Before we dive in I want to be clear that this isn’t a post about an actual strut, though I hope that when you feel good on the inside it translates to the outside too. After reading this post or even if you don’t get further than this sentence I hope you’ll commit to walking a little taller figuratively and literally because well, you’re worth it. So let’s go ahead and get started on how to know and honor your worth too.
The other day I was having a chat with someone close to me about a situation that seemed very unfair to her. “Ugh, why do I care so much about what THEY think? You never care about what people think about you,” she said. “Nope!” I replied with a laugh that made her laugh too. Obviously, I was trying to cheer her up but the reality is that isn’t entirely true. I certainly care if someone feels like I’ve wronged or hurt them regardless of my intent. And do I get my feelings hurt sometimes? Absolutely. But what she meant is that my self-worth is not connected to what other people think of me. To be fair I have had a lot of practice. I was counted out pretty early when I became a teenage mom but I didn’t let that stop me. I’d love to think it’s an inherent personality trait but I believe it is something learned. It might have something to do with my transient military childhood- always being the new girl meant always being sized up and labeled so I learned not to let that define me. It could also be from my many years as a single mom. Being the only grownup in the household makes you get pretty comfortable with your own adult company and if you embrace that you get pretty good at being fully you too.
But does that mean I am always confident? Of course not. While I’m super comfortable in a crowd, I get nervous when the spotlight is on me. I also have an overwhelming need to make other people feel heard or seen which often leads to me neglecting my own needs (I am getting much better at this one and I talked about this a little bit in Unleashing the Power of No) and I don’t like to negotiate at all, so I’m terrible at those outdoor markets where people haggle for sport. And while I acknowledge that I also sometimes stumble in my walk, there are a few things that I’ve learned that help me honor my worth and walk a little straighter, and stand a little taller too.
Use Your Voice– speaking up is one of the most powerful things we can do. It might feel more natural to speak up for others but find it a little harder to articulate your own needs. This has definitely been something I have learned to do more of and I love helping others do this too. One of my life coaching clients has-USE YOUR VOICE as her sticky note affirmation and I love that. Part of knowing our worth is being able to tell others what we want and need. It’s easier said than done though if this is an area you struggle with, so start small. The reality is that sometimes we ignore smaller problems or wants because we don’t want to inconvenience others but it’s like that balloon analogy-when we keep blowing into (not releasing) it eventually pops. Speaking up more frequently not only helps you but it helps those around you too so that they aren’t left with the explosive aftermath.
Focus on your strengths– It’s easy to look around and see what everyone else is doing and think you need to do more or feel like you aren’t doing enough but the reality is that you are focusing on other people’s strengths. No one is good at everything and that is perfectly okay. Focus on the things that you do well. Instead of worrying about what you aren’t doing well lean into that thing that you do. This leads me to my next point…
Embrace your quirks– this is really where your superpower lies. All of us have something that makes us unique. Sometimes we view these idiosyncrasies as flaws but they’re really our gifts. Instead of rebuking the quirky parts of ourselves embrace them and put them on display. Being different is what makes you special. Instead of “I wish I wasn’t so___” Start to reframe it into “I am___ and that is what makes me unique!”
Learn to fail– people often wear perfectionism as a badge of honor but did you know that in its true form it’s really debilitating? It doesn’t mean that we do things perfectly (that doesn’t exist by the way) or that we are more conscientious than others but true perfectionism is really linked with a fear of failure. It prevents us from stepping out of our comfort zone or taking risks and when it’s really active it can keep us stuck. So even if you aren’t experiencing the textbook definition of it I believe that trying new things and learning to fail actually makes us more confident because we learn that even when things don’t go as planned we’re still standing! Our worth hasn’t disintegrated and if we’re really paying attention not only are we still whole but we’ve learned something too!
And finally…Believe it! I have a habit of saying “who me?” You may feel that way sometimes too. But why not you? There isn’t anything you have to do to be worthy. You already are. The key is knowing it. And remember that when you receive good things you don’t have to do anything but accept them when they come your way, and if you want to keep it flowing then pay it forward. I believe the more kindness you give the more it comes back to you!
So those are my tips for realizing your worth. I’d love to hear about what tips help you too!
Until Next Post,
Xo Tonya Parker
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