In my previous post, I played true confessions.  I fessed up that, years ago, I constantly put myself down…without really knowing it!

I have a hunch many of you do the same.  And believe me, self depreciation is a subtle but serious form of self sabotage.

I’d like to share what I did to stop. It wasn’t easy. I’m far from perfect. But success is so much easier since I curtailed my self-criticism and began acknowledging my value.

Here’s my 3-point plan to Stop Self Criticism—Observe; Brag; Find Spotters.

  1. I started by observing my conversations. Every time I heard me belittling myself, I stopped. Literally stopped, mid-sentence, and force myself to say something positive…even if it was just ‘thank you.’
  2. I started bragging (thanks to Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts). I mean, I actually prefaced sentences with “I brag…” and then tooted my own horn.
  3. I shared my goal with a few close friends, asking  them to spot me by pointing out my more subtle put-downs. They had no trouble catching me in the act.  Their feedback was quite effective.

Admittedly, these steps, at first, felt ridiculously uncomfortable, completely awkward. But gradually, I began to notice something.  My self-derision all but disappeared. And I felt much better about myself.

I’m here to say, I swear it’s true–what you share, you definitely strengthen. Please leave a comment below on how these steps support you in achieving greatness.

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“What you share you strengthen.”

~A Course In Miracles

In the spirit of the above quote, ask yourself this question: Could I be undermining my success by what I’m sharing with others?

Years ago, a  coach gave me a powerful assignment.  For 2 weeks, I was to simply observe my conversations, without changing a thing. Just notice what I talked about, the words I used, my typical reactions…you know, the stuff I was sharing with others.

What I saw was not pretty.

I had a habit of putting myself down…without even realizing it. I’d constantly dismiss my skills (“Oh, that’s no big thing”), deflect praise (“I thought I was awful”), and diminish my successes (“But I could’ve done so much better”).

What felt, to me, like humility, was in truth, a form of self sabotage. Every word of self depreciation put another dent in my self esteem.   I was strengthening my sself-doubt…while destroying my self-confidence.  No wonder I was struggling.

Are you doing something similar? Minimizing your achievements or underestimating your  value?

I invite you to find out. Spend a few weeks simply watching what you talk about.  Then write a comment below on what you observed.

In  my next blog, I’ll share with you the things I did that made a huge difference.

Want to make more money?  Well, I’ve got the secret.  And I’ll bet it’s not what you think.

It sure wasn’t what I expected when I interviewed hundreds of high earners for my books; Secrets of Six-Figure Women and Overcoming Underearning®. Very few of these highly successful women were driven by money, yet they still demanded to be well compensated because – and here’s the Big Secret – they felt they were worth it.

The good news is that it’s possible for all of us to build up our self worth. Here are some tips for pumping up your self-esteem along with your net worth:

1. Think Big, Then Think Even Bigger

What most of us do is unwittingly limit our earnings by lowering our expectations.  Especially women.  The idea is to think in terms of what you are worth, not just what you assume the market will bear.

2. Do Your Homework

One of the worst negotiating mistakes women make is picking a number out of the air that’s way too low.  The smarter ones find out their market value by researching the going rates, then ask for more than is offered so they’ll have room to maneuver and negotiate.

3.  Take the Initiative

Have tangible evidence of what you bring to the table.  Maybe you saved your company x-amount of dollars or had an idea that generated so many sales. Every time you accept more responsibility, successfully complete a challenge or create positive changes, document it.  Keeping records is an effective means of demonstrating your value to an organization.

4.  Daily Affirmations – Act As If

Affirmations are positive statements expressed as if they’ve already happened.  For example: “I have the confidence to ask for what I want” or
I deserve more money in my life“.   Write them down.  Post them in full view. Say them out loud as often as possible.  When you act as if you’re worth a lot, you’ll eventually convince yourself as well as others.

5.  Challenge yourself in other areas

A stretch in any area of life has a ripple effect in other areas as well.  If you can’t quite get yourself to volunteer for that tough assignment or ask for a raise, try signing up for an art class or running a marathon.  Anything that puts you out of your comfort zone builds confidence and self-worth.

By practicing these tips, you’ll begin to notice a shift in how you feel about yourself.  Making more money becomes not something you should do, but something you have to do – because you know in your heart you’re worth it.

Barbara Stanny

The leading authority on women & money
barbara@barbarastanny.com
www.barbarastanny.com

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