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Do You Know Your Worth? And Do You Own It?

In this episode, Nicole and Marina discuss the importance of knowing your own worth both on a financial and personal level. They share their personal experiences and offer advice on how to figure out what’s important to you and own your worth. Hint: it has something to do with boundaries…

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This transcript has been gently edited for clarity.

Nicole Booz: Welcome back to The GenTwenty Podcast I’m Nicole…

Marina Crouse: And I’m Marina! Today we’re talking about knowing your own worth and how to own it.

Okay, so what does it mean to know your own worth. , it can mean different couple different things.

So professionally it means to understand your skills experience expertise and like what you bring to the table or what that looks financially.

Personally, it means you know who you are as a person a friend family member and and what you want or need out of life but the big thing is that both of these mean you also have boundaries and you know what you deserve and you don’t budge on either of these.

So this might be more of an uncomfortable topic because we are all inherently worthy and it can be hard to know that or feel that sometimes but the lines of what worthy is when it comes to money especially can become blurred so we really want to talk about this.

Because I know personally, Nicole and I’ve talked about this a lot, but I know personally for me I struggled with this concept in my twenty s especially in my early 20s and I didn’t know my own worth and so I often sold myself short and that presented itself a lot when it came to jobs and promotions.

But also dating so ah Nicole what are your thoughts on this before I drive the bus.

Nicole Booz: Yeah I think when it comes to knowing your worth, it’s really tied to your self-esteem and also like you said your boundaries and you really I think you can really tie how you feel about yourself to external sources.

And that’s a really challenging thing I think especially in your early 20 s when you’re hearing like in your career.

For example, like you kind of hear that you have to like work your way up and like you don’t deserve this yet or you have to earn it and language like that I feel it can really trickle down from the top into like your professional life into your personal life and it makes it really hard for you to stand up for yourself and unless like someone else is encouraging you to do that… it’s really difficult to like pull from within and do it yourself.

Marina Crouse: Yeah, absolutely I know especially if you have like childhood trauma or complicated upbringing or complex parents.

You might not and be getting this information from the source I know for me I I remember, it was like the third therapist I’d ever had I’d been in talk therapy for a couple of years and my therapist just said you’re inherently worthy and I said what do you mean? She said you are worthy because you exist it’s like what do you mean like I couldn’t and I remember thinking these old thought patterns that would come up when especially when I was home was like what value do I bring to my family?

How do I know they won’t leave me? That was my own complex issues I’m still working through but I didn’t know my own worth and I couldn’t advocate for myself I couldn’t ask for what I needed or communicate that I had a problem because I didn’t think I was allowed to and so not knowing that I’m saying earlier manifested in complications in my career which you know to this day I still under undersell my self and when I’m pitching my services as a freelancer and I will text Nicole and she’ll say yep, add fifty more dollars and I’m like okay thanks because I just sometimes you need the little boost. But if you don’t know your own worth, you’re gonna have some problems.

Nicole Booz: Yeah, yeah for sure and I think jumping back to like boundaries, it’s like it’s really difficult to know what you should say no to and I think one flip that I kind of realized I feel like in my early 20 s was really started to understand that most people are just generally self-interested and they don’t really care how something affects you for better or for worse like of course there are you know some people you’ll come across in your life who do care or are very empathetic.

But also in general when people are asking things of you that you know you don’t want to do. They’re taking advantage of your low self-esteem and your low self-worth and they don’t really care if they’re getting what they want.

I think for me it definitely took me a few years in my career to like understand that and I think also when it came to my career, I kind of had this realization one day that it’s like so like someone else’s worth to me isn’t going to be the same as what they’re worth to someone else in a business transaction like it I think it can vary and it’s like my worth to one person like they might be willing to pay way more than someone else would be willing to pay for the same service but it’s up to me to say yes or no to that I hope that makes sense.

Marina Crouse: Yeah, it does I Think that’s a really powerful reminder of like whether or not, you’re having trouble feeling like I think a lot of times we feel we will know something logically but we might not know it.

Emotionally there’s that separation and so if you don’t feel worthy but you think you should be setting a boundary set the boundary like you get to you get to say no I I’m not accepting this behavior this treatment this price.

We’ve talked about this in the podcast before but I’m definitely a recovering people pleaser and until I learned that I mattered and that I was allowed to say no and put myself first because I needed it for my health or my mental health, I would just say yes to everything and then be miserable and resentful and no one else was going to say no for me because they didn’t know they were just like oh she said yes, so she wants to do this.

