It’s been a thought lately of how do I determine self-worth, how do I measure this? How do you compare your self-worth compared to your friend, colleague, your nemesis?
I see many articles and professionals state that self-worth is the same as self-esteem, and how you believe in yourself. Now I do believe in myself and I would say I have high self-esteem, but I tend to question my own self-worth or self-value.
The difference between self-worth and self-esteem
Based on this thinking I began doing some research and something resonated with me when I read the difference between self-worth and self-esteem by Dr Christina Hibbert, who states that one’s self-worth is what one thinks, feels and believes about oneself. Self-worth is the ability to recognize that one is greater than all of these things. It is realising that one is of value, loveable and necessary to this life, and of incomprehensible worth (2013).
There is self-worth in all areas of your life, it can be at work, at home, as a parent, as a daughter or son, as a friend. And if you are anything like me there are some characteristics that I carry throughout these areas of life, but the Maxine at home is a little different to the Maxine at work, the Maxine with colleagues is a little different to the Maxine as a friend. And it is within these different areas of life, that I find myself pondering over self-worth. How necessary am I? Am I worthy?
The answers to these questions play a major role in my ability to ask for that increase, to put up my hand with an idea (without thinking the fear of asking a stupid question), to step forward and ask to take the lead in a project, to put in my two cents out of fear of being told its wrong or won’t work, and I can go on and on. Self-worthiness plays an important role in my own thoughts, feeling and behavior.
Based on this it is safe to say that self-worth is achieved through self-identified abilities and own performances. For an international soccer star – I play soccer, therefore I have a spot on the team, and I am needed. For some employees its competing with others, for example salesmen compete during the year to win the top salesmen of the year award, it is through this achievement that some feel worthy, and necessary. For others it’s a little more difficult to find your niche, where you fit in and flourish. Where your skills are noticed and praised for. So, for those of us who sit on the more difficult side of identifying our self-worth, what can we do to feel more worthy, to identify our self-worth?
What doesn’t contribute?
A good place to start may be things that do not contribute to self-worth, according to author Stephanie Jade Wong (n.d.) these things are:
Your bank account (the number in your bank account does not determine your self-worth)
Your job title (it doesn’t matter what you do, but rather that you do it well and that it makes you happy)
Your social media following (how many people actually know the real you on social media platforms, in turn how well do you know those who are liking and following you, probability is not very well)
Your to-do list (achieving tasks during the day is great but how does this contribute to your self-worth?)
Your relationship status (whether you are single, married, divorced, or not too sure, it does not have a direct impact on your self-worth)
Your age (you are not too old or too young, your age does not factor into your ability to feel worthy.)
Now that we have looked at what doesn’t contribute to your self-worth, what does? According to researchers finding self-worth is much easier as a teenager than an adult, which makes sense. We put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect at work, at home, with friends, and with our families. We tell ourselves that mistakes are unacceptable, that showing weakness is a flaw, and to show your emotions is a sign of weakness. But what if in fact it is all of these things that contribute to making ourselves feel worthy.
When looking at self-worth:
Look at what truly matters, a person’s kindness, empathy towards others, respect for others, and how they treat others.
Focus on not listening to that inner voice, rather take time to pause, ask that inner voice if she actually has a point, and do you actually need to hear what she is saying.
Be careful to tie your self-worth to your job, as identified earlier, your job does not dictate your worth. Focus more on doing your daily tasks well. Be responsible and accountable and stand up when you do something wrong and even more so when you do something well.
It is not always easy to stay positive and feel worthy but when I am starting to feel low and that I should rather give up and let someone else do it, I am going to give myself a good talking to, focus on these 3 things and do what makes me happy.
One of the greatest lessons in life is to listen with the intent to understand what is being said, instead of just listening to respond. The best way to listen is with your mouth shut. If you’re talking, you’re not listening! Think about it, the word listen and the word silent are spelled with the same letters! In order to be a good listener, we first need to learn how to be silent.
While you’re listening, pay attention to how what you hear affects you, not what you think about it, but how you are personally affected.
Before you respond
When it’s time to respond, consider your intention before you speak. Whose needs are you meeting? Are you trying to look smart or to be appreciated? Or is your intention genuinely to support the other person and to share your sense of connection?
We have all had those moments, when you walk away from a conversation then realise you cannot remember what the person said, wanted you to understand or wanted you to do!
How do we stop thinking while listening? If you want to be an outstanding listener, it’s difficult to do that while you’re constantly thinking about the next response.
Communication is something so simple yet so difficult to achieve. There might be times where you share your issues with someone but you felt that they do not understand you. Worst still, they reply whatever they feel. That happens because they are purely hearing your issues rather than listening to them. That is one of the issues these days. Listen to them, give them your full attention and when you listen you will know what to reply.
If nature gave us ears, it was not just so that we could hear but so that we can also learn to listen. We listen with autopilot on and with habits we have acquired where we do not want others to convince us of things we supposedly already know. We often limit our ability to listen to that which selectively confirms our beliefs.
Here are tips that you can apply to become more active in listening:
Tune out distractions.
STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN!
We need to train ourselves to do this when we listen!
STOP whatever you are doing and pay attention to the details.
LOOK at the person in the eye, watch for non-verbal communication. Slow down and be fully present in the moment.
LISTEN It can be tempting to think about how you are going to reply while the person is speaking, but listening is not just waiting for your turn to speak.
Do not interrupt or derail the person when they are speaking. Be respectful, let them finish their thoughts.
Take an interest in what the person is saying.
