Let me set the scene:
You’ve just finished 3 hours worth of concentrated work for a demanding client.
You know this client to be notorious for wanting more work done for less, and they often try to make you believe that you are worth less than your rates.
You’ve sent the finished product off and now you notice your eyes are tired, your stomach is growling for food and your neck is starting to ache.
You really need a break.
But before you can walk to the kitchen and prepare a meal ‘PLING’. Your phone goes off and they want something redone.
What do you do?
You want to impress your client and you know you can produce high quality work, but you really need to give yourself time to rest.
If you can relate to the above, check out this lyric from rap group Bliss n Eso:
And if they get your soul, Man that's something that you'll never get back, 'cause in a world that profits off your self-doubt, To love yourself is a rebellious act.
If you haven’t already guessed it, yes, the above is a true story.
I have found myself in this position multiple times before and although it was insulting and irritating at the time, the experience taught me some valuable lessons in practicing self love.
Lesson 1: Don’t accept opportunities out of a fear that they will never come again.
Lesson 2: If someone is choosing you, it means that you are doing something right. Opportunities are an indication that you are on the right path. You do not need to say yes to every opportunity that comes your way - especially if that opportunity isn’t respecting your time and worth.
Lesson 3: Strong people lift others up. Weak people, keep them down.
Lesson 4: When we neglect our needs for the sake of what others think of us, then we are being disrespectful to ourselves, and our work.
It takes self confidence to know what you’re worth. And it takes guts to stand up and ask for it. We are in the pilot’s seat of our own life and if we don’t value ourselves and what we do, how can we expect anyone else to?
Our biggest superpower is believing in ourselves. When it comes to completing work, our time is finite and precious. Because of that, time spent engaging in anything that is not in line with our priority can become a source of distraction and depression. Throw a demanding client in the mix who does not pay you fairly, and you’re in big trouble!
Loving yourself is a rebellious act, because those who are trying to undercut you will be unhappy when you reject their offer. To these kinds of clients, you might come across as ‘ungrateful’, but we owe it to ourselves to exercise true self love and compassion.
As Paulo Coelho once said, “When you say ‘yes’ to others, make sure you are not saying ‘no’ to yourself.”
Written by Angus Brennan, ABVO Director