I was just like shooting myself in the foot because I couldn’t stand up for myself or say like no and a lot of times people a lot of times. Not all the time but a lot of times people if they if you if they ask something of you and you say no they say okay like they’re just asking.

They’re not putting this meaning behind it that we might internalize so that’s on not knowing what you’re worth right? But how do you figure it out? Well one as we mentioned you are inherently worthy because you exist you’re on this planet and you are valuable and needed and that being said, you don’t have to earn anything but you might have to help retrain your brain – how you see yourself and I think one of those ways is to think about what matters to you?

What do you value? You know what qualities are important to you? What does it cost to have access to you your time your emotions your heart and how do you want to be treated?

For a long time I would say when I wish I could have this I wish people would treat me this way and then I would just like be a doormat. This was like a lot in high school and college and then I started not letting that happen and it was like oh I’m in charge I get to decide who who I let communicate with me and I don’t accept the poor treatment from guys or crappy friends like that’s so what do you think? Nicole, what are some ways people can continue to define their own worth for themselves?

Nicole Booz: Yeah I think when you a few minutes ago when you talked about the feeling of resentment I think that to me is a huge sign that you are not honoring your worth and how you feel about yourself

Because for example I think it was a year or two ago on Gen Twenty we work with brands for sponsored content sometimes but I’m very very selective about who we work with and in what capacity which is why I don’t do it that often anymore because a lot of times I really end up resenting working with the brand because they don’t let us have enough like creative control or whatever I’m not going to say who the brand was but they offered this is what they offered for a full blog post on like Instagram content ah like photos, rights to the photos perpetuity.

Basically, which you should charge a lot of money for they want I did for a $300 site credit to their site to buy the product that they wanted you to take a photo of and write about yeah and I just I know some other people who did accept this offer and I was just…

Marina Crouse: Pass.

Nicole Booz: Completely like dumbfounded these are people who I know charge ah significantly a lot more money for these types of projects and I was just like I just couldn’t believe it and I went back and forth on it myself and I was like should I do this and then I just knew that I was absolutely going to resent it.

And that’s what I told them I was like this is not acceptable and I will resent working with you and I don’t want to do this. And I think like you have to acknowledge that feeling and you almost have to like think ahead as if you like say I did take that and I got the product and I had to do all this work for it would I have felt like I was being paid fairly? Absolutely not.

I cannot dedicate hours and hour hours and hour hours of doing something to get it wouldn’t even have been up to the amount of product because it’s really hard to spend that amount of money on this particular website.

It’s just like I would have really resented it and once I said no to that that was something that I really started like honoring more within myself was acknowledging when I would resent doing something and as a result of. Like knowing that feeling I say no to a lot more things because if it’s just benefiting the other party. It’s not honoring your worth and people will always take advantage of you when given the opportunity and…

Marina Crouse: A thousand percent

Nicole Booz: Yeah I think that’s I think that’s a safe blanket statement to make because they don’t necessarily do it on purpose but the more you say yes to people and the more you have that doormat behavior people will take advantage of you and it’s really up to us to close the door and not give them that opportunity.

Marina Crouse: Yeah, this is why I always it could just be because we’re writers but I have very specific definitions for words and so like I the the definition of nice versus kind I’m a very kind person.

But when people call me nice I hate it because I’m just like yeah a nice person is a doormat or they’re nice, but they’re only nice to you because they want something from you like don’t call me nice.

Nicole Booz: Yeah. Yeah, Well nice I feel like when people say oh, she’s nice. It’s not really a compliment.. It’s really just like a a neutral turn they’re like she’s nice right now she’ll she’ll do whatever you want, you don’t have to even work that hard to get it from her. You know she’s nice.

Marina Crouse: Exactly So I’m no longer nice I’m just kind when I need when I want to be yeah, but look at her run. No one will get that joke. But I’m I’m not a runner just disclaimer.

Nicole Booz: Marina Crouse: She’s kind. She’s strong. She’s powerful look at her run.

Marina Crouse: So and so a lot of this like figuring out your worth can feel really daunting especially in your early 20s when you’re like let’s be honest, if you are heterosexual a woman trying to date a man. The patriarchy who’s ruined everything for everyone and it is hard. People are socialized differently.

Not everyone behaves well when trying to find love and so if you’re trying to figure out how you want to be treated when you’re dating set really high standards like maybe impossibly high and see how it feels to be treated that way I know and there’s that stereotype of like oh the girl’s always waiting by the phone and now I guess it’s like for texting because no one calls anymore.

