I’ve had a battle and a challenge probably, from the age of 8 years old about valuing and loving myself more. And I think certainly for entrepreneurs, it’s a constant challenge, because we’re often looking to achieve more, be more, do more, have more, get more. We want recognitions, success, all of this. And often, that can leave you with an empty feeling like you’re not good enough, you’re not worthy enough.
I’ve been running businesses for more than 15 years, successfully for 13 years, and transcending property business of any kind of the hundreds of thousands of people that I’ve reached. Beneath that, is, how you feel about yourself. It’s so important in fact that I wrote a book called, I’m Worth More: Realise Your Value, Unleash Your Potential. I’ve listed out quite a few things that I think you can do to increase your self-worth, the care and the love for yourself.I hope you’ll find them useful and interesting.
1. Have a clear vision for how you want to be known
Have a clear vision for how you want to be known, and who you want to be. Having an ideal version of yourself, some standards, if you like, and then do your best to be that person.
The paradox of that, is, don’t go beating yourself up when you can’t quite live up to the expectations of who you want to be. No one is perfect. We’re all going to fail frequently. But if you don’t have a vision for who you want to become, how you want to be known, then you have no standard to live by. When you have a standard to live by, and you live by that standard, that makes you feel very secure, very strong, and someone that you like, someone that you like to be around. You know, when you like to be around your own thoughts.
I know, sometimes, I drive myself wild with my own thoughts. When I write my goals every 6 months, I don’t just put the physical goals, the tangible goals, the material goals, the results goals. I actually have a little section, which is, how I want to be known, and how I want to be remembered. Certainly, when I go off track from that, that’s definitely when my self-worth, or how I feel about myself can drop a little bit.
2. Take good care of yourself
You have to take good care of yourself. I’m definitely not the best at this. I’m a working progress. But some of these I do quite well. And many of these I’m figuring out just like you.
But entrepreneurs tend to go from goal to goal. We tend not to really take good care of our health, our well-being, our happiness. We tend not to take too much rest, recuperation. We tend not to reward ourselves. We tend not to spoil ourselves rotten. I think that, that’s really important that we do that. Have fun. Laugh a lot. Take some time out. Do the things that make you feel good. Caring about yourself.
I know it sounds really stupid. But just shaving my beard, and having a good shave, and having it moisturised, that makes me feel really good. I don’t do it enough. Definitely going to the gym makes me feel really good. It’s like a reward. Doing the things that you love.
I have hobbies, but I don’t do enough of them. I love playing pool. I love playing golf. I love listening to my Vinyl, and I should do it more. That you have to actually block that out in the diary. I wrote a book called, “Routine Equals Results”. Because if you don’t compartmentalise in your health, your fitness, your hobbies, your family, all that happen, is, work, business, entrepreneurship, that will just consume everything. Date nights, Netflix nights, these things actually have to be blocked in, otherwise time just gobbles it up like a black hole.
3.People around you
The people you hang around with; genuine friends. I think that we probably all don’t have that many genuine friends over our lifetimes, and that’s okay. But when you find them, stay close to them and spend good time with them, people who teach you stuff. If you’re around mentors, inspiring people, leaders, celebrities, people who actually lift you up and make you feel better about yourself, and you learn something from them, I think it’s vital to be around them. I think it’s vital to be around, both supportive and challenging people. Supportive – when you’re struggling a bit. People will always have your back. I think that’s important.
But you don’t want to turn that into people that just say,” Oh, yeah, yeah, great.” When actually sometimes, you need a bit of a slap. And sometimes, you need to be around people who challenge you equally. I think that’s very important as well. I think it’s important to know fair well the friends, know fair well the mentors, people who are just there in the good times, and not in the bad times.
That doesn’t mean you go around just, “hey, f**k off, you’re fired. I’m only hanging around with positive people, you can piss off.” You just let those people sail in that direction, while you sail in that direction.
I think the next thing that’s really important, is, forgiveness. Forgiveness for the small things and the big things. Forgiveness for others who you feel have wronged you. And the most importantly, forgiving yourself for the things you feel you’ve done, that have let people down, that you have wronged yourself and others. We all do the best with what we know. No one makes mistakes on purpose. No one fails on purpose.
I’ve had a couple of things in the last week that I’ve dropped the ball on. Hands up. I know my motives are pure, because I’ve been so busy and relentlessly focussed on growing my enterprises and my brands, of which I’ve done really great. The companies are up 37 percent year on year. But I’ve dropped one big ball. And I felt quite bad about that. But I can’t beat myself up about that, because it’s the upside that’s created that downsides. All I can do, is, to go and fix that thing. I am not a failure. I just let the ball drop in this one particular instance. Thankfully, it wasn’t something that really hurt others. It could have led into some awkwardness, and hopefully, I’m getting that fixed.
