – some people even question their very existence.
EXULTATION OF SELF
The consistent messaging is that you are not good enough unless you have this or are that or become this. What we buy from these brands is the fuel that drives us further from our true selves, making us crave more superficial things that don’t feed or nourish our souls. So, we have become obsessed with “self”. We are constantly seeking identity and meaning through external means. We now have so many words making their way into the dictionary that is rooted in the exultation of one’s self as the solution to all our problems – Self”—self-love, self-care, self-made, the selfie, self-help, etc.
CONTENTMENT OR GREED?
Coupled with this is the messaging around gratitude and greed when you feel you deserve more, and this can become a very toxic cocktail. Sometimes women tell me that they don’t negotiate for a pay increase because they are being paid enough for what they do when they know very well that a man or another woman doing the same level of work is being paid 3 or 4 times what she is being paid. Is it because she is comfortable and not greedy or it is because she has low self-worth that discourages her from negotiating for more?
I had a candidate who walked away from a job and higher income because she believed she wasn’t worthy. All her decisions are now tailored to avoid putting herself in such roles. From my work with female leaders, I would argue that self-esteem and self-worth have a direct correlation to our pay and our belief that we are worth more.
True self-love and worth are inner looking and linked to our self-esteem, our ability to see ourselves as flawed and still hold ourselves in high regard, knowing without a doubt that we are still worthy of more and better.
In life, we will all have times when we lack confidence and do not feel good about ourselves and the value that we offer, but that is entirely different from living and working from a place of low self-worth.
I remember the days when “yes” and “thank you” were my responses to any opportunity. I was so grateful to be wanted and needed. Many women take my courses, looking to be more and to earn more without realising that they cannot earn above their level of self-worth.
It is the artificial lid we put on our earning potential when we compare ourselves to others and end up finding ourselves lacking. Once they realise what they are doing, they can show up more powerfully at work, demand more, and get more. When you know your value, negotiating and betting on yourself becomes a lot easier. When you start to believe in yourself anything is possible. Your self-belief is your value and your potential. Don’t be afraid of valuing yourself highly. Don’t be afraid of betting on yourself. Don’t let fear of the unknown limit your value. Take that risk and know that you can do it and be it.
So, what can you do differently:
- Identify the negative self-talk and beliefs you have about yourself, then challenge them.
- Do a self-audit
Many of us are so self-critical and focus only on the things we are not good at. We forget to quantify the things we are great at. Your self-analysis should not break your confidence but it should help you become more confident in yourself.
- Keep a brag list.
Create a list that includes everything you are proud of. Every achievement no matter how big or small. Whether it’s graduating from college, completing a project at work, or thank you messages from clients or colleagues. Whenever in doubt, look at the list and remind yourself that everything on that list was once a challenge that you overcame.
- Surround yourself with positive and encouraging people.
As Oprah is quoted to have said “you cannot climb up the top of the mountain with friends who don’t give you oxygen”. Are the people in your circle breathing life into you or sucking out the life or joy out of you?
- Take on mini-challenges to build your confidence muscle.
Don’t jump out of your comfort zone immediately. Just commit to taking baby steps, tiny steps that will help you increase the reach of your comfort zone. Even if no one believes in you, you should still believe in yourself because it is your journey, not theirs.
READY TO ELEVATE YOUR CAREER TO THE NEXT LEVEL.
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