Next time you’re feeling taken-advantage of, ask yourself if you are helping others to value you, or making it more difficult. Have you set clear boundaries with your boss, your co-workers, your friends and your partner? Being cross, or offended, that people seem to take us for granted is often down to how little we value ourselves.

How often do you say yes when you mean ‘can’t you ask someone else for once!’

I was speaking with a coaching client recently about how he is always the last member of his team to leave the office. He acknowledged that he was often the first one to arrive, rarely took breaks and often stayed until 9pm. “I feel like nobody notices how hard I work. They just leave everything for me to do and, of course, I do it.”

That last part of his response is the key for me. Acknowledging that he will, as usual, do what is asked of him rather than ask if someone else can do it this time. Rather than say that he is busy with another pressing task, he takes on another. Feel familiar? It is a common example of that imposter rearing its head. The voice tells you that if you speak up, something awful will happen.

Your sense of value decreases as scenarios of doom fill you with fear

When I ask clients ‘are you helping others to value you?’ I am questioning whether they give off clear messages and signals about self-worth and the value they add. Who has told you that you are expected to be in the office so early? Where does it say on your job description or employment contract that, unless you’re glued to your desk, you’re not going to keep your job? The only place this comes from is your own habit of listening to the scenarios of doom your imposter creates. Give them notice on this – fear is not helpful!

The fear factor, the story you create that empowers your imposter, and your co-workers and contacts, is keeping you small and it has to go. Challenging fear starts with calling it our for what it really is:

  • False
  • Evidence
  • Appearing
  • Real

The narrative you’ve been using to keep you small, the idea that you are never quite enough, that you should do more than anybody else are formed on this principle of false scenarios your imposter voice creates. If you’re serious about changing this habit, you have to push through the fear a couple of times.

Your imposter feeds on fear, not courage

Does it take courage to rise above the voice in your head?
Every single time.
Does it take courage to tell the imposter that you’re not listening to any more negativity?
oh, you had better believe it.
Does it take courage to admit to yourself that you did a good job, that you deserve your seat at the table, that they’re not just telling you “you did a great job” because they’re your friends?
Yes. And it’s worth it. You are worth it.

My top tips to start raising your sense of value (and communicating it to others)

  • Create a mood board of courage. This can be on Pinterest or it can be a physical pin-board. Put quotes, images and items on this board that make you feel courageous. What makes you say ‘I am terrified and I’m still going to do this’. Keep this somewhere you can look at it regularly. As Carol Schulte says ‘Get Your Brave On’.
  • Find all the Thank You cards you were sent in the last 12 months (you know you kept them somewhere) and put them on your desk, or on the wall. Someone valued you enough to write and thank you for a job well done.
  • Make a list of all the things you’d like to get involved in, but keep talking yourself out of. Pick one and do it. Today. Then message me and tell me. Please.

You will be pleasantly surprised how quickly people notice a difference once you take these simple steps. Don’t be surprised if you get more compliments, or asked if you’ve done something ‘different’. Enjoy it. Say ‘thank you’ (and don’t add ‘it’s nothing’). Let others enjoy the benefit of you valuing you.