What are you really worth?
Pause for a second and consider that question.
Are you worth people’s time? Their attention? Their love? Their respect?
Of course we’d all say yes but do we believe it and do we demonstrate our worth to others? Are we doing it every day at work, with our friends and family, with our partners? It’s not something British people are very good at. We seem to be better at doing ourselves down, taking the piss out of ourselves and minimising our talents. We don’t like to be seen as boastful or proud or self centred.
I thought I was pretty good at quietly and confidently demonstrating my worth. Turns out, not so much. What I’m actually really good at is boosting other people, highlighting what they are good at, encouraging them, helping them in ways I don’t help myself. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy helping people. I get a sense of joy from seeing the positive impact I can have on other people. BUT I’ve fallen into the trap of putting other people’s needs before my own. What message is this sending? Well, it’s sending a message that I’m a pretty decent human being but it’s also sending a message that I can be taken for granted and taken advantage of.
I’ve seen it in lots of areas of my life recently. At work for example, I’m really accommodating. I’ll offer to do the shit job no one else wants to do. I’ll travel on a Sunday evening ready for a 9:00am Monday morning start on the other side of the country. I don’t say no because it’s just my job, it’s what I’m being paid to do, right? Well, yes, but also no. I’ve come to realise that saying no and managing expectations is not a bad thing, if done right. Life is a negotiation. If you say yes to everything, people will keep asking for stuff from you until you’re at the point of burn out, which is where I am now.
Also from a personal perspective I’ve not been demonstrating my worth AT ALL. Allowing that person to flake out on plans at the last minute or take ages to message back and not calling them out on it because I don’t want to be seen as annoying. Or allowing the guy who doesn’t really like me to pick me up and drop me whenever he likes in the hope he might change his mind about me. Or allowing that person to talk to me like crap because it’s “just banter”. Fuck that. It’s all bullshit. It’s my own fault. You see, people will only treat you in the way that you allow them to.
So I need a change of mindset. Every decision I make needs to demonstrate my worth to those around me and to myself. I need to put my own needs first and say no more often. I also need to not invest time and energy in people who aren’t investing in me.
Are you feeling appreciated? Are your needs being met? Do you feel like your relationships are equal and fulfilling? If not, it might be time to think about your worth and how you demonstrate it. Setting boundaries in your head is a good place to start. If you find it difficult, think about what you would advise your best friend as to what’s acceptable in their life. It’s easier to think outside of ourselves sometime.
Let’s start here and now.
So it’s time to decide: What are you worth?