Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Know Your Worth from the Workplace to the Global Market By Michelle J. Miller, Esq. D. Min

Have you ever struggled with a sense of worthlessness? If so, you are not alone. The one thing that I have learned in life is that many people struggle with feeling unworthy of great things. This struggle of worth may be personal, in the marketplace, as an entrepreneur and even in knowing our place in the world. The reality is that I have struggled with a feeling unworthy too –personally, in ministry, and professionally. These thoughts of worthlessness will keep us from moving forward. For this reason, it is important to know that others do not determine our self-worth. We must be the one to determine that we are worth seeing the world!

In 2001, I took my first trip abroad to study law in Beijing China. At that time I had a two year old daughter, I was on the brink of breaking my engagement and I had very little money. However, I was determined to step outside of my comfort zone even though I felt like a fish out of water. Eventually, I earned a Certification in Chinese Law and interned in the International Business Law Division at one of the oldest law partnerships in Beijing. It was a great experience and I was excited. However, I faced my lack of self-worth when I returned home. What was my issue? I thought about being called stupid as a kid. I recall feelings of shame because I saw no other single moms in law school at that time. I told myself that there was no way a single mom from the south side of Chicago could do business law and definitely nothing that impacted other countries. 

I know many other people have struggled with not feeling worthy of the best that life has to offer. I felt unworthy, despite the fact that I studied in China and despite the fact that the prior summer I reviewed global warranty contracts for a company on a temp law clerk assignment that was extended beyond my allocated time. I notice that I allowed the words spoken over my life to shape my thoughts about myself. We can address this feeling in inadequacy in several contexts. However, for the purpose of this blog post we will focus on how thoughts of our worth impact how we see ourselves from our local workplace to the global market. Why do I provide such an expansive view? 

I provide an expansive view because your sense of worth will determine the things you do and places that you go in life. I want to help you live a life of unlimited potential and I want to help you understand that you can be effective working in your current location or across the globe! In order to make choices about your career and your potential role in the market place you must determine how you value yourself. Do words of others make you feel worthless? Do experiences on the job (or growing your business) make you feel inadequate? Do you let the accomplishments of others make you think less of yourself?

If you do, you’re not alone - many of us have allowed these things to frame how we value ourselves and the results impact our ability to walk into our natural and spiritual destinies. We can fulfill our destinies once we get the revelation that people do not determine our worth. We do not have to accept someone story about our life. In addition, once we get that revelation that our self-worth is not determined by the opinions of others we then become aware of our true value and worth. Immediately below are a few considerations to ensure that you have the highest perspective of self-worth about yourself:

Determine your worth:

Our sense of self-worth is ultimately embedded in our belief system. To determine your worth you must consider your beliefs about yourself. If you let people make you feel worthless you may be subconsciously presenting yourself as unworthy of the best opportunities available to you. It is important to realize that your worth is not determined by how someone values you. To the contrary, your worth is based on how you value yourself. A company or a business associate may not value your skills, but that does not mean that your skills are worthless.  Take a moment to write a list of how you truly feel about yourself. Once you have done that, consider any negative self-talk or negative memories and recall what may make you feel worthless and replace this talk and memories with statements of worth and value. Once you have determined your value and worth you can move forward. In moving forward, remove all limitations off of your mind and dream big. You can brand a local, national or international business if you position yourself for the opportunity. You are worth doing business all over the world just like any other business person or company.

No one can be you:

Do you know that you are unique? Do you understand that no one can do what you do how you do it? Do you really recognize that no one can be you? It is important to understand that you were created with unique gifts and talents that have the potential to impact people around the world. The truth is that people may have similar skills, degree(s) and experiences as you, but they can never be you. You must identify your unique characteristics and recognize that these unique things about you are valuable. No one can accomplish your business goal like you. No one can create the services you present and how you do it. What is your special touch? Identify what you bring and own it!

