Be Paid What You're Really Worth
asked more than 150 high-earning women, "Are you doing this for the money?" The
overwhelming response was a definite no. What drove them were passion,
recognition, challenge and independence. At the same time, they wanted to be
well-compensated, because they felt they were worth it.
But that's not
the case with most of us. We instinctively devalue ourselves. Those little
voices in our heads insist: "Who do you think you are? No one's going to pay you
that much." And I'm convinced self-depreciation goes right to the heart of our
You can easily learn negotiation techniques and
assertiveness skills by taking courses or reading books. But the truth is this:
If you're going to command more money, you have to truly believe you're worth
it. Without that conviction, we lack the confidence to take a strong stand and
the certitude to convince others. People always respond to our vibes far more
than our words.
Many six-figure women admitted questioning their own
value. Yet they didn't let that stop them. These women built their confidence
like weightlifters build muscles -- by continually pushing themselves to take a
stand, ask for more, demand what they're worth and say no when appropriate
despite their trepidation. Confidence-Building Tips
directly from these women will help you pump up your self-worth along with your
- Think Big, Then Think Even
Bigger: Most of us, especially women, unwittingly limit our
earnings by lowering our expectations. Even in studies where women are trained
in negotiation strategies, they set their sights lower and end up with less
money than men. The idea is to value yourself fairly compared to others in your
field or at your level.
- Do Your Research: One of the
worst negotiating mistakes people make is picking a random number and then
discovering it was way too low. The smarter ones avoid that pitfall by doing
their homework. They discover their market value by researching going rates,
then asking for more than what's offered to give themselves wiggle room.
- Quantify Your Value: You can counter the tendency to downplay yourself by
presenting tangible evidence of what you bring to the table. Maybe you saved
your company $X or had an idea that generated so many sales. Keep a file of
everything you've done. Don't wait for your review. Go in and ask for work, ask
for responsibility, ask for challenge. Let your supervisor know exactly where
your sights are set. Taking initiative is an effective means of demonstrating
your value and intentions to an organization.
- Practice Daily Affirmations:
These positive statements are expressed as if they've already happened. Two
examples: "I have the confidence to ask for what I want." "I welcome more money
in my life." Write your affirmations down. Post them where you can see them
easily. Say them out loud, as often as possible. As one affirmation enthusiast
told me, "The more often I hear the words coming out my mouth, the more I
internalize it, and the more my psyche knows it's going to happen."
- Challenge Yourself in Areas Outside Your
Job: Stretching yourself in any area of life has a ripple
effect. If you can't quite get yourself to ask for a raise, try signing up for
an art class or running a marathon. Anything that puts you out of your comfort
zone builds confidence and self-worth.
- Fake Confidence If Necessary:
Asking for top dollar takes a lot of nerve, which most of us won't feel at the
time. But that doesn't mean you can't fake it. Even six-figure women have
doubted their worth, but they appear undaunted. Acting as if you're confident is
a surefire antidote for weak knees, a pounding heart or a deflated ego. Besides,
when you act as if you're worth a lot, you'll eventually convince yourself as
well as others.
By practicing these tips, you'll begin to notice a
shift in how you feel about yourself. Making more money becomes not something
you should do, but something you have to do -- because you know in your heart
you're worth it.