When I was a child, I remember my mother chiding me, saying, “If you don’t love yourself, how can you expect others to love you?”
At the time, I thought there was something wrong with me, because I didn’t know how to love myself. I figured I was doomed to a life without love, since I couldn’t say that I loved myself.
I can now say that I love myself.
What changed? First I had to come to truly KNOW my Self – with all of her faults and beauty. Only then could I embrace her and tell her “I love you.” It’s been a long journey with many twists and turns, but I can now honestly say I love myself.
I often hear clients who are struggling with how much to charge for their services or artwork, and I am reminded of what my mother used to say. How can we expect others to value what we have to offer if we do not value ourselves?
We’re taught that putting ourselves first is “selfish”. But how can we truly be of service to others if we do not care for ourselves? It’s that old airplane adage: “Put your oxygen mask on FIRST before you help someone else with theirs.” Only by caring for, loving and VALUING ourselves can we truly show up in the world in an authentic and meaningful way.
So, the next time you’re struggling with how much to charge for your work, go ahead and figure out your hourly rate and the cost of your materials, but remember to do so with YOU at the center, as the most valuable asset you have to offer your clients, customers and the world. There’s only one YOU. You’re the only one who can do what YOU do!
How do you value yourself? Where does it show up for you? Here are some ideas:
- Take time to do what you love to do. (Even “doing nothing” is OK!) This is a way of loving yourself.
- Go for a walk. Take a nice hot bath. Take yourself out to lunch or a movie.
- Create a space for YOU in your home. It could be a shelf where you put your favorite pictures and knickknacks. It could be a whole room devoted to YOU and what you love.
- Collect thank-you notes and compliments. Put them in a scrapbook and look it over when you’re feeling down (or up for that matter!) Celebrate your successes. Remembering that others value you can help you when you’re struggling to value yourself.
When you value yourself, you (and your work) will be valued tenfold!