Fearless Girl by Federica Valabrega

Self-Worth Before What You Think You’re Worth

This is fuel for you to prevail against degrading systems operating in the world today — More importantly, this will hopefully compel you to seek truths within the context of your own life

What does it mean to be fearless?

Having just attended the absolutely awe-inspiring 2017 Pennsylvania Conference for Women, where highly esteemed Michelle Obama, Brené Brown, Carla Harris and a whole roster of powerful and inspirational women clad in their own hard-earned brimming virtues, stood in front of 12,000 women (and a handful of equally fearless men). I was given the opportunity by State Street to attend this annual conference, encouraged by my amazing team at Project Pharos.

Have you always done what it takes to present what “thriving” means to you?

Letting fear run the course of our lives and we become immobilized and prematurely arrested in our own development. Avoiding it completely and we risk being an ignorant fool. Transcending fear requires honest contemplation. Tim Ferriss has talked about fear-setting as being more important than goal-setting.

You can’t beat what you fear to know.

Fear could prevent you from going for the job you want (and subjectively deserve).

You’re the sum of your fearless representation of yourself.

The answer lies in your ability to present the whole of your life experiences, fearlessly. It doesn’t matter if the job calls for it or not; we’re not robots and we don’t only bring into our job functions what we’ve indicated on our CV’s, so every single aspect of ourselves is an asset. Your mannerism, your personality, your ability to articulate, telegraph and transmit your own worth, are all being considered in the game of salary negotiations.

You’re not the jobs you’ve worked at, titles you’ve held, nor the W2’s you’ve collected over the years. You are the embodiment of all the habits, skills, and dispositions that you possess due to your life experiences.

That is your cultural capital. Your cultural capital lends to your holistic self-worth. When your cultural capital is maladaptive to the moving landscape of the larger world/workplace, it can limit your social mobility, your income, your wealth, and most importantly, your ability to thrive.

We should expect our training in negotiations for our own worth to set the precedence of offers to come.

No one is naturally a high-earner or a low-earner, and no single company can be a combinatorial judge that dictates the worth or lack thereof in an employee. Companies are organizations made of individual persons; people come with their biases and their own cultural capital, and the manifestation of a company-wide sum of culture capital can only be sustained when it’s met with continuous agreement/opt-in.

The seed that thrives not.

What kind of mindset seed is planted when you accept a subpar job or a subpar salary? It’s a fearful seed. It grows with a slow harboring of a benign lackluster mood to wake up to in the morning. Its insidious growth then extends to the manifestation of a lackluster dynamic within the team, a lackluster performance review, and a fearful outlook for what’s to come. Before you know it, you’re out there again in the same dire situation where you’ll have to overcome your fear to negotiate for your worth. The cycle repeats itself.

A fearful seed will never grow into a fearless tree. So plant wisely.

Emboldened by my desire to seek truths among my peers, my mentors, and fellow humans regardless of gender, I’d love to hear how your own valor in the workplace has either granted you opportunities or enslaved you with oppression. It’s my deepest wish for us to all carry on unimpeded to achieve evermore than superficial gains — Your self-worth is MORE THAN what you’re worth, but you have to know the first before you can speak of the second.

In the face of continuing backlashes when toxic masculinity and patriarchy are threatened, make sure you’re standing on firm ground by always knowing your worth.

Champion for human potential • Lover of phenomenology and virtues. I design and develop systems that help people flourish in their own mastery.

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