I’ve got a secret to tell you: The way you regard yourself – inside – has everything to do with what is happening outside. How you feel about yourself affects the words you say, the behaviors you adopt and the opportunities you lean toward or away from.
A healthy self-regard is critical for anyone, but it is particularly important for women business owners.
In the July Chapter Meeting of NAWBO-OC, I took members and guests through a process of self-discovery. In honor of the new theme for the 2019-20 year, Seasons of Self-Regard, we set out to find each person’s baseline for self-regard through a series of solo and partner processes.
If you were unable to attend this last event — or if you were and want to go deeper — I have good news. You can go through that same process of self-discovery in the comfort of your own home or office using the workshop materials I created.
Having this starting point will enable you to look back at year’s end and celebrate how far you’ve come, how you’ve deepened into your own self-regard, and what has happened as a result.
I have a few encouragements before you begin the process.
Self-awareness is critical to growth. I like to compare it to GPS. In order to use it, your GPS needs to know two things: Where you are and where you’re going. The same is true with you. It is in your own best interest to be able to take an accurate self-assessment of where you are in order to choose a smart path to where you want to go.
Some of these exercises may not be comfortable for you. Getting to the root of opportunities for self-regard tend to be deeply personal and are often stuffed down or pushed aside for years. It takes courage to be honest and to look at these things. Remember, you are in control. You can decide to do these exercises or not. At The Self Leadership LAB, we believe strongly in the individual’s right to choose. That said, no growth happens inside your comfort zone, so The LAB lovingly encourages you to take a step outside of that zone in service to your growth. You choose.
You may read some of these questions and say, “There’s nothing here for me.” I encourage you to go beyond that and ask yourself, “What if there IS something here for me … what would it be?” Also, be open to whatever answer pops into your head first. These messages are often insightful and highly useful.
I’m not perfect and chances are you’re not either. I celebrate that! Life wouldn’t be fun at all if we were all perfect automatons. Whatever you uncover in these exercises, I encourage you to have compassion for yourself – wherever you are. At any given time, we’re all just doing the best we can. There’s no reason to judge yourself harshly.
When it comes to the later exercises and the “After” Picture, have fun. Use your imagination to stretch yourself regarding what’s possible for you. Imagine you’ll be acting from a place of full and ever-expanding self-regard. If it will serve you, borrow someone who epitomizes self-regard, and embody their spirit. I find Oprah Winfrey comes up a lot in my work because of this very thing. Imagine you’re Oprah – what will be possible for you?
As you finish these exercises, you may be asking yourself, “OK, so now what do I do?” First, sit with your self-awareness. Let it sink in and integrate into your consciousness. You may even want to do some journaling on your new awarenesses. Next, find ways to experiment with pushing the boundaries of what you have believed to be true about yourself. Can you find evidence that what you believe to be true is not actually true? Can you prove it’s not true? Again, maybe experiment with embodying your role model as you walk into an opportunity. Ultimately, experiment with the question: “Who would I be without this limiting belief?”
You are only one belief away from greater self-regard. That’s the power of this work. It’s an inside job and YOU have the ability to rewrite the story you tell yourself about yourself. And THAT makes all the difference.
I’ll see you on the other side.
– Laura Dewey
Chair of Programs, NAWBO-OC 2019-20
The Workshop Materials
You can view and download the workshop materials as a PDF here: