We all want to feel valued. It’s a universal human desire. We hope to be appreciated, acknowledged and accepted in all areas of life, including the workplace.
When we receive praise or recognition, we gain a spring in our step, a burst of confidence, the energy to tackle the next challenge with gusto.
But when we receive criticism or perhaps worse, no feedback at all, it can leave us feeling the opposite – deflated, unheard, unseen, and unappreciated.
Looked at in this light, work can be an emotional rollercoaster. One minute you are on top of the world, the next you’re questioning your worth.
But ask yourself this: who is steering the rollercoaster?
Do you rely on external validation to feel appreciated in your workplace? Is your self-worth dependent on how your boss/colleagues/peers treat you?
If the answer is yes, then your ‘self-worth rollercoaster’ is being steered by events outside of your control. This places your feelings of value in the workplace at the mercy of other people, and this can have a huge impact on your confidence.
It’s time to take hold of the steering wheel. The only person who can determine your true value is YOU.
I believe that feeling valued in the workplace starts from within. Of course other people will play a part in your professional journey – that can’t be helped – but they shouldn’t be in the driver’s seat.
Instead of waiting for your boss or colleagues to acknowledge your efforts, instead try asking yourself the following questions:
- Am I happy with the way I am conducting myself at work?
- In what ways do I feel valuable to my team?
- If I were to ask for feedback, what would be the most likely responses?
- What tasks do others regularly trust me to do?
- What am I already doing better than before?
- What achievements am I proud of?
Regular, honest self-reflection will help you maintain a sense of calm and integrity. It’s important that you value yourself and your efforts, even if no one else appears to have noticed.
The more your self-esteem grows, and you begin to recognise your own value, the less you will rely on external validation. Your confidence will no longer be at the mercy of other people – it will only be at the mercy of your own mindset.
Remember, the only person who can determine your true value is you.
I help people who work in Tech with career advice, coaching and mentoring.
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