Don’t jump from “hear” to “respond” without ensuring you fully understand the situation or issue.
First reflect on what has been said, and then answer.
Wait for a response, don’t feel that you have to fill the space.
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply. – DR. STEPHEN R. COVEY
When is it the Best Time to Hire a Virtual Assistant?
When it comes to assistance, most business owners will delay it as long as they can. This is because of fear that an assistant cannot do the work as well as they can. Although that may be true, a growing business needs an extra pair of hands. In this blog, we will discuss the best time to hire a Virtual Assistant and where to find one.
What is a Virtual Assistant?
Virtual Assistants, also known as VA’s, are your fairy godmothers so to speak. They assist you with your business virtually. They usually work from home or their own office and manage their own income. These people can also be referred to as freelancers.
There are many reasons why one would become a VA, the most common one being for a better work-life balance.
VA’s are highly skilled people who choose this career path to have more control over their lifestyle.
What can a Virtual Assistant do?
A VA can do absolutely anything work-related. They can do admin, cold calling, receptionist duties, writing and content creation, web design, social media management, accounting and more. It boils down to what you are looking for. If you are looking for someone to write your content, for example, a VA with blogging experience can assist you with that.
You don’t even need to hire a VA with a specific skill. There are also generalist VA’s who can cater to your varying business needs.
How do Virtual Assistants change businesses?
A big corporation can easily afford to hire a full-time employee, but if you’re an entrepreneur or small business, affordability may be an issue.
Perhaps you’ve stayed back from hiring someone because you think it will cost you an arm and a leg. You need to know that VA’s are so affordable, and the career path was created for business owners like you.
Having help in your business means more time for you to focus on other aspects of your operations. This means serving your current client base better than before, without compromising the generation, cultivation and nurturing of new leads.
In short, more time = more money.
When to hire a Virtual Assistant?
We believe that to be abreast of the competition, one should hire a VA as soon as they open their doors to business.
Other clear signs that show you need a VA:
You can’t keep up with the workload
You don’t get to all your emails in a day
You are out of the office and need someone to handle your back-office tasks
You feel overwhelmed
You want someone to handle your projects
You need someone to manage a team
You hate admin
You hate making sales calls and setting up appointments
You’re so bad at staying organised
You can write your own articles and blogs
Your social media pages are dormant
You have no idea how to get leads
You need a fresh perspective on things
If this sounds like you, make sure to give us a call.
How to improve your client’s company from a VA’s perspective
What can a Virtual Assistant do for a business owner? Out of my experience with my client, I found that he was not implementing his own Terms and Conditions, resulting in a huge amount of outstanding debt from his clients taking liberties and using his services without paying their dues.
Researching my client’s business
I went and researched the exact terms and conditions in the contracts with each customer and found a very interesting clause. My client provides lessons to children and the parents were just scheduling lessons but were not paying for those lessons. So I liaised with my client and informed him that he was not implementing this clause in their contracts.
I then with permission from my client got more firm in the requesting of outstanding fees and if they did not adhere to these instructions and requests, their lessons would be suspended. My client was initially sceptical but as soon as we started suspending lessons, the parents with the outstanding accounts started to pay up. I also brought in a payment agreement document in order to help the parents that were having financial difficulties and easily keeping track of them.
A Virtual Assistant must familiarise themselves with their client’s business
So in my experience with my client, I found that a Virtual Assistant could accomplish a lot for their client by just spending the time in familiarising themselves with all the documentation and literature that their clients have available and learning as much as possible to be able to understand their business completely and to be able to assist in any place or area where they may be having difficulties.
Doing this has made my client’s business run much more smoothly and assisted him to be able to concentrate on the primary objectives of his company. This, in turn, has made his relationship with his clients better creating a better and healthier work environment.
Benefits of using a Virtual Assistant
I have also found that my client benefits with using a Virtual Assistant by that he knows that the administration side of his business is well taken care of and handled so that he can with peace of mind concentrate on the primary goal of his business. In my client’s case, I liaise with the clients of my client to ensure that there are no scheduling conflicts.
A Virtual Assistant is one of the most valuable additions to any company and assists with having their office anywhere they are. Whether it is at home, at work or even on the road. Documents and spreadsheets are kept on a cloud server so there is no chance of them going missing and they are easily accessed by both the client and the Virtual Assistant.
Another advantage for a new entrepreneur is the ability to get their office set up and running at a very affordable price and with a small footprint. There is minimal setup time and the client’s office can be anywhere, even from their own living room.
Using a Virtual Assistant is beneficial in so many ways for a new up and coming business as well as an already established company. There is so much a Virtual Assistant can do to improve your business, find out more here !
How hiring a Virtual Assistant can benefit your business
Is running your business or department making you feel like you are drowning ?
Hiring a Virtual Assistant is a simple solution and will allow you time to spend on managing the important aspects and tasks within your business while outsourcing many of the mundane time-consuming tasks. The effect on your productivity will be obvious.
As an entrepreneur, business owner or executive, your time is precious and you need to be able to delegate certain tasks to your Virtual Assistant allowing you to focus on what really matters.
Benefits of a Virtual Assistant include the following :
No need for office space – a virtual assistant works from home
Ensuring your staff are always busy – a virtual assistant can work flexi-time based on your requirements
Saving you money – a Virtual Assistant is less expensive than a full time employee
Freeing up your time – a Virtual Assistant can handle all the less important tasks & admin allowing you to concentrate on the more important issues
Reducing your workload and need to manage employees
A Virtual Assistant is simply an online employee and will allow you to take the load off and help you scale up your business to the next level.