Recognising your worth and living it in two easy steps
“Know your worth otherwise someone else will tell you what it is”.
I love this quote from supermodel Iman. Well, it’s actually something her mother told her as a young woman, it’s applicable for so many of us, yet how many of us really know and live our worth?
On a scale of one to ten, how much do you value yourself? The level at which you value yourself and your time will influence quite the variety of situations. If you run your own business, are you correctly charging for the value of your time? (Please note I have not phrased this as ‘charging your worth’*). Do your clients contact you within business hours and value your time or do they bug you at all hours? If you’re in a relationship, are you being treated with respect and are you setting healthy boundaries or are you kowtowing to your partner’s every whim? Are your friendships reciprocal in their support structure or are you doing all the legwork? Is your time respected at work or are you expected to be available and on call all hours? (Unless you’re a doctor, being expected to answer the phone for work calls after 5pm is unreasonable as far as I’m concerned.)
So how do you go about defining your worth?
It’s actually quite simple. You’ll feel on a somatic level if you’re being treated (this applies to how you treat yourself as well as how others treat you) in line with your worth. If you get any sort of negative feeling in your body when a situation arises, you’re out of whack with your value system. Flexing your worth muscle takes a bit of practice, but it’s a strength exercise I highly recommend and it’s as simple as getting clear on what is and isn’t ok for you in life, work or business, then setting a clear boundary and sticking to it.
Here are a few examples:
- Perhaps you’re used to picking up the slack of disorganised team members who leave things till the last minute meaning you often work late or have to cancel plans. Asking them what’s on the agenda at the beginning of each week to preempt this could be an option, so could saying no to last minute requests. You’ll ruffle feathers, but it should change the status quo.
- You’re dating someone who’s routinely late for dinners. If you continue to wait for them, they’ll think it’s ok and continue to keep you waiting. If you give them a time limit, then leave if they don’t adhere to it, you’ll soon stop the tardy behaviour. (You could also find yourself a more punctual date). People will treat you in line with the behaviour you’re prepared to accept.
- Clients who send whatsapps or calls after hours. If you respond, you’re telling them it’s ok to continue. If you don’t reply out of business hours, they’ll soon get the message. You could start to retrain them by thanking them for their message and stating that you’ll respond the following day. Or you could switch off all notifications so you don’t see messages out of hours (my personal preference).
- Late or slow payments. I have a policy that clients must pay upfront before any services commence. This applies to both my businesses. It’s clearly stated in my Ts & Cs and it’s something I stick to. If a client hasn’t paid, they don’t get their order or my valuable time. Sadly I see many small business owners who effectively give clients interest free credit by supplying goods or delivering services without upfront payment, it’s not ok and you don’t have to accept this.
You’ll have your own life situations where you’re allowing people to dictate how they treat you (and pay you). I strongly suggest weeding these situations out and creating a boundary to stop behaviour that’s unacceptable to you in its tracks. I’m always happy to assist you with this, get in touch with me here to find out more about how being coached could help.
When you get clear on your worth and confidently decide what is and isn’t acceptable for you in life and business, your level of success and happiness will increase. I’ve tried and tested this theory with business and personal relationships and the more boundaries I’ve set, the greater the respect with which I’ve been treated by others.
Setting boundaries isn’t easy and if the people around you are used to you acquiescing to their every request it’ll be a bit of a rough ride as they adjust to the new you, but, trust me, in the long run you’re worth it.
*A little note about ‘charging your worth’. This is for the most part applicable to small business owners and it’s an important thing to address. When you sell your time or a product you’ve made, you’re exchanging your knowledge or skill for money. Whether a client buys from you or not doesn’t define your worthiness as a person, it speaks to what the client wants, their values and how they want to spend their money. It’s got nothing to do with how they feel about you personally, easier said than done to let this one go at first.. I advise switching the ‘worth’ bit of this phrase out and talk about charging for the value of your time or expertise instead to reduce the emotional trigger.