Self-esteem is a word that is thrown around a lot. We should be more confident in ourselves. Why don’t we want more for ourselves? Do we believe that we deserve it? Ultimately, it is costly
Self-esteem is a word that is thrown around a lot. We should be more confident in ourselves. Why don’t we want more for ourselves? Do we believe that we deserve it? Ultimately, it is costly to put ourselves down.
It’s much harder than that, isn’t it? Those of us who have self-esteem issues know it’s near impossible to silence that voice we hear. You know, the one that says, “You don’t deserve it. It was a pity invite. Your boss hates you. Your coworkers think you are a loser.”
How many of us hear those comments every day?
Imagine if we could reprogram our brains, and tell ourselves a different story. Well, good news! We can. It takes a lot of effort and time, but it can be done.
Why is it worth your time and efforts? It makes us calmer, and more rational. We appreciate things, and aren’t always waiting for the other shoe to fall. People do not treat us in a way that confirms negative thinking. The list goes on and on.
So, my research about self-esteem has confirmed one more factor. Self-esteem affects your net worth.
Take this for example:
My boss hates me. I’m miserable because I’m not appreciated, and my coworkers talk about me behind my back.
Whoa. That’s loaded! Firstly, your boss likely doesn’t hate you. If he did, you would have tangible evidence. What evidence do you truly have? Is it all emotionally-based evidence, or is it fact? If your boss hated you, likely you would not be working there.
If you feel unappreciated, that could be true. Then, ask yourself – how do others show appreciation? Do they demonstrate it outwardly, or is it a quiet appreciation? Further, how do YOU show appreciation? Sometimes all it takes is to tell someone they are appreciated, or thank them for their efforts, and you’d be surprised at the results.
If you feel like people are talking behind your back… do you give them reason to? If your first thought is no, just take a quick check on your behaviours. Do you meet the criteria to do your job, or are you always slacking and leaving it to others? (I doubt that, if you are reading this. I bet you have had a history of needing perfection, otherwise you wouldn’t be interested in how this affects you!) Maybe they aren’t talking about you.
This particular example has taken me a long time to understand. People speaking in hushed tones are not necessarily speaking poorly about another individual. Mind you, gossipers will be gossipers, but it’s a very small chance that it’s in regard to you. Usually, hushed tones mean they are talking about plans for the weekend, a family member who might be sick, or any other subject that they don’t necessarily want everyone to hear, especially the boss!
If you consider these responses in your daily work, you will find you will have a happier, more productive day. Practice telling yourself – you are not the subject of conversation. If your boss is having a low conversation with someone else, chances are that if it’s about you, he’s going to tell you. You will find out. In the meantime, don’t stress. If your coworkers are talking behind your back? So what.
Maybe you let things spiral out of control. You risk alienating coworkers and your boss. Confident people who try their best at their job are rarely the ones that lose their job, so don’t give your employer that incentive! Also, who would you recommend for a raise – the pink collared worker who has left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth, or the one that gives a noticeable effort, and lets the gossip slide off their back?
Even something as small as a raise could affect your net worth years down the road.
Perception is everything. If we view ourselves as unworthy or not valuable, that affects other aspects of our lives. In reverse, it seems that if you have a high net worth, you also have a high self-worth. This is not to say that money equals happiness. What it does say is that we value ourselves, and above-average savers have a healthy self-worth perception.
Changing our perception
Instead of living our lives reactively, we should be proactive. How many times do we say that we need to treat ourselves, or that we worked hard for the next wanted item? Too many. We need to look past that, and realize that we are more valuable, worth more than that new hottest token.
Do you ever notice the calm you feel when you have an emergency fund? You know that life can and will throw curveballs at you, and you are prepared.
Saving money is much like that as well. We feel a sense of control and security when our financial affairs are in good order. This is similar to how we feel when our self-esteem and self-worth are at appropriate levels. We feel good. We feel like we can take on the curveballs, and we are notorious for coming up with some really creative ways to express ourselves.
Self-worth at Work
Here are a few lessons I’ve learned along the way of being a pink-collar worker:
Satisfaction in the Workplace
*We do not go to work to find our satisfaction in life. It is not up to our employment or employer to make us feel self-worth. We are responsible for reaching out and doing that for ourselves.
You are at work for 1/3 of your day, five days a week. After commuting, it would be fair to say we have about 120 hours left in our week. Take away an optimal 8 hours for sleep, and we are at 64 hours remaining. You have 64 hours left to be with family, learn a new skill, improve your financial situation, build a side hustle, volunteer, be outside and nearly anything else you wish to do.
TLDR: Your satisfaction needs to come from YOU, not your work. Find out what makes you feel alive, and indulge. Try different things. You’ll be surprised what excites you.
For me, I have discovered that I love painting ceramics, using planners and planning out my week, spending time in the personal finance community and blogging, and spending time with my dogs. Sometimes it’s hard to refocus ourselves, but finding something that sparks your passion will keep you focused and grounded.
Taking a Step Back
*You should not invest all of your trust or faith in coworkers, as inevitably, it will bite you. If you are like me, and want to see the best in people, you tend to justify questionable actions. However, the sad, honest truth is that people are not as good as we would like to believe. Your coworker is inclined to deflect issues your way, as their concern is for themselves. While it is not the way I would want to live, can you truly blame them?
Coworkers can make the best of friends, but make sure you take the time to get to know them. Don’t rush the relationship. There are many wolves in sheep’s clothing, as the saying goes. Do not allow yourself to take the fall because they pulled the wool over your eyes.
By taking a step back and not trying to be besties with everyone at work, you can save yourself a lot of heartache. What if you were laid off? If your bestie was? What if they threw you under the bus? What if there was a misunderstanding? How will that affect the workplace dynamics? Do not be that person.
Oh, how many times did I wish I had listened to this advice? I am a very straight-shooting individual, and games are simply too much effort to play. It never occurred to me that people could be so fake and play games on you until I hit my thirties. I lost out on job opportunities and positive financial growth because I did not learn this one!
I remember one coworker I worked with… she was really nice to my face, and said very nice things. She befriended another coworker who had worked in the same office as I had previously. The other coworker was a toxic individual who would convince you the sky was green, and unfortunately I learned that people can change in the course of one vacation day. What a surprise I came back to! This is just another reminder to not leave the door too far open – you might invite someone into your house without realizing it.
What’s Behind Door Number Two?
*Be mysterious. Let your coworkers form their own impressions and ask you questions. Do not be the open book that constantly is verbalizing their memoirs to everyone they meet. The give-and-take needs to come naturally.
Okay, how many times have you convinced yourself that you’ve hit it off with someone, and spilled your life story? Next thing, they’ve shared it with the rest of the office, and you are eating lunch alone.
Yup. That’s happened.
*Be authentic, and true to yourself. Smile, and be the sunshine in the room. Everyone has a bad day – make it your mission to be upbeat and positive. Do not play games, or tell gossip. Just be your best self, and look forward to the 64 hours that you can spend in any way you wish.
I knew my days at my job were numbered when my boss asked me to leave my morals at the door. Sorry, they are not removable, and I need to be able to sleep at night. It was mere weeks when I quit, and thankfully, it propelled me to go back to school to find a better fit. Being authentic was important to me, and providing a service to people where integrity is an asset, not a fault, is what I needed to do.
Be Your Best Pink-Collar Self To Build Your Net Worth
I really hope this article reminds you how to be your best self, and to look beyond the 8-hour shifts to find your self-esteem, confidence and ultimately, enjoy the fruits of your labour by growing your net worth. As pink-collar workers together, we can find our path to financial independence, one step at a time.