Something that I have struggled with throughout my career and even in my personal life has been being able to accurately define my self worth. As a species it is very easy for us to focus on why we aren’t the best fit for a job, or why we can’t do something. We get so caught up degrading ourselves that we forget all the reasons WHY we CAN do something.
Time would come for me to interview for my next development job and then the little voices would start. “You aren’t good enough for that position.” “What makes you think you deserve a Senior level position.” “You aren’t qualified for that.” The list goes on and on and I would always become my own worst enemy.
It wasn’t until I stopped and truly evauluated my own self worth, that I was able to quiet the voices of doubt and build up a realistic and confident version of myself in my mind.
The funny thing about this post is that we all feel this way about everything. Some people are more open about the doubt and fear of not being good enough and some people mask it with over confidence and bravado, but it is there. We must learn to not only co-exist with the doubt, but learn to leverage it and use it as a weapon. When you finally make the realization that even the most confident person you work with struggles with this feeling, then you will be able to stop letting it control you.
As an exercise I want you to take some time to determine your self worth. What character traits to you value in yourself? What do you like about the way you interact with people in the workplace? Are you really good at solving complex problems or keeping your cool in stressful situations?
Here is my own self worth exercise: I am truly passionate about programming and development. The desire to create has always been just below the surface and being passionate about my craft allows me to excel at it. I love to learn and routinely invest time in myself for self learning. I am respectful and compassionate with coworkers which allows me to work efficiently and effectively in all environments. I am not entitled and am humble. Being borderline timid allows me to be always be real with management. I never lie about something I don’t know or flub estimates. You can always count on me to give you a valid estimate to the best of my knowledge. If I work for you, you are getting a lifestyle and not an 8-5 er. What I mean by this, is that my life’s goal is to improve myself and become better. I take care of myself, and get plenty of sleep at night and can come into work with 100% of my mental capacity ready for action. I value my life and my time which means I don’t do anything “half ass”. I have a stubborness when it comes to problem solving that allows me to focus all my energy on even the most toughest of problems until I find a solution. Failure is never an option and “I don’t know” is never an answer.
Don’t forget that you are unique and it is your uniqueness that makes you a valuable asset. Embrace yourself, your flaws, and dreams, and your desires. Once you truly accept yourself, the world will have no choice but to embrace you with open arms.