I recently had coffee with my good friend Nicole Merlin and we got onto the topic of ‘valuing yourself’ and how running our businesses has been a massive learning curve for us. We’ve had our boundaries tested, and have had to speak confidently about our abilities and what our work is worth. This last year has really helped me define who I am, what I can offer the world, and my relationships with others.
Now, I’m sure most of us have heard of the terms ‘self-care’ and ‘self-value’ but how many of us actually practice these on a daily basis? I think most of us aren’t doing as well in this area as we might think because the people I speak to – who run a business, or have a full-time job, and are in relationships – say things to me like:
“I sent him the invoice and he said it was too much. So I asked him what he was willing to pay.”
“I know I should be getting paid more. I checked on an industry standards site and they are paying me below the minimum but my boss is really busy right now so I don’t want to book a meeting to discuss a pay rise until she’s less stressed.”
“She only calls me when she wants something. The relationship feels one sided. But I really like her.”
If you don’t value and respect yourself, how do you expect others to?
When you don’t respect yourself, you aren’t able to take care of yourself like you should. Taking care of yourself means setting boundaries for your life and your relationships. When you do this, people are less likely to take advantage of you, and when they do you are able to let them know you’re not happy with their behaviour. If they don’t change then it’s ok to walk away, change jobs or find another client.
You need to love yourself fully first
Most of us undervalue ourselves. We generally do this because we’ve either learnt this behaviour, have an incorrect image of our self-worth or we think it’s bad to see ourselves as having value, and offering value. The common belief is that it’s selfish and arrogant to value yourself when in fact the opposite is true.
When your value yourself you attract value
If you respect yourself you’ll attract people that also respect themselves and value others. You’ll find clients that want to pay you for your services, managers that schedule in quarterly meetings to take about opportunities and remuneration, and friends and partners that give as much as they take from the relationship.
For some of us, recognising our value takes time. It’s a daily effort. And requires us to know who we are and what we need, and the confidence to let others know. If you’re having trouble expressing yourself in situations where you feel like people aren’t valuing you, try these below conversation starters. I’ve used them myself and had great results.
So next time a client says your price is too high reply: “I’m unable to lower my fees but why don’t we look at how we can change the scope of the project instead.”
When you want performance feedback from your manager, say: “Hi [insert: manager’s name] I would like to schedule a 15-minute meeting to get feedback on my performance. Talking about this now will help me work more effectively on the [insert: next big project or campaign]. Is [insert: time] on [insert: day] the best time for you?”
When a relationship feels one-sided share your feelings: “When you do [insert: action] it makes me feel [insert: emotion] because [insert: explanation sticking to your view of the situation].”
If you’re struggling to see your value, ask a friend to help. Or send me an email. I’ll tell you if you’re undervaluing yourself.
When you find yourself in a situation where you feel undervalued what do you do?
Featured image from Google.