I may or may not know you personally, but I can guess one thing about you —
You’re undervaluing yourself.
Why would I say this? Because you’re human, and it’s something we humans do.
Most of us tend to think we’re just not good enough. It’s like a nagging undercurrent beneath our everyday thoughts, zapping us with “you’re not good enough” every time we want to step it up.
Not only have I observed this countless times in my decades of coaching clients, but there’s also actual neuroscience behind our feelings of unworthiness.
We all operate in varying degrees of a hyper vigilant state. Sure, a childhood bully may have turned up the dial, but being on the lookout for danger is part of who we are.
We scan the room and listen for clues, always on the lookout for approval, rejection, and the potential for things to go wrong.
“Do they like me?”
“Are they accepting me?”
“Is what I’m saying going over okay?”
We’re in self-preservation mode, which throws us into fight or flight and causes us to do things that undercut our value.
Here’s what I mean —
I was talking to someone recently that wanted to change careers. While she didn’t have direct experience in her target field, she had a fantastic background with impressive transferable skills. But no sooner than she expressed this desire and a potentially hot opportunity did she quickly backpedal with, “But I’ll tell them I don’t need to make a lot of money.”
Um, excuse me. Why would you say that? Let them make you an offer first. Remember your inherent value!
In another recent conversation, a woman was telling me about her plans to attend a networking event that could help her break into a higher-level job. Then she said, “But I’ll let them know I’m just thinking about it for now.”
Again with the undervaluing! She’s already thought about it and knows she wants it. Rubbing elbows with the right people and making them aware that you’re ready and eager to step up to the next level is the best way to get there.
We do this because we want to neutralize the situation. If it doesn’t work out, we can’t say we failed.
We play humble.
We use self-deprecating humor.
We resort to wimpy language.
We act as if we don’t want it.
But if you DO want it, you have to GO for it. No excuses.
You have to be clear about your goals.
You have to be confident about what you bring to the table.
You have to stand for what you believe in.
It starts with awareness.
Be aware of the undercurrent behind your words and actions:
I’m not worthy.
I’m not good enough.
Be aware of when your hyper vigilance for seeking approval is kicking in.
Be aware that breathing will get you back to center.
Whether it’s a presentation, job interview, or sales opportunity, don’t do the work of other people. Don’t assume they’re undervaluing you first. Do the work of being the best version of yourself.
As my acting teacher, Kate McGregor-Stewart, used to say, “Fear is just excitement without the oxygen.”
Practice standing in your power.
Stop undervaluing yourself.
See what a difference it makes in everything you do.
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