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Today’s employment climate can present many challenges where your self-worth and value can be damaged. From taking orders to contributing to meetings, to taking on additional responsibilities, it is possible to walk into the workplace every day and feel stretched, overworked and/or undervalued.
On one side, you are grateful that you have a job. On the other side, you know they could show you the door at any moment. There are times when voicing your concerns with HR doesn’t feel safe. Of course, they are there to protect the company…not you.
Now, let’s not get into the interpersonal relationships. If you don’t have a certain “title” there are some that treat you as if you don’t matter. There are some individuals who value the higher titles in an organization and treat those beneath them as if they are insignificant. Remember, just because a person may devalue you because you don’t have the same title or higher title, doesn’t mean that you have no value. You are of infinite value and your self-worth is not defined by your title. ALL work is important and valuable.
I once had a situation at work where a coworker wouldn’t come to me. This person would always go to my colleague and ask about my work. My colleague told me that they would send this person to me but they didn’t want to address me. At first, I was offended. I was hurt that this person would disrespect me in this way but I realized that I didn’t need to make their issue my own. I know my value comes from God not them.
I watched my parent have 30/40 year careers and those jobs were a part of who they were and gave them a sense of your self-worth. Today, we live in a totally different world. With downsizing and responsibility-sharing within the workplace, our workplace identity is often changing, and can feel unstable to us.
Increased demands on employees, and a faster-paced workplace environment all equate to less acknowledgment of excellent work. The employee feels as if they can never accomplish what needs to be done and overwhelm sets in while taking a look at the workload. We are working longer hours, bringing work home, and losing touch with other essential parts of our lives like time spent with friends, family, and being alone. I’ve even experience chronic illnesses where each month there was some sort of sickness I was dealing with.
Maintaining a strong sense of self-worth while all of this is going on can be challenging, but it’s certainly not impossible, and it’s very important to your psychological health. It’s done a little bit at a time, each and every day, consistently, to help keep a healthy level of self-worth.
Here are three specific strategies that you can put into motion during your own workday that will help create balance and a strong inner peace that can help see you through especially tough times.
1. Replace Negative Thought with Positive Thoughts and Affirmation
In my last blog post, 21 Affirmations You Need to Speak Over Your Life Daily, I provided 21 affirmations that should be consistently spoken over your life. It may seem overwhelming to do this daily but dealing with negative thoughts can be all-consuming. This one habit for saying affirmations can totally change your life and perspective. Once you’ve gotten rid of the negative thought patterns, start with unloading those negative people from your life. There are probably a few in your office that you can do nothing about. You can’t do anything about their negativity, but you can choose to respond to it with a positive outlook.
2. Make Sure You Have a Self-Care Routine. Every Day!
This is the best thing you can do for yourself and is much needed for your personal sanity. Even if it’s just five or ten minutes a day, believe that you deserve it, and take that much-needed time to and for yourself.
3. Keep Track of Everything at Work – Success and Failures
I love Google Drive. Actually, I love all of Google’s products but Google Drive has been a saving grace for me and my family. We keep everything there. I document everything. The good, the bad and the ugly. You never know when you will need to reference something. I just recently showed a friend our Google Drive and she was so impressed with how organized everything was. If you prefer a small notebook in a drawer, then record things there. However, for each success you see, write them down in the book or created a list in a document in Google Drive. This will help give you something “concrete” to look at when you begin to feel as if things aren’t going your way. For your failures, it will allow you to look back on what didn’t work and where you need improvements.
I really want to stress the importance of you knowing how much you are loved and valued. Don’t let anyone take it away from you with their narrow thinking. You can still treat everyone as valued human beings even when you don’t receive the same treatment back. No one defines your actions but you.
What strategies do you have to maintain a greater sense of value and self-worth at work?