But the point, is, forgive yourself. Forgive others for small things and all things, all the things that you hold onto you resent. You feel bitterness, envy, jealousy, hatred, anger, all of those things. You’re the one that suffers when you don’t forgive other people. Really, forgiveness is a selfish act. Forgive them so you can unprison yourself from all of those feelings. I think that’s really huge. I write about that a lot in my book, I’m Worth More.
5.You are unique
The next thing I think, is, you have to remember that you’re unique. And I don’t say special, in that, you’re a special individual like your mum would say. But you are completely unique. There’s no one like you on the planet. You have a unique set of values, a unique set of experiences, a unique set of knowledge and gifts and talents. Some born, some nurtured. And you should remember that.
Often, I think we think that we’re not as good as others, or that we don’t have anything about us compared to other gifted people. Bullsh*t, you do! You just have to honour it. Well, the first thing, is, you have to actually believe it in yourself. For me, it’s pretty simple, because we’re all unique, because we’re all different. Because of that, we’re all a genius being ourselves, and just honouring that in ourselves. Not turning that into narcissism or anything like that, but just embracing it, honouring it. Your quirks, your weirdness, your gigginess, that’s you. And that’s great, trying to turn it into a brand. Love it. Own it.
6. Measuring up to others
The next thing is, comparison and measuring up to others. I think that, that can be a real curse. I think that you should only compare yourself to others for inspiration. You know, being around successful, amazing people. Get inspired.
I’ve had a really amazing weekend. I’m not that social, but I was very social this weekend. And I had dinner with Jake Wood and Ricky Wilde. So, Ricky Wilde is Kim Wilde, his sister who he writes all of her songs. Jake Wood is a Max Branning in EastEnders. So, I had dinner with them on Thursday night. They’re asking me a lot of advice about the podcast. Jake invited me to his Poker Night. My first reaction was, no, I’m not doing that, because it’s like it was so uncomfortable. But he kind of pushed me to do it. He even gave me hug and said, come on. So, it was like, all right, I’m going to do it.
Then the next night, I had dinner with Kevin Clifton who is one of the biggest celebrities in the country right now, a lovely guy. We had a great dinner. We become really good friends. I went to go and see Sam Warburton, who’s ex-England, sorry, ex-Wales and Lions Rugby Captain.
And I just thought to myself, I have a great life. I have an amazing life. I know 5 or 10 years ago, I would have sat next to these guys and compare myself to them, and thought ah, they’re so much bigger celebrities than me. I don’t feel worthy. Ah, Sam is an amazing sportsman and an athlete. I don’t feel worthy. I failed in all the sports I did. I’m not good enough at this and good enough at that.
And I was really pleased that I was just able to sit there and enjoy it. And just not compare myself to those guys. They’re great in their thing. It’s funny, because Sam Warburton who’s possibly one of the best rugby players that’s ever lived. I mean, the youngest ever Lions Captain. He listened to my podcast. And he’s saying to me half way through, I can’t believe what you’ve done in properties. It’s amazing. How did you do it? He’s got 8 buy-to-lets.
Some people are looking at me like, I’ve done good. And some people are looking at you as you’ve done good. So, only compare yourself to others for inspiration and motivation. Don’t compare yourself to them to depedestalise. Yeah, that word. Should use small word. I’m from Peterborough. Because it’s just not motivating, and it makes you feel less than you really are. Comparison can be the thief of joy. That was a very famous quote, comparison is the thief of joy.
7. Have an inner critic
I think it’s good to give yourself feedback. It’s good to be honest and say, you know what, I shouldn’t be doing that. I’d made a mistake, and I’d let myself down. I need to fix that. But that’s feedback. You don’t want to turn it into an inner critic, where you’re beating yourself up all the time, and you’re beating yourself down. You’re harder on yourself. Sometimes, the standards you hold yourself to, are, too high and unrealistic.
If you’re going to be an inner critic, you’ll also need to be an inner carer. And each time you say, “Oh, I failed at this, I’m not very good at this,” you need to immediately with another voice on the other side of your shoulder, go actually, “but I’m really good at this.” And I did this really well. Make that a balance. I know a lot of people they’re more of an inner critic than an inner carer.
