We live in a world where people are quick to judge others and value them based on perception, rather than reality. A world where people believe that there is more value in on how you package yourself than there is in the “real” you. This leads people to think that it’s better to sell perception versus reality. It also reinforces the fact that people don’t value themselves as much as they should, regardless of their professional status, credentials, or accomplishments.
Look at social media, which perhaps more than any other tool enables people to reach and influence others with the power of perception over reality. Someone might have 5000 Facebook friends, 10,000 Twitter followers and 1,000 LinkedIn connections – but this doesn’t define their value or real influence. It only means that they are actively seeking to build an online identity.
If you are active on social media only to increase your number of Facebook friends, Twitter followers and LinkedIn connections – and not to offer or gain back any real value during the process – then why are you active on social media? Social media should not be your sole basis for self-evaluation – yet many people have become addicted to managing their online presence because it is a platform that gives them attention; it makes them feel more important and valued.
Here are five things to remember:
- Don’t Rely Solely on Social Media to Define Your Self-Worth: Take the same amount of time that you are using to build your online credibility and channel an equal strategic effort in the offline world. Balance is the key. Use social media to build and enable your offline relevancy. How people experience your perceptual value in the online world must be the same if not better in the real world. People will value you more if they can believe you are just as impressive in person.
- Don’t Compare Yourself to Others: People who don’t have a good sense of their own self-worth tend to waste their time comparing themselves to others – rather than focusing on how their unique talents make them special or give them a competitive advantage. When people compare themselves to others and try to mold themselves after them, it means that innovation and creativity are flying out the window as everyone seeks to paint themselves with the same brush. Be true to yourself.
- Believe You Can Be More Valuable: Many people give up on themselves rather than take a step back and evaluate the bigger picture. It’s never too late to start over, regardless of the circumstances. Reach for your own dreams rather than work for someone else’s dreams. You won’t be successful 100% of the time, but then again, no one is.
- Be Honest With Yourself: Understanding your self-worth and true value as an individual requires you to be honest with yourself. Are you proud of what you have accomplished? What else would you like to accomplish? Take the steps to make that happen and make sure that you are defining yourself on the parameters that you find important.
- Trust Yourself: We are transitioning from a knowledge-based to a wisdom-based economy. It’s no longer about what you know, but what you do with what you know. Your values serve as the foundation of your self-worth. Trusting yourself requires you to stand for a set of values that you can hold onto and that represents the person that you are. Know that it is good to be original, independent and different. Don’t compromise yourself or settle if that goes against what you believe in just because someone else disagrees with you and seems to have a legion of people supporting their way of thinking.