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Chasing Permission: How Addressing Self-Worth Can Change the World

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“Why address self-worth?” This was a reporter’s question after I gave a speech entitled “3 Reasons Why Increased Self-Worth Leads to a Better Money Story.” Even after listening to a presentation that listed three distinct answers to this question, they still couldn’t quite absorb the idea that addressing self-worth is crucial for growth. They were young, conservative, freshly graduated…not to mention self-worth barely gets a first glance as people focus on acquiring certificates and credentials. Small wonder it was a difficult concept for them.

Take note that self-worth is not the same as self-esteem

Although they are quite similar terms, there are distinct nuances that set them apart. Where self-esteem is your basic confidence in your abilities and skills, self-worth goes even further. It is your unwavering belief in your value and all that you bring to the table.

There are two ways to acquire skills and knowledge that translate into value: through experience, and through schooling. Neither of these is “better” or “worse” than the other, but they do tend to be perceived very differently.

A person with high self-worth who wants to try their hand at coaching, for example, might consider taking a course or two, but they will immediately start focusing on how to serve. They will start looking for ways to identify their message and their niche, and then reach out to an audience. They know that they already have skills and insights that can help others, and they are ready to put them into practice. They trust themselves.

On the other hand, someone who has lower self-worth will first look into getting certified. Their sense of value relies on outside sources telling them that they are capable. They will only consider coaching formally after they are officially deemed “qualified.”

“Self-worth comes from one thing – thinking that you are worthy.” – Wayne Dyer

How to identify someone with high self-worth:

They DON’T panic when they hit a roadblock. They DO re-evaluate and come back with an alternative.

They DON’T say “Yes” out of obligation. They DO say “Yes” out of interest and excitement.

They DON’T act out of “FOMO” (fear of missing out) or desperation. They DO have the patience and confidence to wait for the right opportunity.

They DON’T obsess over small details. They DO keep their focus on the big picture.

They DON’T wait for someone else to tell them they are qualified. They DO know the value of their unique experience and skillset.

If you see yourself reflected in the DO category, congratulations! You’re doing great! If you relate more to the DON’T category, it’s okay. There’s no need to feel upset about it. Here are some steps you can take to boost yourself out of the rut you’re in:

1. Keep a list of “100 Reasons Why I’m Special.”

By creating a list of the qualities that make you stand out from the crowd, you are learning to see yourself as something special and valuable. If you can’t think of 100, start with five or ten, and keep adding as you think of new ones.

Reading this list regularly will help keep you centered on who you are and what you bring to the table. It will bolster your confidence so that you will be able to better handle rejections and challenges. This allows you to easily move forward, instead of getting stuck in remorse or resentment when things don’t go your way.

2. Never focus on the “No.” Look for a way to turn it into a “Yes.”

Whether you are pitching a business idea or a service, or asking for a raise or a favor, sometimes you are going to hear “No.” Having high self-worth means that instead of “No,” what you hear is “Help me say ‘Yes.’” When you understand that a “No” can simply mean “Not right now,” you can step back to see what you might have missed, then clarify, fill in the gaps, and try again.

People prefer to be around those who empower them rather than with those who make them feel ashamed, guilty, or pressured. You’ll find a much warmer response when you try to see things from the other person’s point of view.

3. Work within the system.

Creativity isn’t just about thinking outside the box. It also includes thinking within boxes. It’s easy to feel frustrated when you can see ten steps ahead of everyone to the opportunities that could be brought forward through certain changes. However, changing what’s considered possible – or even acceptable – can take up to a century or longer because, as previously mentioned, people are naturally resistant to what’s different and new to them.

Long ago, for example, women couldn’t engage in commercial activities. If a woman were to simply demand that the government allow women to trade, the system would shut her down. However, if she first engaged in trade under a man’s name, and through her actions, slowly raised awareness that women were capable of doing business, then the system would slowly and collectively open up to that idea.

“Self-esteem is that deep down inside the skin feeling you have your own self-worth.” – Denis Waitley

When you simply explain how things are wrong, you will be faced with resistance. But when you actively show others how things can be better, ou create lasting change. You inspire. You make a difference. And faced with the positive transformations you have brought about, how could you not swell with pride and self-worth?

So, again, let us ask the question “Why address self-worth?” Because it is perfectly alright to jump in and begin without waiting for someone else to tell you you’re ready. Because working on your self-worth means more possibilities, more creativity, and more compassion. And because gaining clarity on what you bring to the table – and implementing those traits and skills – makes you more capable of creating a better world for us all.

Maria Tan is a Success Coach, Mentor, Author and Speaker. She helps Misfits, Multi-Passionates, and Millennials confidently identify what makes them unique and leverage that to create a successful career path. She has trained, coached and mentored over 1000 people from all across the world, both in-person and online. Her first book (co-authored with well-rounded international women entrepreneurs), "The Money Code and How to Crack It," is available on Amazon and at all leading e-book retailers. To know more about her, you can visit her website.

Life

How to Protect Yourself From Other People’s Negativity

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When I was a kid, it seemed like I felt pain more than anyone else around me. Not just physical pain, but emotional pain. I cried easily, over many things. I had an especially hard time when people were fighting around me, and I didn’t even have to be involved. I could feel the negative energy and felt upset and overwhelmed. I didn’t have a constructive way of handling it. (more…)

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How to Write a Personal Destiny Statement in 3 Steps

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We all have a God-given destiny to fulfill that we were each born with. I personally believe it is buried deep down within us. The number one secret to success is to let it emerge out of you and release it to the world. What is my destiny you may ask? It is the thing you would regret not doing before leaving Planet Earth. (more…)

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Don’t Want To Feel Like A Failure Anymore? Stop Doing These 6 Things

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It’s pretty annoying isn’t it? All those great and accomplished people telling you that FAILURE is a necessity on your way to success. Yeah, that’s easy for them to say; they’re already ‘on the other side’! You on the other hand, are still struggling all day everyday to get your business lifted off the ground and are really not that sure if you’re indeed going to make it.

