How many times have we heard or read that you should seek to “bring value?” You only need peruse corporate websites like Deloitte, McKinsey, or many others to find the phrase littering the place. And heaven forbid you attend one of their meetings or conferences on leadership or self-growth.
Now, it’s not that “bringing value” and self-growth are mutually exclusive. But this vague, nearly meaningless phrase is so overused, you have to wonder why more people shooting for real breakthroughs haven’t questioned it more. Or how it’s become such a default response to progress or potential.
And what if it’s really a totally backward way of looking at your self-growth situation, whether you’re a business owner, fledgling executive, or new professional?
The Psychology of “Bringing Value”
Think about it: it can’t be coincidence that people obsessed with “bringing value” also have to spend so much time reminding others to bring it. Or that it’s being brought at all.
Does this sound like people confident in their self-worth and self-growth?
Hardly. The most telling aspect is how much it’s used to police the behavior and emotions of other people. Classic projection and groupthink.
The implication is also rather clear… your worth only comes from what you can do for others. And more so, how compliant you are to the group as you do so. What’s missing from this picture is any seriousness about your self-growth or the benefits for you in any of it, as a professional or even personally.
How likely is it that environments like this will provide you with tangible self-growth?
Attaining Self-growth by Focusing on Your Personal Worth
Instead, let’s shift to something more tangible and meaningful. And that’s simple ways to focus on your self-growth through your own, existing confidence. For example, how can you better recognize your existing value? What are some important ways to attain progress for yourself?
6 Ways to Recognize Your Own Value
- Only gravitate toward people who are investing in your journey
In today’s world, there’s no lack of people who pretend to be allies, especially for networking purposes, but who never intend to ever being invested in anyone but themselves. When you look at your network, you should naturally gravitate toward the people best for your self-growth. If someone knows nothing about you, your life, your family, your career, or your business… are they really worth knowing?
Outcome: you recognize the value your journey holds within your network.
- Create your own standard for who gets to hang out with you
Once you’ve identified who is, at minimum, willing to provide value to your life, it’s time to create a benchmark. Your time is limited, and so, it’s also valuable to you. Where you spend it and who you spend it with should be a top concern when it comes to your self-growth. To get clear about what that looks like, formulate specific criteria you’d like people to meet.
Outcome: you develop respect for your schedule and not wasting your time.
- Meet more people and take note of who they are
On the same token, even if you’re an introvert, you should be taking time to regularly meet and converse with as many people as possibly each month. This helps you to find more competition and more opportunities to test your views and skills. This is one of the best ways to self-growth as you’re challenged to hone in on learning more about others and so, yourself.
Outcome: you’ll build your ability to meet the world where it really is and thrive.
- Find a way to be the hero (or the villain) in your story
When you seize your story, you’re not just recognizing that you have one. You’re also becoming the central mover in your world, giving you the power to shape it to your goals. Anyone can be a cubicle rat, running the daily maze. Or another boring manager or executive with nothing of substance to say. But a hero (or villain) embarks on a journey of self-growth that generates true value through far-reaching decisions.
Outcome: You’ll see the size of your impact in your own life and how meaningful it can be.
- Realize no one else knows what they’re doing either
There comes a point when you realize… no one knows what’s going on. All these people “bringing value” … it’s so bad, that at all levels, you can find people who are mostly full of shit, have almost zero confidence, and are completely open to suggestion. (Talk about a villain’s paradise). But this also means that you don’t have to always know what you’re doing either to push yourself toward more growth. Or jump into a decision or a new goal.
Outcome: You’ll put into perspective your value in relation to everyone else’s.
Rather than seeking to “bring value” to a group while you and they ignore your true talents, tap into your own confidence to propel your self-growth to unquestionable worth.