Imagine clothing racks where all of the items are stuffed on hangers and shoved onto the racks in no particular order. Crumpled shiny shirts like the ones John Travolta wore in Saturday Night Fever, co-mingling with pairs of brightly colored spandex leggings circa 1980. In between the disarray of out-of-date, out-of-style garments a lone little black dress, pristine in appearance, hangs in waiting, hoping to be seen in and amongst the mismatched, discounted goods.
Have you ever felt like that lone, pristine little black dress, overlooked and undervalued? Not being seen or heard amongst the crowd?
I know I have, many times.
Here’s some harsh truth…
You, my friend, are that dress any time you show up as “less than,” small or insignificant. It is your actions and the way you treat yourself that places you on that cramped rack in the bargain basement.
I didn’t understand this concept until one day the following quote landed on my desk:
“If you feel like others are not treating you with love and respect, check your price tag. Perhaps you subconsciously marked yourself down. Because it is YOU who tells others what you’re worth by showing them what you are willing to accept for your time and attention. So get off the clearance rack. If you don’t value and respect yourself, wholeheartedly, no one else will either.” – Unknown
And then it made sense as to why I was attracting all the wrong people into my life and why I felt under valued and unseen. The reality is, you and I teach people to treat us as bargain basement items any time we…
• make self-deprecating comments in an attempt to be funny.
• exhibit people-pleasing behavior, for example, saying “yes” when we really want to say “no.”
• make someone else a priority (i.e., you change your plans for them, but they don’t return the favor).
• do things that don’t fit who we are in order to be liked.
• act like someone we aren’t in order to fit in.
• de-value ourselves in business by giving away our services.
So, here’s my question to you: how ready are you to get off the bargain basement clearance rack? Because here’s the reality… you can. You have the capability to say good-bye to the mismatched, discounted goods on that cluttered rack.
Tips for getting off the clearance rack and out of the bargain basement:
1. Practice the art of self-care. Not just once, but regularly. Every day if you can. Even if you just take 10 minutes of quiet time for yourself. Doing something nice for you tells your psyche that you are worth the effort and that impacts how you show up.
2. Pay attention to negative self-talk. Your brain doesn’t know fact from fiction, the truth from a lie. It relies on you to tell it what’s so. Anytime you say something negative about yourself, your brain is “nodding” in agreement and will do its best to provide you with proof to back up your statements.
3. Drop the Wonder Woman routine and ask for help. Some of the strongest, most courageous people I know are the ones who aren’t afraid to ask for help.
4. Remember that “no” is a complete sentence. Instead of saying “yes” when you really don’t feel it, say “no.” You’re not only doing yourself a favor, you’re doing the other person a favor too.
5. Make yourself a priority. Doing so is not selfish. If anything, it’s selfless, because you can’t give from an empty tank. Say “yes” to yourself more.
6. Don’t give away the farm to get business. If you’re in business for yourself, remember that your services are not just comprised of what you do, but they include your heart, your time, your intellectual property, as well as your energy. Those are huge value adds. People who really want to work with you will pay for what you do… it’s called an equal exchange of energy.
7. Follow your heart. Because it will never steer you wrong.
8. Be unapologetically you. Who you are is amazing and you don’t ever have to be someone you’re not in order to be loved, seen, heard, liked, or respected. Anyone who’s meant to be in your world will see your value and love you just as you are.
Remember, the things you have and what you do for others is not a measurement of your value. Your value is measured by how you feel about yourself. Here’s to staying out of the bargain basement, because you don’t belong there!