One of the hardest things to do in your career and life in general is to keep your standards high. People out there want to prey on your insecurities, making you feel worthless so that they can take advantage of you. But if you know your worth and have a set of standards that won’t be lowered, you can overcome those that wish to bring you down.
How do you know when you’re being devalued or undermined? Often, people with start with strong praise and quickly turn angry if you don’t agree. People wishing to take advantage of you will try to make you feel incompetent or unskilled. They’re hoping your lowered self-worth will propel you to do more for less. Or worse, do something without getting anything in return. This type of behavior does not just happen in professional situations but also in personal relationships as well.
Knowing Your Worth
In a career setting, it’s crucial to do your research. How much do people with similar skills and experience get paid? If you feel you are not being fairly compensated, make a case for why you deserve a raise. If a coworker or supervisor is trying to demean you, consider creating a log of interactions that you can later present to HR. If your work environment gets bad enough, move on. Better yet, learn how to tell the signs of a bad work environment before you accept a job.
If you’re self-employed, you may be asked to do things for free or very low cost. As a blogger, I get a lot of emails from people wanting free or cheap promotions. If I don’t agree, they often try to put me or my site down (right after singing it’s praises!). I’ve worked hard on my website for ten years so it’s upsetting when people try to devalue it. But I’ve set my standards, and I don’t lower them out of fear or doubt. You may lose some “customers” but they’re probably not people you want to work with anyway.
Keeping Standards High
Keep your standards high in your work and life in general. Don’t be around people that bring you down. Always assess your feelings after interacting with people. Ask yourself if you feel good after talking with an individual, be it a friend, romantic partner or co-worker. If the answer is no, it’s time to cut that person out of your life or limit your interactions to those that are absolutely necessary.
Surrounding yourself with positive, supportive people is a key to success in all areas of life. Bullies, manipulators, and jealous people will subtly wear away your resolve and confidence. You may not notice it because it can happen over time, so it’s imperative to constantly re-evaluate the people in your life.
Need help building your confidence? Try reading You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life