I coach artists and corporate people, both groups often struggle with the same thing – self respect. Not because they have done something bad or lack skills, they struggle with respecting other people more than they respect themselves. They find it easier to give other people their time, energy and effort than to use those same things to focus on their own wants, needs and desires.
Let me give you an example. I have a very talented friend who sells their work for a very low price. They have done it for years and think it may be time to raise their prices, their fear is that their work is not worth more and they might lose loyal clients. When they compare their work to others who do something similar their price structure is less than half of their competitors. However that does not drive more business their way, it makes them the cheap, lost cost alternative…which is not where they want to be. When we were talking about their dilemma, I actually used this quote to emphasize my point. If you want to be respected, you have to respect yourself. If you do not take yourself seriously, why should anyone else?
They thought about this a lot. We have talked about it several times since our initial conversation and yet they have not changed their pricing structure one bit. They greatly doubt anyone would pay more for their work, so they are stuck. And they have admitted that they are not sure they respect their work. Ouch! It was a tough revelation and I greatly appreciated their courage to be honest with themselves.
Sometimes it is facing the harsh realities of our own mindsets that place us squarely at that fork in the road. We cannot complain that we are not where we want to be if we refuse to change the things that keep us trapped in our current circumstances. Making no choice IS making a choice, it is consciously choosing to stay where we are stuck. R-E-S-P-E-C-T starts at home, in our own thoughts and mindset. If we do not respect what we do, who we are and the skills we bring to the table then why should anyone else pay us any mind or attention? We must have the courage and strength to see our own value before we can expect others to do the same.
I spoke to this creative person again and they brought up their pricing dilemma again. I merely reminded them that fear is a terrible way to live life, either kill it or buy it a comfy chair as it will be with you the rest of your days. They got my point. I hope that next time we speak they will have dug deeper to grow their own self respect and move forward. I also know that hope is not strategy, so we will see. Sometimes we want more for others than they want for themselves.