Bad things happen when you’re full of self-doubt and low self-esteem. Not only does your performance suffer, but it robs you of your joy and fulfillment.
Some of the problems caused by undervaluing yourself include assuming you will fail at tasks, refraining from taking on new roles, feeling depressed, and experiencing anxiety on a daily basis. These consequences spell big trouble for your career or entrepreneurial ventures.
Luckily, there are ways to gain a healthy sense of self-worth. When you see your own value, you’ll face challenges with confidence, experience more happiness, and perform better in your work.
If you frequently find yourself questioning the value you bring to the workplace, here are some things you can do to take on a healthier view of yourself:
1. Resist comparing yourself in the era of Facebook
We all know that comparing ourselves to others, harms our sense of self value. Yet here we are, in this social-media world, subjected to everyone else’s perfect lives every time we glance at our phones. How can we not compare ourselves?
To stop comparing yourself to your colleagues’ Facebook portrayals of themselves, remember that their social posts are really just advertisements in a long-running marketing campaign. A Big Mac is never as perfect as it looks in a marketing campaign. And, guess what: your friends and colleagues are never as perfect as their marketing campaigns (Facebook accounts) portray.
“Perfect” couples have arguments and relationship troubles. But they’re not going to display those imperfections on Facebook any more than a Big Mac will display its nutritional information on a billboard. Likewise, that “perfect” colleague you’re always comparing yourself to is certainly not going to display her self-doubts, inadequacies and fears for you to see on Facebook.
So if you feel discouraged and inadequate every time you see the heavenly splendor of your colleagues’ Facebook posts, just remember that we’re all Big Macs. You have just as much value as everyone else.
“I cannot say this too strongly: Do not compare yourselves to others. Be true to who you are, and continue to learn with all your might.” – Daisaku Ikeda
2. Let your dreams define your value
Maybe your vision is to live in Paris one day, or to create a Fortune 500 company before the age of 35, or to see your invention become a reality. Whatever you dream of, don’t put it on the back burner. Take steps towards it every day.
When you have a dream, and you strive for it daily, you are focused on chasing the life you want rather than wishing you were as “good’ as somebody else. Find your self-value in the purpose you’ve given yourself. Let your attitude be, “I may not have gotten that raise, but no matter what, I am working toward a specific thing, and that’s where my value lies.”
3. Take note of every small win and celebrate
You don’t realize it, but you achieve wins every week (and possibly every day.) These wins prove that you add value to your team. Any time your boss or a client tells you they like the way you did something, that counts as a win. When a colleague praises you in a meeting or compliments you about a presentation you put together, these are also wins.
Although your knee-jerk reaction will be to blow these wins off, it’s important that you do the exact opposite. Instead, write them down in a “win notebook,” and read them frequently to remind yourself of your worth. And most importantly, celebrate your small wins every Friday night with a dessert or a glass of wine, and cute baby animal pictures. You’ve earned it.
4. Help others every day
It’s hard not to see the value of yourself when you devote a little time to helping others every day. This doesn’t mean you have to travel the world to provide humanitarian aid (although if you can do that, all the better.) Rather, helping people is in the little things.
Remember when your colleague mentioned that they wish they were better at Photoshop? Consider setting aside a lunch break to give them a few valuable tips. Did you overhear an employee telling someone their car broke down? Offer to give them a ride home.
“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” – Dalai Lama
Ask yourself, every day, “How can I help my boss in an unexpected way today? How can I be of extra assistance to a colleague? What can I do to make a client’s life a little easier today?” As you serve others and earn a reputation of helping people, you will start seeing the value and worth in yourself.
When learning to properly value yourself, the most important thing to remember is that the only one who’s questioning your value is you. Chances are, there are several things about you that your colleagues admire. And many of the colleagues you admire likely have their own demons and self-doubts.
So smile and enjoy the ironic reality that you are admired, while the colleagues around you are just as doubtful as you are.