In my last blog, I talked about why you need to get real with you audience and things are about to get really real and a bit personal in this post. But this is a topic seriously important to me so buckle up and get ready as I spill alllll the beans.
So I have this ring that I get a ton of compliments on and yes, it’s really pretty but I love it for so much more than that. You see, this ring represents my self-worth. I know that sounds a little ridiculous but hear me out… I bought it as a gift to myself about 4 years ago after moving back to CT from NYC after leaving an unhealthy relationship. I joked it was my engagement ring to myself. A daily, physical reminder that it’s alright to put myself first.
And that right there was the beginning of redeveloping my self-worth. It’s been a process. A 4+ year process to be more accurate and that’s mainly because I didn’t really realize my self-worth had completely eroded. I was too distracted to really notice. I was still working in a position that I wasn’t truly happy in and could see the writing on the wall that I may lose my job. Pair that with family members in and out of the hospital and you can see why I (rightfully so) wasn’t able to really address my dwindling self-worth.
However, if you’ve ever been in a position like this, you know that difficult times show people’s true colors. It became very apparent that I had people and situations in my life that didn’t truly care about me or serve me the way I would wish for myself and anyone else. I wasn’t making the best decisions for myself because, frankly, I didn’t think I deserved it.
This was all on such a subconscious level though. I would say that I deserved better and I knew I did, but I couldn't stop myself from allowing people to treat me poorly. I couldn't speak up when I should have.
Most of this showed up in my personal life with friendships and other relationships but it crept into my professional life too. Because clearly if you don’t understand your value, it will affect every single aspect of your life including your happiness.
Since having this uncomfortable but necessary wake up call after reevaluating a lot of things in my life, I slowly started the process of building my confidence up. I honestly thought my self-confidence was the issue at first, not realizing self-confidence and self-worth are two very different things. Side note: I define self-confidence as understanding your abilities, strengths, weaknesses, etc. and feeling good about who you are. While your self-worth is a deeper level of self-confidence. You truly believe these things about yourself and have an unwavering understanding of who you are and what you deserve. You are at peace with who you are as a person. So basically I used building my self-confidence as a primer to really dig into the nitty-gritty. (Here's an older post to learn more about how I started to build my confidence back up.)
So the reason I’m writing this blog now is because I recently found myself in a situation that brought me right back to the days of just letting people treat me any which way and at first, I let it happen. Then I realized this is not ok and I deserve a heck of a lot better. I had to walk away from something I’ve seriously wanted for several years because I now know I deserve better. And while it was sad/frustrating/annoying/heartbreaking (you know all the feelings…) to have to do, it was so much easier walking away this time knowing and believing that I deserve more. I want that for each and every one of you. Not that you have to walk away from something you want but if it’s not what you deserve personally or professionally, then hell to the yes… walk, no strut, away!
So how did I get to this place? It’s a process and anytime you slip and find that you’re not valuing yourself, go easy and forgive yourself… This isn’t going to happen overnight.
Treat Yourself to a Physical Reminder
Remember that ring I mentioned before? Yes, I got it because I thought it was beautiful and fell in love with it but I also wanted something that I would have with me all day, every day no matter where I was to constantly remind me to take care of and love myself.
This doesn’t need to be something expensive, just something that you love and will have with you when you need a little reminder. Every time I look down at my ring, I now get a little smile on my face and think, “Yeah, girl you got this.”
Say Something Nice to Yourself
You’ve probably heard this one before and yes, you’re 150% going to feel really silly doing but I swear it works! Every morning when you’re standing in front of the mirror say something nice to yourself. For just 5 minutes, ignore any “flaws” you see or any insecurities you have and tell yourself how proud you are of yourself, how beautiful you are, how capable you are, how smart you are, how worthy you are, etc. You’ll start out thinking that there is NO way this will work but doing it on a daily basis will very quickly start shifting your perspective of yourself. Little by little, you’ll start seeing less flaws and insecurities and more beauty, strength, and intelligence.
If you’re like me, you already have a morning routine so remembering to do this is going to be a little tricky. I suggest writing yourself a note on a post-it and stick it right to your mirror. Another suggestion I have is to create a reminder on your phone to go off daily… the only downside of this one is you have to stop what you’re doing and go find a mirror but whatever works for you, I highly suggest implementing this technique!
Choose whatever floats your boat but being able to track your progress and physically see improvement on a regular basis is what counts here. I rock climb… (which might sound intimidating but really anyone can do it and I highly recommend it). I wasn’t quite sure of my abilities when I first started but day after day I got a little further, a little better, a little stronger. I can’t tell you what a confidence boost it is to actually see your progress on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. And like I said, confidence is the primer to getting to your self-worth!
Plus, when you feel strong physically, you feel strong mentally. This makes it easier to be kind to yourself which in turn makes you raise your standards for how others treat you as well.
You know the saying that you show others the way you want to be treated? Well it's true. For me, when I treat myself to some fresh flowers or a weekend getaway, it’s a reminder that I deserve to be treated from time to time and I’m capable of doing that for myself. Yes, it’s really nice to receive these types of gifts or pampering from someone else but it evokes a different type of feeling. When I do it for myself, it makes me feel powerful, independent, and proud… all of which have helped me establish a better understanding of my self-worth.
Find Your Tribe
I don’t mean the agreeable type of tribe… I mean the type of tribe that’s going to be 150% honest and open with you in a loving and caring way. The type that listens to you, understands what you’re going through (good and bad), and supports you no matter what (but will call you out when you need it too). The type that will tell you the truth out of love. It might sting a bit at first but you know it’s not malicious and they are saying it because they know you deserve the best!
I recently was talking to a friend about the most recent situation I’ve found myself in and she said something that frankly ticked me off a little. Once I was home and was thinking about what she said I realized there was truth to what she was saying, which is why it ticked me off. She wasn’t saying it to hurt me or upset me but to let me know I deserve more without actually saying I deserved more (because that personally drives me a little nuts!)
You need the cheerleaders in your life but you also need the ones to get into the nitty gritty and help you evaluate a situation. Help you come to the conclusion or solution on your own. Those are your peeps!
But like I said before, this is a process. You might want to work on implementing only one or two of these tips at a time. Whatever resonates with you most because this is about YOUR journey… This is just what worked for me.
And listen, once you get to a place where you are really valuing yourself like you should, this doesn’t mean things won’t bother you anymore. You’re allowed to be upset, hurt, frustrated, or any other feelings that you feel when someone doesn’t treat you right or things don’t work out the way you hoped. But what does happen is you know you deserve better and it makes it easier to accept or walk away… in life and in business!