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Know Your Worth

I remember when I became a director for the first time. A few people in higher positions advocated and negotiated on my behalf to obtain the role. For years I bought into this notion that they gave me something without me actually earning it.

I would tell myself over and over that without them, my promotion wouldn’t have happened. I felt like I should be eternally grateful and give them my firstborn.

While it’s true that I should have appreciated those that spoke on my behalf and helped me along, I should have also appreciated my own hard work and skills that got me to that point in the first place. Why did I give myself so little credit for this accomplishment?

That’s when I started to become clear on my worth.

For years after this promotion, I would hear the story of how I became a director though their lens and they took a lot of credit. But the reality is 99% of the credit is mine. I earned the position through my skillset, determination and work product.

This is a theme that would happen a few times throughout my career.

Taking credit for others’ achievements causes harm and perpetuates oppressive systemic leadership behavior.

I took away two important lessons from this experience. The first is, it is important for me to know my own worth. When I know my own worth, I am free to clear the political terrain so others can obtain the roles they have worked so hard for.

Second, I learned that most likely the reason the people who had helped me get my director position took so much credit from me was because each one of them doesn’t recognize their own self-worth.

When leaders know their own self-worth, they can let those they lead shine.

Take some time this week to get in touch with yourself. Who is in there? Do they know how valuable they are? If that question makes you the slightest bit uncomfortable, then chances are your own self-worth is lacking.

So how can you start seeing yourself as more worthy?

Get to Know Yourself Better

If you don’t know your value, you don’t really know yourself. Because the truth is, we all have something great to offer the world.

Get to know the real you by asking some questions:

  • Who are you?

  • Who do you want to be?

  • What do you stand for?

  • What is your biggest strength?

  • What is your true mission in life?

Answering these questions will set you on a path to uncovering the valuable you that is waiting to be acknowledged.

Get Better at Receiving Compliments

I was never someone to feel comfortable at receiving compliments from colleagues, or anyone for that matter. When someone praises your work or ability and you deny it, what are you telling yourself?

STOP doing this. Accepting praise is a habit, and it’s one you can form. Just get into the habit of saying “thank you” when what you really want to say is “oh, it was really so-and-so, I didn’t do much.”

If others try and give you credit, then it’s time to give yourself credit!

And you know, you don’t even have to wait for external praise to give yourself credit on a daily basis. At the end of each day you can write down your accomplishments for that day. Who did you help? What fires did you put out? How did you make a positive impact?

The idea here is not to become an egomaniac. The idea is to have a very realistic view of yourself and what you bring to the table.

Go for Those Promotions

Once you’ve taken some time to get to know yourself and your worth, and you are 100% confident that you bring a lot of value to the table, then it’s time to put your value where your mouth is and start going for those promotions you know you are absolutely qualified for.

The more leaders who take the time to recognize their own self-worth, the more they can help others develop and recognize their own.

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