Monday, April 11, 2016

No more discounts: I'm a dime piece!

I recently had a thought. I am in my feelings about something nearly every day. It's not just because I'm a counselor either. It's my own stuff and it's exhausting. I would love to not vacillate so much between loving everything about me and wondering if I matter at all. Thankfully, I am starting to see the triggers and it's high time to do something about them. It's not a lack of self-esteem. I am quite pleased with my endowment of looks, abilities, credentials, and spiritual gifts. It is an issue of value, however. As awesome as I know I am, I still struggle when I feel like people do not see it. And then my vain attempts to get them to see it, I sell myself for a discount and that doesn't feel very good. I'm realizing this looks a few different ways.
Giving it away for free
And I mean this literally. Since starting my own wellness business, I've found myself offering free promotional events or significantly reduced rates. I reasoned that free offerings would strum up business. I am learning that this is a no-no, a major rookie mistake.

There's psychology behind monetary exchange. When something is free or inexpensive, people do not value it as much and certainly do not invest in it. When something is given a moderate to high price, it is seen as in demand. If something is not easily accessible to all, then it must be more valuable. Freebies every once in a while are fine. But having extended offers where I share my pearls and get nothing in return, doesn't bode well for feeling worthwhile and appreciated. Undercutting the wisdom and knowledge I have to offer serves no one, especially not me.

One sided pursuits
Another thing that chips away at one's self-worth is unequal relationships. I have written about this before. All of us can take on the pursuer or distancer role in our connections at different points. But the healthiest, longest lasting relationships are the ones where there is equal investment and shared power. Despite knowing this, I still find myself trying harder with some acquaintances than others.

For instance, I appreciate random just thinking of you texts. When I think of someone, I will generally text to tell them so. I like that about me and don't think there's anything wrong with that. The problem, however, is when I don't get the response I would prefer. If someone doesn't respond as warmly or enthusiastically to my gesture as I might hope, it bothers me. Or if it seems as though I am always the one reaching out to say hi and they rarely check in with me, that begins to wear on me as well. Am I not good enough to be in someone's thoughts throughout the day? Is it so inconceivable that someone might want to reach out and tell me they care? These questions are rooted in emotion, not facts, I well know. But on the days when I'm already "full of the feels," as one friend would say, I am tempted to question my worth.

Which brings us to bribery. It's hard to even admit to doing this at times, but let's be honest. If you give someone something out of the goodness of your heart, not expecting anything in return, it's a gift. If you give something in hopes that it'll endear them to you, invoke a reciprocal gesture, or bring them closer to you, it's a bribe, plain and simple. But how often are we all guilty of this at different times? Maybe you have a non-committal friend or significant other who only spends time if you foot the bill. Maybe he/she is always busy with this or that, but then suddenly frees up when you agree to cover them. Again, every once and a while, treating is fine. But it goes back to reciprocity. If someone rarely, if ever, extends the same courtesy, it's imbalanced. The lack of balance can really wear on your soul.

What am I saying? Don't be generous with your time and resources? Don't be thoughtful and considerate of the people you care about? Don't be warm and openhearted? Of course, I'm not saying that. Those are wonderful qualities that everyone should cultivate in increasing measure. The issue is when you give and expect too much, ask too little, and all but beg people to love you and validate your existence, that's when you have problems. That's when you're likely to get hurt and stay hurt often. That's when your self-worth begins to erode.

So, let's end by saying this. Stop it. Just stop it. Let's stop allowing unconscious behaviors and relational patterns to keep triggering the same childhood wounds. Let's stop creating personal or professional situations (that's right, creating, because we play a willing role in it) where we feel rejected, passed over, devalued, and less than. We already know from painful experience that it doesn't feel good and we deserve more. I don't know about you, but I'm done with being in my feelings everyday. I'm done with the emotional roller coaster brought on by my need for others to validate me and assure me of my worth. I'm tired of living life from a one down position. That's not who I am. I am an incredible human being, full of love and light, created to be a blessing on this planet. In a word, I'm a dime piece and I'm done giving discounts.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my word... " As awesome as I know I am, I still struggle when I feel like people do not see it. And then my vain attempts to get them to see it, I sell myself for a discount and that doesn't feel very good.".... yes ma'am, this hits home! Trying to get others to see our worth! It is a battle! But you offer a great solution. Thanks for sharing this! Glad I found your blog through the HERmovement group =D