The past week has been unbelievable and it’s all because of you! After last week’s post, every day I received a number of texts, vmails, and emails from a so many of you thanking me for the post. It really wasn’t’ the fact that you called to thank me that made the week so fabulous. It was the fact that so many of you hit the pause button after reading the post, then even took the time to answer the questions. I am so passionate about the branding process as I define it: self- discovery, definition, and distinction; that to hear so many of you on the journey just brings me joy!
These text, vmails, emails and follow-up calls brought something to my attention though: valuing yourself is just the beginning of increasing our self-awareness and appreciating all that we are. The most critical part of the process is really centered on owning your value. What do I mean by this? So glad you asked….
Here’s a quick example. I recently caught up with a friend who was sharing some frustrations about her current position at work. All is going well for her because she’s just incredible in her area of focus. The challenge however, is that although she is totally aware of how remarkable she is, she hasn’t taken it to the next level of owning her value, and raising the awareness of others regarding what she brings to the table. So for her, the focus is on getting to the next level, promotion. Essentially, at the end of the day, they know they need her because she is contributing…she is valuable. But because she hasn’t really yet begun to own her value, they don’t realize what trouble they’d be in if she walked out the door because they won’t promote her.
Now I am using the example of a job/place of employment here, but ladies, we know we could tie this to relationships with friends, boyfriends…any relationships in which we need to really think about what we bring to the table, and how it’s being valued but us and the other party involved. As I write this, another friend of mine is answering the questions we went through last week as she prepares for a conversation with her boo of seven years who doesn’t seem to be interesting in promoting her by putting a ring on it.
Before getting off the phone with her just a few minutes ago, I walked her through the steps to beginning to own our value. So, this is what we reviewed, along with my friend seeking the promotion at work, that you can now leverage:
1-Identify every strength, skill, and unique trait about you. Literally take five minutes, just five, and keep writing every positive thing about you, all the things you bring to the table, all the things that the world gets to have in play because you’re here. It’s always easier to build the list of our weaknesses or things that we’re not so good at for some reason…hmm. So, when these creep up on you while doing this exercise, just remember that it is really important to “know your strengths and amplify them. Know your weaknesses and overcome them.” Florence Littauer.
2-Take everything you’ve written down, and put it into a list.
3-Rate yourself on each of these identified items on a scale of 1 to 10; 1 being that you’re very far off from where you want to be with this skill and 10 being you’re exactly where you want to be with this skill, in this season. Let me give you an example: I’ve started running again and my strength is more around endurance than it is intervals. So, my identified strength is endurance. Where I am today, I’m not where I want to be, but I’m much farther along than a few months ago. All this being said, I’m really comfortable giving myself a 7.5 with the goal of getting to 10 by the end of the month. That’s related to something really specific. Another example, just generally speaking is that I am truly a trustworthy person. Because I cherish trust so much, I actually honor it as a characteristic of mine and would even give myself an 11, but I’ll follow my own rules and give myself a 10.
4-Actually state why each trait is valuable. As it relates to my endurance, I’m in this life journey what I trust will be a looooooooooooong, long time, so I’m committed to being healthy so that I’m one of the flyest 80-, 90- 100-year old woman when the time comes. So, this is valuable because it is contributing to my long-term health goals. In terms of my trustworthiness, as a coach and confidant to various executives not only in their day-to-day strategies related to work but just in general, being a 10 gives me a significant advantage of even those with 20+ years of experience over me. I’ve actually seen that advantage play out and result in HUGE wins for me.
I really think that’s just it. Honestly, it is pretty basic, the challenge is really just taking the time to do this. So here’s my promise, I’m actually going to do this exercise this week and I’ll share it with the first five people to comment on this post, sharing anything that comes out of this for them. Then, maybe we’ll all even get together and work on the next LFF Factor that ties to actually owning your value. We’ll all be on fire together. So, what do you say?
Soundtrack of the week: Girl on Fire