But if you’re trying to figure out what you want and how it feels don’t wait by your phone like have a text conversation and then go on with your day figure out what you like figure out what matters to you?

I just had 2 cups of coffee in a row and I feel like this is very unhinged but I’m rolling with it.

So when it comes to financial compensation which is another thing I like we it was ten years ago we didn’t really talk about this as a generation which is why GenTwenty started all altogether so we could learn and talk more but when you’re trying to figure out what you deserve to be paid you got to do your research.

So hopefully as you’ve worked on this, you’re you know, figuring out what matters to you, what you value, and you’re starting to have these conversations maybe with your friends talking about not necessarily their exact salaries but their pay ranges what they would accept what they deem acceptable what you know what is your cost of living in your city and your town understanding your budget. You know what you need to make to survive and thrive and then ask for it and obviously it’s not that simple as just like, “Hey I want this much money.” But it’s a start right? You have to learn to advocate for yourself.

Nicole Booz: Yeah I think it’s really important to speak up for yourself.

Actually I was just talking to a friend the other day and her husband got kind of like a I don’t know exactly how you would describe it but within his company… he works on various like job sites. But he got it’s not ah what is it called a promotion, that’s what it’s called on his job site and that came at a pay raise but he just, his wife said he just turned around and asked the guy he was like hey do you guys have sign on bonuses? And the guy was like yeah do you want one? And he just got like several thousand dollars just for asking… and it’s like you know sometimes you don’t even necessarily have to like prove much. You just have to ask.

And I think when you a lot of people when they’re interviewing for jobs. They I think they feel just like that they don’t have a lot to stand on like they are like trying to win the company over to hire them. But really, it’s like a 2-way conversation.

You’re thinking just as much as they’re going to hire you whether you work in like a freelance position or you know typical employment, but I think that the more you negotiate and the more you ask I always ask for 40% more than I like initially think that I should ask for because then if they negotiate back like I’m probably going to land higher than what I would originally do it for anyway.

So you know I think just like putting yourself in the position to just continuously ask for things is going to benefit you immensely.

Marina Crouse: So now we realize we need to know our worth. We’ve done the research done the self work. We know our worth. How do you own it?

Nicole Booz: You do a lot of boundary practicing I think it’s really important.

Not only to it is okay, backing up a sec you always have to realize that it’s a work in progress like it’s always going to be like there are still times where I resent something I said yes to or. Resent agreeing to something, but ultimately like you need tools in your toolbox to help you through these challenging times and when you’re in these situations you have to think in my opinion how these things are going to affect you long term and if you’re going to regret saying yes Or no to a particular situation then it’s something to consider and I think it doesn’t matter if it I mean you can say things gracefully but it doesn’t matter if it hurts someone else’s feelings like the way you feel about yourself is more important than someone else’s feelings like for for you to say? No.

Like if they’re like oh I really thought she was going to say yes to driving across town to pick up my suitcase. But if you said no like she might be sad about it but like that was 2 hours of your time that you’re never going to get back and that’s like kind of an extreme ask.

Marina Crouse: I’m laughing because that’s a real life example from my life that Nicole’s using I had completely forgotten about it until right now, but it’s true. That was a recent occurrence in the last year and it’s because I have a knee-jerk people please reaction.

So there’s a great example of I’m still practicing boundaries because every person in your life whether it’s someone you’ve known for a long time or it’s a new friend or just like some stranger.

Everyone’s going to react differently to your boundaries and so if you aren’t practicing that muscle of of keeping them in place it it gets harder right? I have a quote on my wall that says it’s like on a literally on ah an index card that I like sticky taped to the wall it says, “disappointment is a part of life but you better never disappoint yourself” and for the longest time I would put myself second or last because I would be so afraid of disappointing other people that I just wouldn’t care about my own disappointment and that was me not honoring my own self-worth and so I have practiced a lot in the last year saying no to things and it’s hard I have these boundaries set in place for certain people in my life and they push back against them in such an infuriating way that you saying hello can’t you see these but they can’t because they don’t want me to have boundaries and that’s why you need boundaries for the people who don’t want to respect them because the people in your life who accept you and understand you if you’re like oh actually I don’t want to do this or I can’t they say okay, great or maybe they say okay, great I’m proud of you for telling me. But either way they say okay, great.

Nicole Booz: Yeah, and okay, great I Think that’s a perfect place to end this episode. Thank you all so much for listening and leave us a rating your review and we’ll talk to you again soon? Bye.

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