Your first job will always be a huge learning experience. Mine definitely was. In high school, I was 16 years old and I had gotten my first job at my local Chick-fil-A. Almost immediately, I hit the ground running by quickly learning tasks and by finding ways to be more productive as well as efficient. Because of this, I was given more responsibilities than what my position was supposed to have. These extra responsibilities made it where I knew how to do everything in the store such as cook and prep food in the kitchen, operate every station in the front area of the restaurant, and balance all of the cash registers (this task was reserved for only managers as it had to deal with operating money).
Even though I was receiving so much work, I was not being compensated whatsoever. I was not promoted nor was I given a raise. This bothered me. Because I understood what I was worth to the store, I confidently asked for a raise and a promotion! Just kidding, I was extremely nervous and only shakily asked for a raise. My boss agreed and gave me a raise, but it took him 2 month before he changed my hourly wage. It was then that I really stopped caring about the store, because I knew I was worth more and that I should get paid more. So I left and found a new job at a different company, who paid me significantly more and gave me a whole slew of benefits with some being Paid-Time-Off (PTO) and 401k matching at 50%. It took me a while to truly understand my worth at my first job, but I am glad that I learned my lesson and left for a better future.
Understanding your worth is extremely difficult to grasp, but not impossible
When we start looking at ourselves, we see one of three things: a terrible human being that does not amount to much, an average individual who is just trying to get by, or an absolutely amazing person who should be getting more. At one point or another, we have all probably seen ourselves as each one. Often times, we do not want to become too full of ourselves. While at other times, we are our own worst critic by bashing ourselves down to think that we do not deserve more.
High school and college is probably the time when you feel it the most. In either level of school, there are people who are actively making fun of you, your level of stress is at an all time high, you might be getting your first job, your sleep schedule is in shambles, your hormones are telling you to get more dramatic, etc. With all of this happening simultaneously, this is the moment that you need to truly be honest with yourself and identify your self-worth. Because if you can understand what you are worth and what you want to be, I can guarantee you that you will go farther in life and will be a far happier individual.
Successful individuals understand themselves far better than anyone else
When you Google successful individuals such as Sir Richard Branson and Tony Robbins, you see that they have had to take huge amounts of risk. Except for them, they saw the true potential of their risks, because they understood what they were worth and how they were going to keep pushing to achieve their dream. People who are successful do not doubt themselves or bash themselves into the ground. This does not mean that they never have anxiety, get nervous, be sad, etc. Instead, they know how to control it and they stick true to what they know about their self-worth. They do not undervalue themselves and they always believe that they are good enough (or better). Ultimately, they know what they want and what they truly value.
5 steps to help you become more self-aware and understand your self-worth
Every person is unique and special, but it can be hard to see from your perspective and how you differentiate yourself from others. This is one of the reasons why you need to understand your self-worth. You can make a huge impact in this world if you only understand what you are and what you want to accomplish.
- You have to realize your positive qualities and traits. As I mentioned before, each of us is unique, but we need to show why we are positively special to ourselves and others. For example, I talked about how knowledgeable I was of how to operate a Chick-fil-A store. Due my skills, I felt that I deserved more at the restaurant, which eventually came but after a while. So, where do you have a large amount of knowledge or where do you succeed? What positive trait or skill do you have that makes you great?
- Think about what you struggle with and what you can improve upon. One of the biggest steps is to not only understand your strengths, but also your weaknesses. This is because we need to know how we can improve and be better. For example, I was extremely nervous when I wanted to ask for a raise. However, since I have already done it once, I know I will be more confident and ask for the raise next time, because I now know what I will say. By identifying what you struggle with, then you can improve upon yourself. However, this is not a time to criticize and pity yourself. Instead, you need to take this time to reflect, learn, and improve.
- Set goals for yourself. You are not done with yourself just because you understand more about who you currently are. You need to set goals for yourself to personally develop. This is critical as your journey is not done right now. You have further to go and you are just getting started! By setting yourself goals now, you can see the results of how far you have come at a later date.
- Do not let others define you. Often times, we fall victim to this trap and let others tell us who we are as individuals. Sure, it is good to get input, but do not let people tell you who you are and what you are made of. When I was younger, I got bullied by people telling me that I was a piece of trash that did not belong in this world. If I took those words to heart, I probably would not be writing this article. You need to figure out for yourself, so that you can discover how you want to view yourself.
- Make sure to stop, reflect, and evaluate yourself. Understanding your self-worth does not end in 5 easy steps that you can knock out in one day. On the contrary, you should be evaluating yourself and determining your self-worth at certain points in your life. This could be that you evaluate yourself once a year or once a month or however long you want to do it. Regardless, judging yourself does not mean being extremely critical, but instead being more understanding about your strengths, weaknesses, areas to improve upon, and what goals you have accomplished as well as set new ones. However, this will be difficult, because you need to accept yourself even if you feel like you are failing or succeeding. If you don’t, then all of these steps are only helpful for when you are asked a strength or weakness question in an interview.
You matter, You are important, You have an extreme amount of worth. So, believe it!
You have plenty of gifts and talents, but you also have weaknesses and areas to improve upon. But this combination is what makes you so great and special. If you understand these areas, then you know what you need to do and what you are worth. Even though you discover more about yourself, you are worth more than what you believe or imagine. Do not let others define you or what you want. I urge you to seek more and set your goals that you want. You are worth it, so believe it!
I love writing about personal development and sharing my experiences, but I know there will be times where I might not write about a subject that you really need to hear at that moment. Therefore, please, write a comment about what subjects that you would like for me to talk about. I am always open to suggestions!