"Help me understand something. How I can BOTH feel guilty about charging for my services, but at the same time feel resentful because they are not paying enough?" This question came up in a recent session with a private client. This client, and many others I have talked to in the past two weeks, was having trouble valuing herself and charging for the value she brings. LUCKILY, her real self, the one that knows the Truth of her value, was also becoming more assertive. But since she was still ignoring it, it showed up as resentment. "Because your real self knows the truth," I said.

How Do I Identify My Value?
Valuing yourself for who you are and what you bring to the table, naturally, is a key element of life in the Sweet Spot. This is the thing most entrepreneurs, especially new entrepreneurs, struggle with. It also keeps people in careers they don't love, and prevents them from asking for what they need to be successful in their current role. And it doesn't stop there. What sort of relationship does someone seek out when they don't feel they are all that valuable? Without knowing and owning your value, you will attract clients, bosses, and mates who undervalue you too! When you start to feel the resentment, it is time to break the cycle.
So, particularly in business, how do you recognize your value? How do you know, and get present to, and then OWN what you bring to the table, so you can charge what you are worth?

REMEMBER THIS: The thing you do most naturally and effortlessly is the thing you need to charge the most for!
I repeat: The thing you do most naturally and effortlessly is the thing you need to charge the most for! It is very clear and simple, yet it is the thing my clients, and friends and colleagues, have all struggled with the most. When something comes naturally to us, we think to ourselves, "can't everyone do that?" NOOOO! THEY CAN'T! And even though a few others may have similar talents, no one can do it exactly as you can. You are uniquely suited for what you are here to do. We think, "I can't get paid for something so easy - it's nothing." YEEESSS! YOU CAN! That is the beauty of life in the Sweet Spot - it doesn't have to be HARD!

Why Is It So Hard to Value Myself?
Why did my client even need to ask that question about feeling guilty charging even though her real self knew she was worth more? There are two reasons:
• Our Strong Work Ethic! Most of us in this society were raised with some version of the following belief: We must work hard to get ahead in life, hard work is a virtue, and anything worth having is worth working hard for! Well, of course, if we believe this, we have to find work that seems "hard," right? We have been conditioned by others to see no value in something that comes easily.
• We Believe Our Own Lies... At some point in the lives of each and every one of us, we experience something that has us create very special lies we tell only to ourselves, and we believe them, hook, line and sinker! Then we forget we made them up and live as if they are true. (Something is true when it is based on FACTS - False Acceptance of Certain Temporary Situations!) At some point we bought into a lie about our personal value. These lies are as unique as each individual, but they may look something like: "Being smart is better than being creative." or "Boys won't like me if I'm too smart." or "I need to be strong to be a man, being sensitive and intuitive is for women." Whatever it is for you, if you are reading this article, I am willing to bet you and your unique gifts landed on the "bad" side of the lie you created. We have conditioned ourselves to undervalue our gifts.

How Do I Change My Pattern?
First thing's first, know you are a perfectly normal human being who has been conditioned not to see your value. Give yourself some grace. Then, get to work!
• Ask Yourself: How true is it that we must work hard in life? Where did I get that idea? What might be the Truth for me instead?
• Ask Someone: Query trusted friends or family members about what you have or do that is brilliant and unique to you. Then believe them and live in their listening of you. Your subconscious will try to resist what they are saying... notice this, and believe them anyway.
• Model Someone: Look around you and notice who you know who is living their sweet spot life... who do you know who is doing what they do naturally, and getting paid well for that gift? There may not be many people, but you know at least one person doing this. Rather than trying to believe in yourself, believe in them. If they can do it, it is possible for you as well.

From My World
When I was working in product development with my engineering degree, my interests led me into the world of consumer/ market research. I especially loved doing in-depth, qualitative work, interviewing people about who they were, what they do, and the underlying motivations behind what they do. I could listen to responses from a handful of people and immediately make the connections between them, see what they had in common, and know at a gut level what they were REALLY seeking in life. Today, of course, I apply these very same skills in coaching (I think of it as consumer research on yourself!). However, I could have never done this if I didn't gain a new awareness, because at the time I knew I loved this research, but I had NO IDEA that what I did naturally was not as clear to everyone! I would be sharing complete ideas for what to do next, and I didn't realize that most of the people in the room were six steps behind, or hadn't made a crucial connection that I thought was clear as day.
There is nothing wrong with any of this - the others were perfect as they were and brought their unique ability to do things like forecast the sales, etc. I just had to realize and own my own VALUE so I could then learn to share my value with others. I learned that walking them through the connections that seemed obvious to me was where I could add the most value. And a step further was being able to share in a way that got them to TRUST my ability to make connections so I didn't have to explain, it was simply the talent I brought to the table.

Author's Bio: 

Darla LeDoux is a Certified Professional Coach, “recovering engineer,” owner at Doux Coaching, and creator of Destination: Sweet Spot. She is fueled by a passion for people being who they truly are, exactly as they are, in business and in life, living in their sweet spot. In the sweet spot one uses their unique combination of gifts, talents, and passions and having maximum impact, with ease!
After spending 15 years in “successful” careers working for others – product development engineering, marketing, and education – the things she thought she “should” do to be successful, Darla found the courage to step into her sweet spot and follow the desires of her heart. She absolutely loves helping others to do the same, without spending 10+ years in the self-help aisle!
Darla works with people in all stages of transition and reinvention, who have tried doing life and business the “right” way, and are now ready to listen to that deep inner knowing and discover what is Truth for them. She coaches them to begin being who they need to be to have the life they desire now, not someday.