As a coach, I work a lot with people who need to value themselves more. Sometimes it’s by stopping harmful behaviors that are holding them back. Sometimes it’s a self-esteem issue and other times it comes down to a monetary issue.
As a business owner, this is something I have to deal with myself. My rates are probably the lowest in the Lehigh Valley right now. There are people who tell me that I am hurting myself because it looks like I’m not valuing myself as high as I should. Well, I disagree.
To begin with, I don’t rent a separate location so my overhead is very low. It stands to reason that seeing a hypnotherapist right in the middle of a central location would cost more. Yes, you might have to drive a little longer to get to me but as a result, I pass my savings onto you.
Second, I have learned that value can have many different meanings. I am not the type who values money. In fact, there have been many studies that show that happiness stops increasing once you get to a certain income level. By keeping my rates on the lower side, I can help more people. I get so much personal value by being able to help people who are in need. I feel like wealthy people have an advantage. Whenever they have an issue, it is a lot easier to get the help they need. If I can see more clients who might struggle a bit more with money, I feel great about myself for being the person who can help them.
Now I say to each and every one of you, to think about how you feel valued in your life. How much is it about what your income is? There are people who take less pay because there are things that their job offers that gives them much more value as a person. Perhaps it is someone who works from home so they can have more flexibility as a parent. Perhaps they get more value by being there for their kids than what is in their bank account. They are those who do value money most and that is okay too, if that’s really making them happy. Perhaps there are those who do work long hours but get paid a great deal and they find value in being able to buy the best and go to the best places. There are people who quit big corporate jobs that pay great and take jobs at non-profits because they value the work they are doing more than the big paycheck.
So how do you know if you are valuing yourself the way you should be? Grab a pen and paper and do this exercise:
First, think about finances. If you work, are you getting paid a rate that is in line with others in your field?
Could you find a similar job making more? Are there any perks or benefits to staying at the job you are at even if it means making less money? Write down all the things you love about your job. They could be as silly as good bagels in the break room or as serious as having the flexible hours that you like. Perhaps you have great co workers, maybe your boss always celebrates your birthday. Whatever makes you happy, write it down.
If you are currently in a job that you are really unhappy in, write down the reasons you are unhappy on a separate piece of paper.
Now think about what you like about yourself. What qualities are you proud of? What are your own values? Write them down.
Now make a list of all the areas of your life. Perhaps it’s work, kids, extended family, volunteer work, school or other areas. Think about if those areas make you happy. Put a star next to the ones that do.
The truth is, valuing yourself means feeling happy. That is all that really matters. If you look at your lists and you don’t feel happy in an area, look back At your qualities and values. I would bet that the areas that don’t make you happy also don’t allow the qualities and values that are important to you to flourish.
You can try and adjust these areas. Perhaps you feel like you aren’t spending enough time with your kids. Here you are under valuing yourself by not allowing yourself to be happy. What can you change? Maybe you are spending time with a volunteer organization which isn’t making you happy. You can spend that time with your kids instead.
Whatever it is, it is important that you are living life to the fullest. By creating the most happiness in your life, you are saying that you value yourself.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you chose to do in life as long as you are happy. As always, if you need any help figuring out what you value and how to value yourself, give me a call.