When you recognize and take ownership of your value, you strengthen the foundation for your confidence. Your value can be viewed in two ways; as relative and as intrinsic.
Your relative value is conditional. It’s established through social and economic systems. We are all valued for specific skills and assets, and acknowledged accordingly through money, recognition and a variety of rewards that are bestowed from others. In the world of work, your relative value is offered through compensation for the work you do. However some people may not value any of your gifts or skills. And under certain conditions even your greatest strengths will have no value.
It’s a mistake to think you can be valuable to everyone under all conditions. Too much focus on your relative value can create a frenzy of seeking validation from others that undermines your personal power. On the other hand, assuming you have value where you really don’t, points to a blind spot that could use a reality check.
Your intrinsic value is very different. It is unconditional and is your birthright as a human being. You have as much right to be here as anyone else. You have essential value that is no more and no less than anyone else. When you validate this for yourself, the result is deeply balancing and stabilizing.
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Holding your value
Holding your value means standing behind your strengths and what you bring to the table. There are times when it’s very important that you do this for yourself and not rely too much on the validation from others. While it’s important to know how you are valued by others, it’s up to you to hold that value and not let it drain away when the external reinforcement wears thin.
But let’s face it, the times when it’s most important to be able to hold your value, are the times when it can be the most challenging to do so. For instance, when changing jobs, the familiar rewards of position, money, and recognition, all come into question. A new job asks you to re-establish your value in a new situation. In a very real way, you need to prove yourself under new circumstances. Holding your value is essential in these situations but it can be very dicey.
For example, Sarah was feeling very shaky about her value as she was changing jobs. She was moving into a new sales position where she would be paid a minimal base salary along with a generous commission on sales. The commission offered her the potential to be highly successful and make the big bucks. She was both excited and a little horrified at the possibilities.
Sarah prepared herself for her sales meetings in two different ways. She started by meditating on her intrinsic-unconditional value. She spent five to ten minutes quietly breathing and reminding herself of her place in the world. When she felt calm and centered, she turned her attention to her relative-conditional value. She wrote down her strengths and the personal value she brought to her potential customers. She also clarified the value of the product she was selling.
Sarah decided to work with a coach during her job transition and together, they came up with three ways to anchor her value in the upcoming weeks and months.
1. To stay connected with her value as a human being (intrinsic value)
2. To validate and stand behind specific qualities, skills, and strengths that she valued in herself (relative value)
3. To learn about and respond to what the customer valued from her (relative value)
She made a commitment to these steps. They strengthened her integrity and kept her up to date on the relative value of what she was offering. As a result, she was able to stand behind her value to the client and hold her value for herself. She developed very high trust, high profile, high profit relationships with clients. It was an extremely rewarding transition for her, not just because of the outward success but also because she could rely more and more on a deep, internal confidence that supported her.
How have you learned to strengthen your relative value? How have you deepened your connection with your intrinsic value?