Thanks-giving is a great time to feel grateful to all those who take us for granted. That's because they show us what we don't value within ourselves and give us an opportunity to correct it.
You showed up every day.
You delivered more than 100%
You resurrected many project failures.
You helped people during crisis.
At the end you are exhausted.
Yet no one seems to see your value when they need to.
You are bypassed for promotions, celebrations, recognitions & appreciation.
You retire hurt.
You ruminate - why me?
From your perspective, you have done all you could.
You might wonder - what is happening?
People come to a coach often because they feel stuck. They know something has to change, but they don't know what & how.
The 'space' of being under-valued is a very dark one. It robs a person of their own resources. It appears as if they are in a quick sand and they can't even move because if they move they will sink further.
A coach's role then, is to offer a rope to get out of the feeling of being "stuck". The other name for the rope is 'Awareness'.
When you look at our planet Earth from outer space, you see land & you see water. You don't see any boundaries between countries. You see just see it as a whole.
When we land on Earth, however, to go from one land mass to another - you need a passport - that tells others who you are, where you belong, what are your rights etc. When someone does not have a passport - outside his/her own country they don't exist.
Similarly, as you grow in you career, you need to create this passport- not essentially a document - but what describes who you are as a person, what do you need from others, what do you value, what are your strengths, what areas can others help you, what can you do to help others, your non-negotiable values, your boundaries etc.
In day to day work, sometimes all of the above information is evident, sometimes its not.
If you think you deserve a promotion, does your boss know it? Do they know what you have done to deserve it?
Do stakeholders who have a say in your promotion, know you and what you bring to the table?
Pls know that it's not their job to promote you - its yours.
So if you feel you are being taken for granted & if you have already taken care of capability building, explore if some of the below work for you!
1. Know your boundaries & first learn to respect them yourself: Know what is ok and what is not ok within you. Know what you value. Know what can hurt you or cause frustration. Be willing to draw thick boundaries to protect yourself. Its ok to be defensive sometimes. Say No to asks that you feel are unreasonable or does not fit into your value system. When you have said 'No' stick to it.
Others learn how to treat you based on how you treat yourself. Demonstrate that you value yourself!
2. Put yourself out there: Be willing to talk about your aspirations and put yourself up for the opportunity. If you need the promotion, be willing to start the conversation, years ahead. If you need an particular kind of work - talk about it, show your passion to get there.
3. Elevate people: This may appear counter-intuitive. However elevating other people through mentoring & coaching can be a huge factor to be respected & valued. When I feel inspired by you, I don't take you for granted!
4. Stand up for a cause: The world needs multiple things. Among them, there will be a few things that matter to you. Stand up for those, lend your supporting voice, realise that every voice matters. When you do, you will develop self confidence in yourself - that you can make a difference to one star fish! That confidence will seep through to all aspects of your life!
5. Be comfortable with being visible: People like me who are brought up in cultures where humility is valued, often cringe at the thought of becoming visible. I had a belief that being visible means sharing how great I was and that was not a pleasant feeling for me. This belief is very far from the truth. It took me years to realise that visibility is about showing a beacon to you, your knowledge & skills so that people who need you may find you. There is nothing wrong with it.
5. Build Plan B: To be fearless you need to know you are resilient. You need to know you have an alternate when something doesn't work out. Have a Plan B if things don't work for you! Note that Plan B is not a way to say 'these grapes are sour'. Its your dignified exit strategy! It can be muddy - but it is there!
With a grateful heart, what are you going to start today to feel more valued?
PS: To all readers who have made my blogging journey a meaningful pursuit, my heartfelt gratitude!