Step 1: Know your Worth
What makes you a valuable mom, wife, employee, or friend? Too often we focus on our shortcomings and we’re blinded to the worth we have to offer this world. What makes you special? Are you funny, organized, reliable, honest, or intelligent? What special skills do you possess? Can you write, create, sing, crunch numbers, or fix things? Each and every one of us has unique qualities that make us valuable to other people. Know your strengths and be proud of them.
Last week I posted an article on Self Confidence. The reaction has been quite extraordinary. Readers started thinking about their own level of confidence. A positive. But many told us they really didn’t know how to start. There were four steps that I liked to increasing self confidence but many women didn't know how to get through Step 1? Know your worth. What were they good at? Not a clue.
Now, every Mom can name their kids’ strengths; every woman can name their best friends strengths and as managers we help our teams claim their “signature strengths”. Looking at other people is easy, ourselves, not so much. You probably have gotten ideas about what you do well from others, well-meaning compliments, cards, peer reviews, etc. But most of the time, those of us with “confidence challenges” can’t or won’t own it or claim them as our own.
Why? While, women are great at saying what they are not good at … and remembering it too! [Repetition? As in…I’m so hopeless with/at/when….] Yet, most women have trouble completing the simple sentence, “I am good at _______”. This occurred to me the other day when my very smart and capable sister told me she is “good at cooking turkeys”. It stood out to me because I have never heard her affirmatively say she was good at anything! She is 43, an accomplished lawyer and mother of two. How awful is that? So it is no wonder that sound advice like “know your strengths and be proud of them ”, stops us cold.
So, how can you start? What should you do? Or in the words of Scarlett O’Hara, do just you move on to the next thing on your “to do” list because “Tomorrow is another day!”
There are tons and tons and tons of signature strength tests online. Many will give you a portrait of yourself for use in looking for a new career, direction, etc. However, in terms of building base level self-confidence, I personally can only start with small steps, and still struggle and wonder half the time if I actually do anything well … However, after conversations with tons of women and some practice,I have found that a few basic sentence completions can get you started and give you food for thought.
Join me in this and just try and fill in a few of these blanks for your self. It really does put you on a path, it did for me. Please try. Then tell us what you found easy or hard about doing this.
1. I was really proud of myself when I ______________________?
2. I recently felt great when I __________ because it made me feel ____________ .
3. Maybe, just maybe, I am good at ____________ , _____________, _______________.
(Do I hear you saying “but doesn’t that count”.)
4. I am happiest when I (am) _____________ , ______________, _____________.
5. I am strongest when I ___________, _____________, _____________ .
Next week: The perils of low self-confidence