How To Increase Your Personal Value

Your personal value is the most important value you can create. Unfortunately, 7 out of 10 people in the US underestimate their personal value. It's easy to do - without even knowing it. It shows up in invisible ways - in risks not taken, jobs not applied for, opportunities not identified, relationships that never occur.

It shows up in negative self talk - like "I could never do that!" or "I'm just a ------." There are so many messages given since childhood : "don't bite off more than you can chew, " be careful," " don't stick your neck out," " only speak when you're spoken to," " know your place," "don't work too hard." "the more you do the more will be expected of you," what makes you think you're so special?" "don't be stupid." After years of being bombarded by those limiting messages, it's not hard to understand why so many of us undervalue our abilities and our worthiness. One of the other effects of all those messages can be to let others create our value.

If the highest order of our personal goals is to please and satisfy others - to respond to those messages - we can never place the real value we should on ourselves. Having a limited view of our personal value can be a good thing - if it makes us strive harder to achieve. And for many it does - many of the top leaders and most successful people use their feelings of "not quite good enough" as a way to motivate themselves to show just what they can do.

Unfortunately, for many, this same feeling of "not quite good enough" results in not taking risks, not reaching out for opportunities. The result is that personal value stagnates - and being "not quite good enough" becomes a way of life - a firmly embedded belief. So how can we increase our personal value - in our work, our family, our relationships? Here are methods, tools and beliefs we all can use to better understand and increase our personal value: Start with this exercise: Write down all the successes and challenges you have met and overcome.

If you're not used to thinking in terms of your own successes, or if your beliefs have been shaped to where you question your own worthiness or ability this may take some time. Write down as much as you can, and keep coming back to it. This is strictly a personal exercise, and is not the place for humility. Begin to notice what happens when you write down positive successes in your life. A lot of today's challenges and opportunities start to look a lot more doable when compared with what you have already accomplished - and there are so many more accomplishments and successes than you realized! Your energy picks up as you begin to realize just how much value you have created.

Create goals for the important things. It's amazing just how many really important accomplishments and successes are never really identified because people didn't take the time to define define them - in writing. Make goal setting a habit.

Start a Success Journal. Force yourself to write down all the things that went right - that you accomplished on a daily basis. Become positively accountable to yourself.

Writing down what you did well becomes something you look forward to doing every day. And the more you do it - the more you want to do it. Replace perfect with good. Nothing limits a sense of personal value more than having the belief that only perfect is good enough. That belief creates an impossible barrier to accomplishment. Nothing's perfect - striving to do better is what motivates.

Be realistic, but stretch that realism to set the course for accomplishment. Tell yourself "This is a stretch, but it's what I want to do, and I'm going to go for it!" The only way to add value is to reach beyond where we are right now - and that requires a level of risk. Risk and increasing value go together. Realize the most common assumption people make that keeps them from realizing their true value is the assumption that many other people share the same skills, abilities, experiences, beliefs, attitudes and personal skills that they do.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Creating our own value requires the belief that we are truly unique - we are, you know. Realize that we all feel fear, we all get nervous, we all are insecure in our ability to overcome problems and create solutions.

A saying I read years ago said " Be kind to your fellow man - we all have our private hells to deal with." Knowing that even the most self assured, attractive, apparently successful people share fear as an emotion, and have their own baggage of doubts, can help us overcome our own. Many of us tend to undervalue our accomplishments and experience and put ourselves in small niches. Realize how valuable and broad your accomplishments really are! Good examples are men and women coming out of the military - great experience - but many see themselves as much more limited than they really are. Realize that behaviors, attitudes and personal skills are transferable - and represent the greatest opportunities for success in any job. Take an inventory of all the value added actions that exist around what you do.

Example - A young manager volunteered to take on a one time project for his employer. He was named Project Manager - in addition to everything else he had to do. He discovered project management skills - that he had in abundance - were scarce. He always assumed that others had what he had - a bad assumption. He ended up taking his skills and putting them to work in a business where project management was a core competency.

He prospered. Realize that fears and doubts and negative issues will not go away - they reappear every day. They are one of the engines of accomplishment. Facing them and dealing with them - and in many cases succeeding - and in others failing, but continuing to persist, adds value. Start today on your journey of discovery of your personal value. Start with the exercise of writing down all the things you have accomplished, succeeded in and overcome in your life.

Be prepared to be amazed at yourself.

Andy Cox helps clients align their resources and design and implement change through the application of goals focused on the important few elements that have maximum impact in achieving success - as defined by the client. He can be reached at and E Mail at


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