(This post is a part of my “B” series which I’ll deliver once a month!
Continue to B Kind. B Silly. B Inspired. B Imperfect.)
“Know your worth and add tax.”
Like many of us, I have struggled with insecurities and low self-esteem in a variety of aspects like my looks and my career. I’ve felt like I wasn’t good enough in spite of everything that I’m doing. I even created a fun but vulnerable video to Demi Lovato‘s “I Love Me” (remixing the Don’t Rush Challenge) where I admitted that I am still learning how to fully love myself right where I am. It’s a constant journey filled with ups and downs.
I have to admit that I’m not as assertive when it comes to my worth as I thought.
Now that we’re self-quarantined, I have daily meetings with my department on Microsoft Teams. We do a roundtable of what we each have going on. When we first started teleworking, I would say something to the effect of, “Oh, you know, just the run of the mill things. Nothing major.” One day, a co-worker said on the call, “Brittany, there is nothing basic about what it is that you do. So stop saying that.”
Can’t even lie, I was a little taken aback but I had to realize she was right. In the grand scheme of things, I feel like a worker bee sometimes, but my work is important too. My skills and work are how others in bigger positions are able to get their work done in the first place. And not everyone can do it.
I have a habit of doing that, though. I downplay my skills because they come so easily to me. I’ve always had great writing, attention to detail, organizational skills (well…with work. My apartment, not as much), and ability to pick up on other people’s body language and tone—qualities that are extremely helpful in my position. However, I don’t always stand confidently in that enough, even though I know these are things I bring to the table.
It’s like Demi sings in “I Love Me:”
“I’m a black belt when I’m beating up on myself.”
I’m realizing now that tt’s not enough to just know that you have value. You have to learn to stand confidently in it. You have to believe it and voice it (and be able to back it up) or people most definitely will not give your due. That’s assertive.
Note: being assertive and being aggressive are not the same.
I thought that, if I brought up my achievements and skills, that I was bragging. That it was being aggressive if I gave my opinions on topics. Now, I realize that it’s really a part of the game and I better get hip ASAP. Or I’m never going to get what I want and deserve with my work, in relationships, etc. If I don’t know and assert my worth, how can I expect other people to?
Here’s what has been helpful for me:
Realizing that I have skills and values that others don’t but still need.
I’ve made a list of skills and values that I bring to the table when it comes to work and relationships. I now read it often to remind myself, especially on days when I’m down. All of us have our own gifts that can be valuable to others. What are yours?
Making a list of things I’ve been able to accomplish (monthly, quarterly, and annually.)
I’ve talked before about a self-evaluation period to see what you’ve been able to accomplish and what needs to be worked on. Especially in this time of quarantine when I’m teleworking, I will have a clear list of achievements and value when I step back in the office. I will also have my own list towards my own self-development and side hustles.
Erasing the guilt behind standing up for myself.
Like I said, I used to feel bad about asserting my values and opinions. However, I realize that, if I don’t stand up for myself, things don’t change. How I’m treated won’t change. My bank account won’t change. My position or level in life won’t change. It’s not a bad thing to be confident in your worth with bosses, your significant other, etc. Your approach is what matters most. It’s not always in what you say but HOW YOU SAY IT. However, you should never feel guilty about standing in your value.
What are some ways you’ve learned to assert your worth?