Knowing Your Worth

Worth – noun. The value equivalent to that of someone or something under consideration; the level at which someone or something deserves to be valued or rated.


Knowing what you’re worth is a loaded piece of information. It’s slightly existential. For some, it’s purely financial. For most, it’s a mystery. It’s taken me five years of professional growth, three years in psychotherapy, and many tribulations to get an idea of what my worth is made of. What I’ve learned is there’s a baseline, benchmarks, and no magic formula.

Establish A Baseline – Take stock of who you are.
I’ve struggled with self-esteem for a long ass time. The first time I was bullied about my appearance was in the second grade. Their words are burned into my brain forever. I internalized every lie they said for most of my teenage years.The recovery of my self-esteem didn’t come until college. I found my tribe and discovered that friends build you up and challenge you to be better without senseless competition.

These friends also taught me that I didn’t need to identify myself in reference to someone else first. It’s an extremely difficult concept to sort out because, as women, we are always proud of our contributions and impact on our loved ones.

After coming around to seeing I’m more than someone’s daughter, sister, and friend, I could focus on me. I focused on becoming a professional writer. If I listed my work experience on my way to finally being a writer, it would overwhelm you. I guarantee it but each of those jobs gave me a piece of who I am at this moment. The details mattered at the jewelry shop. Showing up on time at my grocery shift was essential. I’m a better writer and content creator for each of them.

Where are you right now – mentally, professionally, etc.? How do you feel are you in those spaces? Are all of your day-to-day activities essential? If you streamlined them, what kind of time would you have to grow in the ways most meaningful to you?

Determine how you measure success – What can you do?
You don’t wake up a success. It’s essential to define benchmarks you need so you’re consistently building your worth but… there’s a catch. Success subjective and not every success is measurable.

Professional success to me means projects that bring cash flow and sharing my knowledge with other people in my circle. Sharing builds my confidence. Helping a friend test a new theory about their target market genuinely excites me. When the work yields connections for them, my time is instantly worth the effort.

Personal success for me happens on a much quieter level. It involves me planning the time it takes for me to recover from the week’s efforts. If I can meditate a few times a week and get through some tough conversations, it’s a personal success.

Where does success matter to you? Is it getting new clients? Is it being there for a friend when they call?

There’s no magic formula.
When I was a child, I often asked, “How much longer ‘til we get there?” My mom would respond with, “Distance equals rate times time. We’re going 60 miles per hour and have 45 miles left.” We figured it out from there.

She’s a math teacher so the world was often broken down, researched, and reconstructed with solutions. My world and reality don’t always work to the effect of a magic formula. I do know that there are some questions I can ask myself to figure out if something is going to aid or hurt my self-worth.

  • Is it challenging?
  • Does it help anyone?
  • Who else is/needs to be involved?
  • Have I done something like this before?
  • Does it align with my personal beliefs? Professional goals?

If most of my answers are positive, the situation tends to add to my self-worth. If I can get paid for it… well, we’ll save that take for next time.

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