8. Express yourself on social media
The next thing I think, is really good for your own self-worth, is, to journal, to YouTube, to podcast, to do live videos. For me, it’s really great therapy. Hopefully, you’ll get some benefit from the lessons from my experience. But it’s also, great therapy for me. All the things that happen in the day and in the week that maybe, I bottle or I feel like I want to express, but I don’t, because I’m trying to be professional, or just because I know it will get me into trouble, or I don’t feel like it’s the right time, and those can build up.
Whereas, you need a release. So for some people, it’s writing. For some people, it’s conversation with trusted wise counsel. I’m really lucky, because I get to do the lives, and do the podcast. I have a lot of people that follow, and all my supporters cross the world, and my podcast listeners. I think what people like about following me, is that, I’m very honest. I share everything that goes on in my life. It’s not like, there’s a wall between me and you. I’m told a lot that, that’s what people like about me. But that also, helps me too. So, thank you, because I’m able to get the catharsis that I need. You need an outlet.
When I was younger, I suppressed everything. And once or twice a year, I’d just have this major meltdown, you know, smash things, get really, really stressed. I just balled out, crying for hours. But thankfully in the later years it was privately, not publicly. But it’s only been publicly, when I was younger. It’s not healthy. That’s where you get stress, disease, illness. So, what are your cathartic release that’s safe, productive? I mean I get to turn my cathartic release into something productive, which is really great.
The next thing you could try, is, a bit of a negativity detox. Could you have, I know some big podcasters and influencers like, 21-day no negativity detox? They get a little wrist band. They have to go 21 days without saying anything negative or criticising anyone. If they go 5 days, and they say something, they have to ping themselves. They have to start the thing again.
I think that, that’s a really good thing that you could do. People have a detox of the body with the juicing. They have the detox of the mind with meditation. What about detox of your attitude and that negativity?
I know I can get into moments, where it’s quite sort of therapeutic, to bitch, and moan, and complain, and gossip. And that’s definitely not how I want to be known. So, give that a go.
9. Dare to dream
Dream big. Imagine how amazing your life will be in the future. There are lots of visualisation. One, because that has a magnetic and attracting effect of you actually achieving it. But it feels really good to dream. I think sometimes, society, people, critics, they can put your fire out. You can be scared to dream. Because people will think you’re a dreamer, because you’re not realistic, or whatever. People kind of want to hold you back, because it makes them feel safer and more secure about themselves.
You don’t have to go and do it publicly. You don’t have to rant and shout about it. But dare to dream. By the way, dream big, yes, but start small. I’m not saying get like, way ahead of yourself. But you know, it feels really good.
I love when I go on holiday, I just love dreaming about , where my life will be and the amazing things I can do, and the amazing people I might get to meet. I love to go to London. For me, London is the place. I’ve been to a lot of big cities around the world, some inspiring places. But London, for me, is like, the dream city in a way that it’s just oh, wow, this is… Life can be anything that I want it to be.
Often, I just sort of, breathe that in myself. I just think that and feel that. I supposed I used to always sort of feel a bit guilty about doing that, or unrealistic about doing that. But I try not to judge myself now. I just breathe it in and enjoy it. Dare to dream.
10. Master something
I think that, if you’re really great at something, that will give you natural confidence and worth and value. Try not to be thin, doing loads of things that you don’t actually get good at anything. It doesn’t really matter what you’re good at, whether it’s martial art, or you’re really good socially. Being a great social person or person of influence is vital. Great at marketing, or sales, or whatever.
But is there anything you feel inside yourself that you’re just really good at, and you know it. You don’t need to brag about it. You just know it. I think you owe it to yourself and your self-worth to find one thing at least that you can master like that. And that will definitely transmute and leak out into other areas of your life. I think that’s really important when you’re raising kids too to get them really good at something.
11. Your emotions are not you
Your guilt, your fear, your shame, your envy, your frustration, your anger, these are natural human emotions. They’re necessary. You cannot avoid these. These are human being’s way of reacting to the environment for safety, security and evolution. So, it’s feedback. If we didn’t have emotions, we wouldn’t have feedback to the environment. We’d probably die out in the environment.
They are there to protect us, but they’re not you. You are not angry. You’re not filled with hate. You are not bitter. You are not jealous. You are not all these emotions that you feel sometimes. You are not those. You are a separate being, an entity to those. You feel them. You need them. Feel them. Let them pass. Don’t own them. Don’t judge yourself for them. They’re simply feedback.
