I was on the phone the other day with one of my coaching clients and I asked her what’s your biggest frustration right now. She began to say there is something at work that is bothering her and every year she has to deal with the pain that comes from it.
She added that maybe it’s not such a big deal that we don’t have to talk about it. Immediately, I felt her shrink and lose her confidence.
This issue was depleting her energy, happiness and health.
“Every year, she said, my company holds an award ceremony where they choose about 15-20 people who are the best at what they do. The winners get $5K. Every year it causes me a lot of pain, stress and even makes me sick because I’m never nominated. And I deserve to win.
Last year, I didn’t go because it’s just so painful. I couldn’t understand why my peers don’t nominate me. And it was so odd that my V.P. noticed and asked me why I wasn’t there. I want to be able to have a new attitude and go this year but it’s still hard.”
I could feel that this is a self-esteem issue - 100%.
I asked her:” why do you want to win this award?” She responded “it’s not about the money, it’s about being appreciated for all the hard work I’ve done. I deserve to win the award. I want to be acknowledged by my peers for having done a great job this year. Doesn’t hard work pay off? Why does that person get nominated and not me?”
She shared that once she was nominated. She put so much energy into it and she ended up sick and not winning the award. Yes, it’s painful to be put up against your peers, to not be nominated even though you did a good job. It brings up feelings to see them win of not being good enough.
Why not me?
This is the most painful question we can ask and an ego trap for suffering. This made me think of the episode of Mad Men when Don Draper was nominated for a Clio award. He was talking to Peggy because she was upset about not being appreciated or included in getting the award for a commercial idea she came up with. Don said something like, You work for me and I pay you for your work and that’s it. There’s nothing else.
Peggy totally felt like my client, Why not me? And this was back in the 60’s when woman were not recognized at all. Awards don’t matter, who we are as people matters, and still we feel like crap when we are not included.
Have a situation that you have put your self worth in someone else’s hands?
A job? A relationship? A raise? What this does is create separation. Whenever we look outside for our self worth, we will feel bad about ourselves. It can make us sick and not want to do anything anymore. Our bodies begin to contract, shoulders fall forward and we feel disconnected.
It’s crucial to catch ourselves before we do this; so that we can re-frame and see that we are loved, appreciated and worthy of just being alive. No one or thing defines this!
One really important note about awards – they’re all created from nothing. You can create one just like Alfred Nobel the creator of TNT, who felt guilty for his creation causing death to so many people. He had to give back to humanity and left all his money to this cause creating one of the most prestigious awards for humanity. Not only did he create a buzz but he turned his legacy around focusing on the good.
Awards are PR generators, buzz makers and even the award shows you watch on TV are all planned out. The actors get paid a small sum that is usually donated to their chosen cause. There are no surprises. Not to burst the bubble here but I feel it’s necessary.
“You are not your job, awards, title, car, house or income they don’t define you.”
And if you have been living this way then here is your wake up call. I’ve been there dressed in over $10K of clothing and feel like crap inside. It’s a false sense of self-esteem. It goes away fast because there is no foundation of self worth beyond the materialism. Just being born is an award and no one can give or take this from you, unless you give it to them.
It’s your choice.
I also asked my client:”is it true that you are not appreciated?” She said yes. I said: “you get paid, have a job, can take time off when you need it for your health and no one bothers you.”
Is it still true that you are not appreciated? Has anyone told you your job is on the line? Sort of, they tell me they appreciate me but why don’t they nominate me?
That I cannot answer, but I do know that she has been putting her value in someone else’s hands. I suggested, if she can go to the event and really be happy for the other people and not compare herself to them then go. If not, don’t.
There is no right or wrong way but there is a choice to feel good and that is the best way.
I asked her one more time to look at what she does at her job and what she gets in exchange and is it absolutely true that you are not appreciated.
She said: “no it is not true.” Bingo!
But what will give you REAL self worth is YOU loving who you are minus your titles or material things.
Do YOU, surround yourself with people who love you for you not for what you do. This need to be appreciated by others will not go away but stop wasting your time wanting people to fill your self esteem tank.
Oh, and I told my client to get herself an award. She was so excited and said I’ll get one and put it on my desk. She shifted inside and could see that she can appreciate herself and keep her self esteem tank full.
The bottom line is that it’s our own responsibility to keep ourselves feeling good – no one else is in charge of this. And if you are doing this then you want to catch yourself and turn it around.
15 Ways To Boost Your Self Esteem Immediately:
[Choose 3 ways you can fill your self esteem tank up + take action.]
- Look into the mirror and say: I love you ___________ [insert your name] .I did this for years thanks to Louise Hay and cried every time I did it.
- Create a fertile environment that supports you. Are you hanging around people who beat you down? Don’t tell them your dreams and stay away.
- Celebrate your own successes every day! Write down 5 things you do every day from the simple to the amazing.
- Celebrate others successes for real and see there is enough for all of us.
- Sign up to do service for a cause to help people who really need it.
- Call your cell phone and leave a message saying how awesome you are and how much you appreciate yourself.
- Pay attention to the compliments you get and write them down. Then review them to see you matter.
- Give compliments to people around you that you mean.
- Donate money to a cause you love and help someone else.
- Take a media break. Stop reading the paper, watching T.V. and caring about what others are doing. This will help with your comparison addiction.
- When you compare yourself, stop and find something you can love about yourself.
- When you get a compliment take it in and say thank you, nothing else.
- Sit with a friend and tell them what you love and appreciate about them. Then have them do the same for you.
- If you have any emails, letters or cards from people who appreciate you keep them nearby and read them when your tank is empty.
- Create or buy your own award and give it to someone you love + one to yourself.
Put this to the test + let me know how it goes.
Your Angel of fire,