Identify your brand and operate in that brand:

Everyone has a brand! Sometimes people think that they do not have a brand if they are working for someone else and that’s not true. Everyone has a brand identity because everyone is known for something whether they realize it or not. What are you known for in the workplace? I know you may be wondering why I am asking you this question if people do not determine your worth. Well, I am asking you this question because you need to know what messages that you are delivering to other in your midst. If you want to be viewed in accordance with your worth you need to brand yourself accordingly. If people have a negative image about you is it incorrect or are you failing to face some things about yourself. I know some women who have arrogant, mean and a pushy demeanor in the workplace. These same women wonder why they get skipped over for major workplace assignments. The reality is that people do not want to spend consistent time with people they do not want to work with. When you identify your brand you must present yourself like your brand is valuable and you must demonstrate the worth of your brand. By taking charge of your brand, you are then able to articulate your worth in the workplace and consider seeking opportunities to expand the reach of your brand.

You are the the CEO of your life:

You are the Chief Executive Officer of your life. You make the executive decisions about your situation and how to execute a plan that you profit from. You determine if you see yourself as another individual in the rat race of life or another hamster on a wheel running hard and getting nowhere. As the CEO of your life, you determine your workplace strategy, how to market your skills, and how to advance.  As the CEO of your life you are in charge. In other words, you determine your worth and align your personal strategic plan to operate in your true worth. For instance, I decided I wanted to pursue opportunities in International Law. I did not wait for someone to invest in me I had to conclude that I was worth investing in myself.  In the workplace you have the ability to demonstrate your worth by maximizing opportunities and by highlighting your accomplishments. When you are the CEO you make the best decisions for you and that decision is final. Furthermore, as CEO of your life you should always have an upward mobility and exit strategy. Look at your current situation and determine how to maximize your own worth then strategically plan to take action steps for advancements and growth.

Enlarge your mindset from you current locale to the global marketplace:

From my perspective, knowing your worth means understanding that you are not forced to work in one location or with one group of people. I previously stated that I studied in China, but I didn't think I was worth traveling abroad, ministering abroad, or handling business issues that impacted other countries. Why did I think that way? I thought that way because I didn't know anyone involved in global ministry efforts or international business. I had dreams of doing these things even when I didn't understand it, but I also had very limited experiences being outside of Illinois at that time. I had to eventually face the fact that I had a limiting mindset that would not allow me to see or impact the world. Since that time, I began to seek opportunities to enlarge my mindset and I encourage you to do the same. As a global success strategist, I help people perform a paradigm shift so that they “think global” because no matter what you do, there is potential for global impact if you recognize it. With anything in life, the wider you cast your net the greater the possibility of your catch. Cast your net beyond where you are today; you may find that many people recognize your worth around the world.

Create your on path instead following the journey of someone else:

Do you! Your worth is not based on how great you are at walking down the path of another person or embracing someone’s life journey that is not meant for you. You must be willing to do what it takes for you to receive what you are worth. As the CEO of your life, must a trailblazer and you must be a mover and a shaker. If you want to live YOUR life to your fullest value you must be willing to create new paths. Your must know your own worth and refuse to let others decide your life journey for you. 

In conclusion, I hope that you recognize that your worth from the workplace to the global markets is determined by you. Self-worth and taking steps to embrace personal change to move forward in life was a key message at my “Date with Destiny” event last year at the Metropolitan Club.  I wanted women to know that they were worthy of attending a workshop and dining at the best private business club in Chicago. I wanted people to face thoughts of feeling as if they didn’t belong, because I had to face them. Once you face your own mindset and how you may have let others influence your life, you can start making immediate changes by understanding your unique characteristics. You are your brand so present yourself with the highest value and worth that you can imagine and do not change your brand due to obstacles or the words of others. 

As the CEO of your life, seek to maximize the essence of who you are and do not allow external things to diminish the understanding that you have about your worth and value. As you consider your worth, I ask you to expand your sphere of influence to the global marketplace. For many years of my life, I couldn't think beyond Chicago and that mindset limited the opportunities that I sought. Now, I see myself touching lives around the world so I “think global” and I encourage you to do the same. 

Finally, create your own path. When you know your worth you know that you have the power to shift into something new in the workplace and that you can walk in any room bringing the best you to the table. I end this by asking you to make this declaration daily, “I am a person or unique value. I will maximize my potential and I receive opportunities to increase my sphere of influence. I am like a rare gem that is precious and have a market value beyond compare. I am a woman of worth.” Cheers to your success!

Connect with Michelle J. Miller on Twitter @michellejmilleror on Instagram @iammichellejmiller and look out for her new and improved website later this year, MichelleJMiller.com for more information, book releases and event announcements.

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