In coaching, we go through a process of re-evaluating our life, cleaning out old beliefs, throwing away disempowering ones and polishing the beautiful, empowering ones.
Once, I had a session with one of my clients, in which we discussed how much she should charge for her services. I think we all wonder about that when we interview for a new job, or when we meet a new client. How much will I be paid? How much am I worth?
My answer for this is always the same: You are worth whatever you think you are worth.
Because I’m worth it
With most of our clients, we talk about money. Most of us (90%, to be exact) read too many fairy tales during childhood and grow up believing that being good and wanting money cannot go hand in hand. Do you remember those tales, saying that sharing your last piece of bread with animals and being poor and kind-hearted brings you the treasure?
I learned a powerful lesson about self worth 21 years ago. I was studying Special Education and was lucky to have some very inspiring mentors. One of them was a psychology teacher.
Our first meeting with her was most challenging. She scared us half to death. During roll call, she skipped names. After calling someone’s name, she would tell them, “That’s not a good name for you. In my class, I’m going to call you a different name.”
By the second lesson, the number of students had dropped from 80 to 25. She came in, looked at us and said, “This is great. I see it worked. Now we can learn something.” She was so strange, yet so inspiring. I was so excited to have her as my teacher. I learned a lot from her.
In one of her courses, called “case studies,” she gave us 60 case studies and we analysed them for 6 months. She was so unique in her testing techniques, that for an exam she asked us all to choose one case study, learn it well and come to her house to discuss it with her.
Well, I was a very good student and she had already given me an “A+” in two of her other courses, so I did my homework and went over to her house. She asked me some questions and after 15 minutes, she asked, “Ronit, what do you think I should give you?”
I looked at her surprised just for a second. Because she was so unique, every meeting with her was a growing experience for me, I knew I was going to learn something from this. I smiled and said, “A+.” She smiled back and said “You’ve got an ‘A+’.”
Then, I left her house and joined a group of students who were standing outside, revising their notes before their exam. One of them approached me and asked me if I did not mind giving her my notes. She had not really chosen a case study and since mine was good, she wanted to use it too.
I showed her the main things we talked about and she went in. 15 minutes later, she came out looking sad.
I was surprised at her expression so I asked, “What did you get?”
“C,” she answered.
I asked her about each of the points in the case, to check if she had covered them well and she had. I could not understand. She had all the notes. She could have used them.
“She said, ‘Very good. Good point. I am happy you brought up this problem.'” my friend replied.”What did the teacher say while you were talking?” I asked.
“Are you sure you covered the whole case study?” I asked, trying to understand.
“Yes, I did. I talked about the same things you talked about,” she answered in disappointment.
I looked at the whole thing, puzzled. Why would she do that? What was the difference? I went over my own exam in my head and than it flashed.
“Did she ask you what you thought she should give you?” I asked and she said, “Yes, she did!” I took a deep breath. I knew what I was supposed to learn from this. “And what did you say?” I asked. I wasn’t surprised when she said “C.”
Since then, I always ask my students at the end of every course what mark they think they got. In the last 21 years, with hundreds of students around the world, I never failed to match my marks with the student’s self-evaluation. Try it, you will be amazed!
In life coaching and education we teach that each of us knows our own worth. No one can determine your worth but you. So if you think that others do not value you, your input or your beliefs, remember that this is because you do not value yourself in the first place.
In all the tests life puts you through – when you get a new job, when you face a difficulty, when you charge someone for your service – remember Ronit’s weird psychology teacher asking, “What do you think I should give you?” Then, turn to the only person who can tell you how much you are worth – you!
Because YOU’RE worth it!