There’s that little voice in your head that keeps telling you that you don’t have the stuff to make it all happen. Not now and not ever. You feel like a failure…it’s holding you back and you don’t know how to deal with it. Well you could do yourself a favor and start dealing with it by doing the following things:

1. Stop Denying You Feel Like A Failure

Telling yourself things are going great when they’re not is one of the biggest, though most useless, coping mechanisms human beings deploy in rough times. Common denial signals among entrepreneurs: trying to regain more control by working even more hours and on the other side compensating this by letting go of all this control by partying and drinking way too hard.

What you’re doing is denying yourself the opportunity to actually feel what’s going on and acknowledge the problem; that both you and your business are in a bad place. Without acknowledging it, it’ll be pretty difficult to actually STOP feeling it. And remember, just because you feel like a failure, this does not mean that you indeed ARE a failure!

2. Stop Making It Bigger Than it Really Is

This is one of those other ‘fun’ things human beings do; we blow things way out of proportion in our heads! In business, when you lose that big client you’ve been working on for weeks, it feels like it’s the end of the world. You start doubting yourself, your strategy, your entire business model right up to the point where you barely sleep because you’re working on pivoting the whole thing.

But what if that customer simply didn’t have the money to go for your service anyway? Or what if they just decided to go for someone who is cheaper but who offers less quality? Does that mean there’s something wrong with YOU? Or that this was the ONLY customer out there and that you’re now doomed forever?

Of course not, it simply means that THIS CUSTOMER wasn’t a match. It’s a bit like dating actually…So if you take this into consideration, could it be that you just feel like a failure instead of really not succeeding in that what you want to at this point in time?

3. Stop Thinking You’re The Only One Who Feels Like This

You’re not! With the possible exception of the true sociopaths, that feeling you’re feeling is very normal to EVERYONE. It might not seem like it on the outside – because people don’t like to acknowledge this remember – but I can guarantee you that it’s true. But unlike 99% of the world’s population, YOU’RE not going to let this feeling stop you in your tracks. Are you?

4. Stop Thinking You’re Supposed To Be Superhuman

In fact, it’s very likely that you’re already doing, learning and succeeding at WAY more than most other people are. But for entrepreneurs, somehow, that never seems to be enough. You don’t just want to be successful after a few years of hard work (which is normal). You want to be successful after only a few months. Because you’re special…or at least you think you are…

Well, here’s the truth: you ARE special! But…it’s just not very likely that you’re one of those – very very rare – entrepreneurial superstars that – seemingly – just added some hot water and got instant business success as a result.

5. Stop Being So Incredibly Stubborn

Entrepreneurs are stubborn…almost by default. It’s what makes them push forward in the hardest of times. But…if you’re not doing the right things right you might just be hammering a square peg through a round hole. Which will only add to that frustrated feeling you’re already having. So why not stop being so stubborn for a moment, stop hammering away on that what obviously is not working and ask for help?

No matter who you ask – a business mentor or coach, a befriended entrepreneur – someone with a neutral perspective on you and our business will be very likely to see what’s going on with a lot more clarity than you can and can guide you to a place that will feel a whole lot more comfortable.

6. Stop Being Afraid Of Failure

I know, I know, you’ve heard this a million times before and you wouldn’t be in this pickle if you could do this. Right? I’m right there with ya!

But, if you get really rational about it, what’s the worst that could happen?

  • You might have to get a ‘real’ job for a while and start over on the side;
  • You might not be able to afford your rent anymore…but with Airbnb on the 1 hand and couchsurfing on the other, you should be able to work it out somehow;
  • You’ll have all the more experience to start over a whole lot faster;
  • You’ll be no less respected by anyone because it’s clear you gave it your all;
  • In a few years, when you’re an established and supersuccessful entrepreneur you’ll also have a cool failure story to tell;
  • None of your limbs will fall off;

Now that’s not too bad for a plan B is it? Failure is such a negative word. And the associated feeling is terrible and numbing. But really…how is giving it your all and not succeeding really the same as failing? Shouldn’t the definition of failure not be along the lines of ‘not even trying’ or ‘giving up when it gets hard’?

In other words: stop beating yourself up over this!

There’s really no need to feel like a failure at all because you’re sticking your neck out, you’re trying to make a difference and you’re still moving upward on that treacherous entrepreneurial mountain.

And that…is what success REALLY is.

Those Who Failed Their Way To Success

Quotes To Live By:

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy

“If you don’t try at anything, you can’t fail… it takes back bone to lead the life you want” – Richard Yates

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

“We are all failures – at least the best of us are.” – J.M. Barrie

“Success is stumbling form failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm” – Winston Churchill

“Don’t let success go to your head and failure to your heart” – Will Smith

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Life

Why You Never Have Enough Time and What You Need to Do About It

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Has this ever happened to you? You had an assignment, and the deadline was far away. You didn’t work on it much, but in the back of your mind, that insistent little voice was always whispering, “I gotta get this assignment done.” (more…)

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