You may have initially thought I was talking about how to get what you’re worth out of the company you work for. While getting what you’re worth has a lot to do with what you’re earning, we often don’t get what we are worth as individuals in other aspects of our life. There are many people out there and you may be one, that don’t demand for themselves what they are due, in the way of respect and support. When we are trying to work on ourselves to become a “better version” of ourselves it’s important for us to demand better from those who we deal with. We shouldn’t walk around arrogantly making people bend to our will, but we should have enough self respect to want to be treated in a certain way.
My Own Personal Example
A few weeks back I was at a gas station that had a convenience store, so I popped into the convenience store to get some water. While I was at the cooler I noticed there were two Massachusetts State Troopers there buying something for themselves. The clerk behind the cash register said hi to them, and served them in a nice respectful manner. When I got up to the counter to check out my items, the first thing the cashier said to me was “what’s up homie”? Well, you would think that me being a black man would have perhaps felt offended by this obviously horrible attempt at relating to me. In my mind, however, my first thought didn’t go towards race, but the fact that I don’t speak like that. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with the word “homie” being thrown out there, but I felt like this man who didn’t even know me at all was trying to connect with me by classifying me. My response to him was very simple, “I don’t speak like that, how much is the water”. He didn’t know what to say, his demeanor changed a bit and he told me how much I owed him. My point in having this kind of interaction with this man was not to embarrass him, but having just observed how he treated the police before me and having a measure of self respect, I know the difference when some one is trying to condescend me when i’m dealing with them. I just demanded the respect by my reply without making a big deal of it. The clerk, although, a foreigner to this country, immediately could feel the impact of my response.
What’s the point?
When we allow ourselves to “get what we are worth”, it changes how we deal with others, but more importantly, it changes how others deal with us. I always tell my kids when I drop them off at school in the morning, you’re going to have a good day, make it a good day and don’t let anyone change that. They love it and as a result those are the days they seem to do the best. It takes practice to demand what you’re worth. It takes even more mental fortitude to speak up and say something, but I truly believe that we all have the power and ability in ourselves to push momentary fear to the side and speak up for ourselves.
How can you do it?
There are four steps to me of how you can demand what you’re worth:
- Wake up in the morning and tell yourself this is going to be a good day
- “Golden Rule Applies” – Give others the same respect that you demand for yourself
- Never lose yourself in negative comments or conversations that could bring down your mood
- Spend time around people who are positive and contribute to your personal value and worth
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