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  • Writer's pictureShandy Welch

Do You Feel Worthy? I Hope You Do.




I feel haunted, frustrated, and challenged by the pervasive lack of self-worth so many people feel. Talented, accomplished, and revered individuals at the height of their careers often share a deep-seated secret: 


They believe they are not worthy.


Not worthy of advocating for themselves, not worthy of the success they have found, and not worthy of sharing their abundant gifts with the world. This shows up in the jobs they take, the salaries they accept, and the words they use to describe themselves (e.g., “I am just a…”). If you think little of yourself, then so will others.


This is not a gender issue. After all, I have seen it in both men and women. Additionally, it is not a title thing, because I have seen it in CEOs, directors, and managers alike. Simply put, it’s a human condition. The feeling of self-worth diminishes with age as we choose to believe the onlookers and deny our own voice. We come to believe that self-regard is synonymous with selfishness and self-advocacy, and that it equates to entitlement and egotism. Thus, we sit back and simultaneously find ourselves resentful and defeated, believing the voice that rules our quiet stories.


This article from Emory University defines self-advocacy as “the ability to identify your needs, communicate them clearly, and help others understand how they can support you.”


It is not boastful when you proudly celebrate your successes, and feel a sense of accomplishment for the hard work that you have completed. We need to create a culture where both our failures and wins are normalized and openly discussed with support and curiosity.


I invite you to name your challenge and the barrier that is stopping you from stepping into your full potential. Is it fear of rejection? A concern for others’ perceptions? Imposter syndrome?


Do you believe you are worthy of more? Take a moment and ask yourself that very question… Do you? What are you prepared to risk to go after it?  


If you want something different, you have to do something different.

Sometimes this requires a shift in mindset, a difficult conversation, or affirmations from others. What I can tell you is that nothing will change unless you put the idea into action.  If they can get your expertise without paying for it, they certainly will, and they won’t surprise you with a bonus. If you want them to believe in you, you need to believe in yourself. Your initiative, or lack thereof, is an invitation for judgment.


How is self-worth related to leadership?


If you don’t advocate for yourself, how will I, or anyone, know that you will advocate for your team?


Your self-leadership is an indication as to how you will lead others. Show them you are worthy, show them you are prepared to fight for what you, and they, deserve. It is this type of leadership that will empower and inspire others to follow.


If you believe you can’t you are right, however, if you believe you can… you are also right!

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