When we’re focused on how we appear to others, we can end up doing things that we don’t actually enjoy.
We become so focused on perception that we don’t even consider the importance of prioritising ourselves. It’s worth acknowledging that sometimes we have a need to feel accepted. When your self esteem is low it’s easy to fall into thinking that just being you isn’t enough.
However, the problem is that the feeling of fitting in and being accepted will only ever be temporary when you aren’t truly being yourself.
I recently placed an online order from a beauty retailer and one from a fashion retailer. Both orders were delayed and the companies handled things totally differently.
One company handled it by providing regular email updates on the status of my order, to apologise for their delay and assure me that I’d receive my parcel as soon as possible.
The other company did nothing, in fact I had to contact them to try and find out what the issue was.
Something as simple as an email was enough for me to feel like a company cared. It wasn’t personal but the choice to send an update gave the message that they value their customers enough to let them know what is going on.
I think sometimes we underestimate the impact that something simple can have. But you don’t always have to solve the problem, sometimes just acknowledging that there is one is more than enough.
Sometimes in an effort to be inclusive, the original message gets lost in translation.
Maybe the goal is to help a specific group of people but then over time that specific group becomes less and less specific until it now includes everyone. This makes things difficult because all these groups have different wants and needs that are impossible for you to meet all at once.
And so in trying to meet everyones needs you don’t end up meeting anyones.
You can’t be for everyone which might be difficult to accept but that’s okay, you can be for a select group instead. It’s better to help 10 people than to try and help 100 when you don’t have the time, money or resources because you may end up leaving them worse off than if you’d done nothing at all.
When you go to work, you want to feel like you’re of value. Perhaps not to the point where the whole place would fall apart without you but at least like what you contribute each day matters.
When a person wakes up, gets ready and goes to work, if they feel like they don’t need to be there or as though everything would seamlessly continue if they walked out, the person won’t take much care in the work they do.
And deep down or perhaps just beneath the surface we all know that often the care comes before the feeling of significance. It tends to start with taking pride in what you do and then the feeling of value or making a worthy contribution comes after.
But what if you’re doing your best and that feeling still never comes?
I think a big part of feeling of value in your job can come from external validation. This isn’t about knowing that you’re working hard and doing a great job but your manager or boss is undervaluing you. This is about how you feel about yourself and the role you play.
I think when a person doesn’t feel like they make a valuable contribution at work, they also start to feel a loss of interest in their work. When it seems like what you do doesn’t matter, what’s the point in caring?
If you don’t see the value in what you do and you’re not interested in it anymore then chances are you’re not happy either. And so the next step is to think about whether or not it’s time to move on to something new or to find a way to make things work.