Episode 51: How to increase your self-worth and bring value to any organization

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In order to advance in our career we need to get clear on the value we bring to the organization. When we equate our value to our title or our bank account we are setting ourselves up to feel worth-LESS. In this episode we will talk about: 

  • Why our workplace persona gets twisted with our self-worth
  • How we often train others to believe we are worth-LESS
  • How to spot when you are undervaluing yourself
  • How to stop feeling worth-LESS so you can be the leader you want to be

As a human your value and worth is priceless. Stop confusing it with your title and what’s in your checking account.  

Mentioned on the show: 

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Read the Transcript
Hey y’all Welcome back to this week’s podcast. 

I’ve been thinking about this topic for a while and I’m bumping it up in my podcast queue because I am seeing and hearing more and more people struggling with the topic. It’s worthiness. Self-worth. 

As a human your value and worth is priceless. I see clients confusing the value and worth they create in their career or business with their self-worth with their title  and what’s in their checking account.  

When the sensation of worth comes from outside you, you will always be chasing it. 

Then the downward spiral of thinking starts. 

People compare themselves to what they see others do, they compare themselves to a linkedin post they see, and they eventually start to judge their contribution, their value..to the role, to the company, as being less than. 

So they think they have to work harder. 

They may give up nights and weekends. I recently helped a client see that they had left over $50,000 of their compensation on the table because they did not take off ONE day last year. 

That’s a lot of coins. 

That’s what paid time off, or paid vacation is my friends. It’s part of your compensation. 

Think about it, would you leave 4 or more weeks’ salary on the table? 

When they added up all the holiday time and weekends they worked, it was really shocking for them to see what they had created for themselves. 

Because of this whisper of a belief that her value was connected to hours they worked, not the end result they were delivering. 

Some of us do work in roles in which calculating our hours or billable hours is how we are compensated. While these ideas definitely apply to billable hours, we still need to get clear in the risk reward ratio of what we want. 

Ok, back to the comparison and hustling harder. When we are in the comparison mindset and we are grinding away, often I hear people tell me that they just can’t do it anymore. They can’t keep up.

A series of other ‘I can’ts’ ensue. 

I don’t know
I just have to…
I’m so busy.  

I want to break down for you what is happening. 

Since there hasn’t been an internalization of your worth – your successes – you’ve only looked towards others and all you see is the catch-up that you need to do…and because you haven’t digested your wins and your worth as part of your identity, the next time you perform it’s as if it’s the first time. 

This type of thinking puts you on the spiral for imposter syndrome. You think the next time will be the time you finally feel good about yourself – you hope the next one will make you feel like you’ve arrived. 

A simple way to talk about self-worth is to compare two colleagues who work in corporate finance.  

There’s a difference between the two colleagues’ compensation, how they show up, the energy they put out and receive, and their track for promotion. 

First there’s Jessica. She believes her worth and value is inherent. She works hard but she has boundaries. She keeps track of her wins which makes it super easy for QBRs and annual reviews. 

She’s clear when she needs to shut down for the day. She occasionally starts early or works late or on a weekend but if she does, she makes sure to reclaim their time. She gets at times her role is transactional. 

She delegates to her team easily and she’s trained them where possible. 

Yes she loves her colleagues and her clients but she understands that a company has effectively leased her labor. And like any lease agreement both parties need to benefit. 

There has to be a balance or the terms or the agreement will fall apart either because she’lll get sick or because she won’t be able to think and deliver solid work.

She knows that if she is exhausted she increases her chance of making a mistake so on those days she finds work that won’t further tax her and she’ll get her intended work done tomorrow. 

Jessica usually operates from a place of calm confidence. 

She’s not known for getting frazzled. There’s a lightness around her. And she’s viewed as a leader by her ELT and clients because she continues to show how she handles challenges and she has healthy boundaries. 

Then there is Sonja. She doesn’t realize it but in her heart of hearts, she believes she is paid based on the hours she works, or the tasks she cranks out. 

Not the value she creates for the department. Not the impact her work has on internal and external clients. 

She falls back on a presenteeism mentality and she is often distracted by inter-departmental urgent tasks that don’t deliver high value. She continues to do it because she thinks it will pay off because she’s built relationships. She has and that’s to be commended. But she’s hoping for a promotion and she’s been at her same level for years. 

She’s known for fussing and reworking her deliverables to make them more attractive vs delegating to her staff because it’s easier. 

She has a team that reports to her but she knows that she can get it done faster and it’s easier if she does it herself. Then she secretly feels accomplished because her to do least decreases. . 

