I work with some amazing clients, but I’m struck by how often they themselves fail to see that in themselves.
Before you can begin communicating your value and the worth you’ll bring to an organization or workplace, you’ve first got to recognize it and believe it yourself. I know it can be a hard journey because I’ve been there with you. I’ve struggled with it throughout my life. I struggled with body image. I’ve felt unworthy at times. I let what other folks said, make me doubt myself. I’ve had bad things happen and wallowed in the what if’s. I’m not alone in that battle and neither are you.
A lot of folks believe that confidence, or self-belief, is something you’re born with – you either have it or you don’t. Well I don’t agree. I think it’s something that can be developed or even rebuilt if you’ve experienced a time in life that caused you to lose it. I mean think about it. When’s the last time a baby looked at you and said “Gee, I don’t think I should have been born because I’m not good enough?”
Let’s take a deeper look into self-worth today.
Why is it important?
How we see ourselves shapes our lifestyle and choices. It can even affect the jobs we choose to apply for. How’s that? Well our beliefs are a mix of our values, skills, talents, ideas and life. A person who doubts their abilities or feels like they aren’t even in the same ballpark as others around them, and will continually settle for less than what they deserve. For instance in the job market, someone struggle with self-belief, might see a posting and have all the necessary skills, but pass on the opportunity because their mind automatically tells them “someone else is better qualified” or “I don’t interview well, so there’s no need to try.” On the other hand, someone who has a positive view of themselves will pursue the opportunity wholeheartedly because internally, they believe they’re the best candidate for the job.
It can also show up when you are negotiating salary or seeking a promotion. If you struggle with self-belief, you won’t ask for opportunities and that hampers your ability to move up in a company and in turn make more money. It even sneaks in if you get the job you wanted. Do you settle for the companies first offer? Or did you ask for what you’re worth based on what you’ll be bringing to the table?
What causes it?
Self-doubt creeps in over time. I don’t believe anyone is born feeling like everyone is better than them.
Maybe you’ve been in bad relationships. Maybe you’ve been surrounded by people who are constantly discouraging you or their negativity is starting to wear off on you. I’d strongly encourage you to rethink your circle of influence if that’s the case. In fact, here’s a resource you can use that will help you deal with negative folks in the workplace.
Not only can this effect your mindset, it can also impact your health.
Sometimes it just happens because we make bad decisions. If you string together enough of them, you begin to think that’s the only kind of decision you can make. If you focus on the failures and disappointments in life, your self-belief begins to falter.
Physical or emotional abuse can also severely impact how you feel about yourself. An abusers main goal is to make you feel unworthy or that you aren’t good enough. It keeps you tied to them and boosts their ego. If you are in a situation like this, please reach out to a trusted friend and seek help. Staying will eat away at your self-esteem and could have even worse outcomes.
Did you really just say that to yourself?
I get so frustrated at how people talk to themselves. If we heard someone else spew these same phrases at someone else, we’d never stand by and let it happen. The problem happens when those words are the only ones we listen to, Over a course of months and years, we begin to believe it. We begin to believe we can’t do certain things, or we aren’t smart enough, or pretty enough, or quick enough, or ____________________ (you fill in the blank with the negative phrases that run through your mind). Our words have a huge impact on us. When we allow this kind of talk, especially to ourselves, you begin to believe you are inferior and unworthy.
If you’re getting ready for a job interview and take one last look in the mirror and think – “this suit makes my hips look big, or I’ll never answer the questions right, or I’m not as smart as the others they are interviewing” – you’re setting yourself up for failure before you ever set foot in the interview. Instead, look in that mirror and say, “I’ve got this. They saw something in me that made them call me for an interview, so now I’m going to show them why they were right.” You’ll be in the right mindset to knock the socks off the interviewer. You’ll come in with more energy and that will translate into a better interview.
So how can you build belief?
I felt so strongly about this topic I spent several chapters of my book, When In Doubt, Delete It! talking about how it showed up in my life and the life of others who are in my circle of friends. What struck me is that it’s a totally personal battle. On the outside, I may look at you and see nothing but success, but on the inside, you see yourself so differently. The great thing is you can overcome it and move on toward your Successfully Ever After.
So how can you build up your belief?
First, ask yourself a question, if you weren’t afraid you’d fail, what would you do? Don’t limit yourself to one aspect of life. Think about your family, your friends, your career, hobbies, vacations – really anything that you’ve put on what I call your list of impossibles. That’s the list that we’ve told ourselves we can’t do because…. (insert your favorite excuse here).
For me, the impossible I beat that reset my thinking was completing a 1/2 marathon. That story is in the book too, if you want to know more.
Take a few moments and dream about how it would feel to accomplish the things on your list. Don’t take anything off because you hear a tiny voice in your head already telling you why you shouldn’t. Just ignore it and keep making that list. Now read the list out loud, preferably while you’re standing in front of mirror. Tell yourself you will do these things. Tell yourself you’re worthy of the things you desire. Then reread it every day. This is your time. Your moment of affirmation. Eventually, you’ll begin to feel the energy and excitement grow inside you. You’ll begin thinking of ways to make these items come true. It’s funny, what our mind dwells on is what we focus on. So if you dwell on achieving, your mind will begin showing you ways to get there.
Build on small wins.
Once you start making progress toward your goals, celebrate those small wins. Set yourself up for more success by thinking out other steps you can take to reach your desired outcome and make a plan to do them. Mindset isn’t about “winging it” and hoping something will happen. It’s a real intention. It’s focusing on how to get the win instead of focusing on what’s stopping you.
If you need more encouragement, I’d love for you to download the newly released Audible version of When In Doubt, Delete It!. I’ll be that voice in your head cheering you on. I promise, I can drown out that negative talk so it doesn’t creep in and keep you from achieving everything you’ve got on your list.
Want to learn more about When In Doubt, Delete It! Check out the virtual launch party and hear from some of the women featured inside its’ pages.