The ABC’s of Self-Worth: W is for Worth

This post is part of the Blog Crawl of Self-Love, hosted by Molly Mahar of Stratejoy. She believes in the transformational power of truly adoring ourselves and so do I. Find out more about The ABC’s of Self Love Blog Crawl + Treasure Hunt here.

I like making money. Even more, I like helping others make money.

I’ve been accused of equating net worth with self-worth. But I don’t.

Your self-worth isn’t a number. Your earning potential doesn’t indicate your living potential.

But since transforming my minimum wage mindset into a 6-figure business, I’ve learned one thing: it’s impossible to “earn what you’re worth” until you know your own self-worth. Not in terms of numbers, naturally, but in terms of the value you bring to your inner & outer world.

Yes, I believe that we’re born with inherent worth as human beings. But there is also something to be said for identifying the unique traits and talents that make up your ability to contribute to something larger than yourself, your immanent value.

Before I started my business, my own self-worth had been beaten down. The corporation I worked for didn’t value my contribution. I had very few meaningful personal relationships. I was disconnected from my creativity and my own genius.

Intellectually, I knew I was worth something. Practically, I didn’t have the foggiest clue why.

When it came to understanding how I could contribute to society – and my own bottom line – through a business, it was rough. When you lack self-worth, it’s near impossible to name the value you can deliver to a customer, client, or employer.

Little by little, project by project, job by job, I started to see my contribution for what it was. Valuable. Extremely valuable.

But it was the work – not the price tag – that told me that. It was the results I created. It was the ease & relief I brought to my clients.

It was my unique contribution to each relationship that reinforced a growing self-worth. It was the investment of energy, time, and risk that allowed me to get back in touch with my own value as an individual.

As time went on, I could easily name those traits and talents. I became in tune with my immanent value.

And that – and only that – was what allowed me to catapult my earnings well past the my own self-imagined ceiling. Knowing my self-worth made earning more, taking risks, and asking for the true value of the work that I delivered the default.

No, your self-worth is not a number. The number on your paycheck or your hourly rate doesn’t determine how important you are.

But uncovering & reconnecting with the value you already possess – and exercising that value – is the quickest route to earning more than you’ve ever dreamed.

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10 comments on “The ABC’s of Self-Worth: W is for Worth

  1. abicowell says:

    Tara,

    You’ve hit the nail right on top of its beautiful little head.

    “Before I started my business, my own self-worth had been beaten down. The corporation I worked for didn’t value my contribution. I had very few meaningful personal relationships. I was disconnected from my creativity and my own genius.” <— I've SO been there and am kicking myself for not believing in myself enough to get out sooner. But, we live and learn, right?

    Looking forward to Thursday!!!
    - Abi

  2. Tara,
    this part…
    “When you lack self-worth, it’s near impossible to name the value you can deliver to a customer, client, or employer.”
    Really hit home for me and I think it is the reason I have such a hard time defining what it is I should do for my business. But the even bigger question I struggle with, is how to get over that so I can see what value I can offer?

  3. Joe Breunig says:

    Another marvelous article – without the mincing of words!

    Potential is one of those dangerous words, that people love to throw around. The basic premise to this concept, is that it deals with an object “at rest”. This idea is at odds with the normal operations of dynamic business’ flow because companies requires ACTION.

    When I started working for my first IT company, I was getting mixed signals. Constantly (for five years) I was being told that I lacked “analytical skills”, which is one those those required talents to be successful within my chosen career. And yet I continued to receive pay increases every six months for those five years, as well as promotions. So it was confusing to me that I lacked supposedly lacked an important skill while consistently meeting programming objectives. While working at a client site, I was included in a “team building exercise” where my co-workers and I rated one another on hard and soft skills. What shocked me the most was that every person noted that I did possess “analytical skills”; therefore, I was faced with a hard truth – my employer was lying to me. And the disturbing question was “WHY?”

    And so I was now I had to contend with this new paradigm of why my employer felt the need to deceive me. My perception of self-worth was okay, seeing that my salary tripled in those five years. I’m not motivated by money – not then and not now; I loved the challenges presented in IT; being able to solve logic problems to meet business needs with technical solutions was exciting to me. Still there was this obvious problem. After being with this employer for 10.5 years, I was downsized – over the phone. Two months later I landed a position with the same company where I participated in the “team building” exercise. It was only then that my co-workers felt comfortable in telling me that my previous employer did a lousy job in helping its employees with directing IT careers. My employer was extremely happy to keep me “pigeon-holed” in a position that I excelled at and billed at nearly at a 100% rate; so they lacked motiviation to assist me in creating new career objectives. At the same time, I lacked new vision for myself, because it was unclear what my potential was. When I joined as a “junior programmer” I knew about the role I was after – “Sr Programmer / Analyst” which I attain in those same five years. I just was unable to understand what else I could achieve.

    Now that I’ve been booted from my IT career of thirty years, I’m developing new visions for myself – which is both exciting and scary, since I’m in charge of developing my new career path!

    -Joe Breunig, author/poet
    Reaching Towards His Unbounded Glory
    A Journey Of… Poetic Purpose

  4. Wow Tara, this article really spoke to me – thank you so much for your wisdom.

    I work in a corporate job and find it’s so easy to get boxed in to a title or a pay bracket (“You’re a manager and you earn $70,000 a year” for example) and really tie your ego to that, but have also seen that as soon as someone shows you that it can be done differently and that the limitations are a product of your self-worth, you’re liberated from those restraints. My partner tripled his wage in under a year because he was “shown the way” by a friend and colleague of his that was basically doing less work than him for more money. This guy could talk the talk (something my partner wasn’t comfortable doing) and at the urging of his friend, my partner finally asked to be put on as a sub-contractor rather than an employee of the company (thus allowing him to charge a day-rate). His work didn’t change – same work, same company, triple the pay. All that changed was his acknowledgement of his abilities and realising that he’d be undervaluing himself for so long and drifting. It took someone else to shine a light on the problem for my partner to realise but still, the lessons for both of us were huge.

    We’re not stuck. There are options. Confidence and belief are everything.

    Love your writing as always, and thanks for the important reminder!

    Rach

  5. Another wonderful post Tara. And powerful summation:
    “But uncovering & reconnecting with the value you already possess – and exercising that value – is the quickest route to earning more than you’ve ever dreamed.” Cherry