She’s noticing that her leadership goes to her for everything now. At first it felt great. But now she’s not so sure. She’s becoming the catcher  for all things – even those projects that clearly belong to a peer or another department. She’s the clearing house. 

When she asks her boss why she’s being given such projects she’s told they know she’ll get it done. And she will. 

She’s valued but not the way she wants to be. She wants to be promoted but the conversation never gets off the ground. 

Her mindset then skews to the thinking something must be wrong or missing with her. She’s exhausted all the time.  

She’s operating from this anxious and grapsy mentality and she diminishes herself. 

Through our work together she was able to see that she’s operating from scarcity and lack mindset. She diminishes herself by not delegating and she shows others that her time is worth-LESS and it is why she’s always falling into the lower value tasks. 

Let’s look at the word worthless. I want you to mentally split that word into two parts. Worth. And less. Worth less. 

Self worth requires boundaries. It isn’t hustling and graspy for acknowledgement. 

Feeling worthLESS can come up in lots of different ways. It’s nuanced and you want to get clear if it shows up for you. 

Other ways I’ve seen it are over-spending money, time, resources, constantly buying things for others or picking up the tab in hopes to create a connection, or to make yourself feel better…you are in a worth-less mindset. 

If you have extra cash and you want to pick up a meal, that’s a beautiful gesture. Just make sure it’s reciprocated. Not necessarily from the same people (if they have different discretionary income) but in a pay it forward sense. 

Other ways I see it is….volunteering for the extra assignment, the I will get it done myself/faster mindset. Do it because you have the time or the skills, don’t do it because you want to prove your worth or because you think you get something in return. 

I know it’s so prevalent in our workplace culture to volunteer for more work in hopes to be recognized at some point. 

But if the praise and gratitude doesn’t come, how will you feel? Are you going to be a heat seeking missile or resentment? Are you keeping score? People can feel your scorecard. 

These are ways you are valuing yourself LESS.

When you devalue yourself, others will do it too. ELT doesn’t see you as the leader that creates capacity for others, the leader who can get things done and move rocks and boulders. The ELT sees you as the person who’s on the assembly line, churning work and getting things done. 

Both types of work are worthy and honorable. But only one type of work is going to get you promoted. 

So here’s what you do. 

I want you to think about when you are in the flow. When is work easy and time flies. That’s a good indication of your strengths. You can take an assessment or make note of your strengths so that you know when you should raise your hand and volunteer. If you are operating from your strengths you are probably not going to be exhausted after you complete the task. Notice that. 

Next, the onus is on you to review your workload and get clear in your priorities and those of the department. If you are leading a team, training them and delegating tasks is crucial to your success. In the beginning you may need to get in there and get your hands messy but the idea is to tell them the OUTCOME not to micromanage the steps. This will help your leadership skills and help you gain a higher level influence over your team. Once they know, you step out. This give you time to think about higher level challenges

Each month I want you to make a list of your successes. Baby wins and big wins. The point here is to begin to internalize all that you do and that you are able to see the value that you are creating for an organization. This is the path to increasing your self worth. First it starts by looking in the rear-view mirror to see what you’ve created. Then you begin to create the evidence that you’ve done it before so you’ll likely do it again. And in order to do it again, you need to be out of the weeds and thinking. This will also help you delegate and create space to think, even if it is in the shower. 

And lastly this is highly level mindset but I choose to believe that my brain is a multi million dollar generating machine. I mean, it’s created millions of dollars for others, why not me? So if I think that, I can’t fill the operating system of my brain with junk. I need to protect it. I need to live it. I need to challenge it. This takes time but it works. Give yourself time to think and just wonder. STep away from your devices. Get pen and paper, I know, shocking. But this is how I have built my million dollar machine. .  

Before I wrap, I want to give you the career wake-up call you’ve been waiting for…go from wondering if “this is it?” to knowing and owning your genius and designing your career trajectory.

I want to help you develop the confidence you need to secure your future with a job that reflects not just your talents but who you are.

If you are constantly job-hopping, hoping this will be “the one”, Struggling to understand why you are secretly miserable in this job, that on paper, checks all the boxes or Frustrated that you can’t seem to figure out how to show up with executive presence, form relationships you need to feel secure in your position, or speak up eloquently and be heard

Then my friend, you’ve experienced The Corporate Identity Crisis. 

Here’s the good news…on the other side of every good crisis is clarity, direction, and the possibility for a totally different life. 

I’ve helped hundreds of clients amplify their strengths, increase visibility, create their career narrative, and design a bigger and brighter future using my proven framework.

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