I have this little 3A Formula, acknowledge, accept, act. Acknowledge the emotion. Accept that it’s there, and it’s necessary. Then act accordingly to whatever the feedback needs to be, whether you need to make an improvement, or you just need to walk away from the situation, or whatever. But if it consumes you and becomes you, then that’s where you get stressed. It can ultimately end up in disease or illness.
12. Face your insecurities
We’ve all got our demons. We’ve all got our insecurities. And I think you should face them. I think that you should look at them head on. I don’t think you should spend your life avoiding them for safety and not getting in painful situation. It’s challenge that makes us grow. The things that have probably been a monkey on your back for maybe decade, the recurring problems, they’re sources of great stress for you. Deal with them, whether you need professional help, or whether you just need to go there and accept it, or have awkward conversations. But once you solve these, your self-worth will go up a lot.
Lewis has just said, what you resist will persist. That’s very true. The problems that you have in your life, will keep coming in different forms until you learn to transcend them by mastering them. Then once you master them, that problem will go away. The problem only goes away when you learn to transcend and master the problem. You can’t wish it ways or hide it away. Then your reward for mastering the problem and transcending it, is, the higher problem. This is the ladder of life, if you like.
13. Charitable activities
I think one of the best feelings in the world, is, the selfish feelings of the selfless act. Giving to others, tipping big, charity, giving your time, maybe even your advice in an area, where you have good knowledge, giving that, helping people, supporting people, lifting people up, I believe that’s the most selfishly selfless act. I think it feels amazing.
Can you do more charity, more volunteering? Can you donate one hour or 2 hours of your day to helping people doing one-to-one calls, supporting them, whether it’s family, friends, colleagues, clients, et cetera. I just believe it’s a great thing to do. You have to balance that, because I know there’s a lot of people who are doing that so much, they’re actually not making any money, and then that will reduce your self-worth in that area. But give more or give well, I think that’s a really great thing.
Some basics, make sure you sleep well. Make sure you eat well. Make sure you exercise. Make sure you get lots of sunshine. There’s a lot now of science about sleep, where this whole 5 hours. If you want to be an entrepreneur, work 20 hours a day. That’s being pretty much disproven. You need good sleep. Do whatever you can to get yourself in the right environment for those basics. I think that’s really important.
14. Learn to say no
I was interviewing Sam Warburton, Wales and British Lions Rugby Captain. He said he found it really hard to say no. And actually, he has got a mindset coach who actually had taught him how to say no. So, he felt real guilt in saying yes to too many things. Then of course, he’d get himself in a situation, where he felt trapped, or stressed, or overworked, or overwhelmed.
It’s okay to say no. Learn to say no politely. Learn to say no firmly. Know what to accept into your life, and what to reject. Then if you get too busy, or overwhelmed, or stressed, or you think people are taking too much of you, or abusing you, yeah, Janine has just said no boundaries. Exactly, you’ve got to have boundaries.
Like as long as you can put your head on the pillow and go, do you know what? I gave a good amount of my time today. I’ve helped people. But I’ve also got my important work done. And I also serve my own needs and my family needs as well as my clients and my community needs. It’s really important.
Too many commitments will lead to resentment and bitterness. That will reflect out in your brand. Then you’ll take that out on other people, and you don’t mean to. And you feel guilty about that. Then you have this vicious cycle of beating yourself up.
Penultimately then, you are not your mistakes. You are not your failings. You just did them. So, don’t own them. Own them in terms of solving them. But don’t own them in terms of they are who you are. There’s a massive difference between I failed and I’m a failure. You are not a failure. You just failed from time to time. In fact, often the most successful people, they failed the most.
Just put a big wall between your actions and decisions, and your identity in who you are so that you can just protect your self-worth, preserve your self-worth, and keep improving.
Then finally, there’s a Law of Lesser Pissers, which one of my mentors taught me. If you have a choice to pissing yourself off, or piss someone else off, you should piss someone else off every time. You won’t be with them for very long. But you will be with you for your whole life.
I’m not saying going around pissing people off with no reason. Don’t take me out of context. But you need to make yourself happy first. It’s okay. They say charity starts at home. They say put your own gas mask on first. This is vital. If you’re not happy, you can’t make your kids happy, your husband or wife happy, your clients happy, your colleagues happy.
It’s okay to be selfish to care for yourself, to make yourself feel good about yourself, and that will transmute out to other people. My wife, for about 3 years after we’ve had our first child, didn’t go to the gym. She’d found all the excuses in the world not to go. She was too busy. She needed to be there for our child, which of course, is a really great thing to do. But she put herself to the bottom of the pile, and I could see it was affecting her wellbeing and her confidence.
And I said, look, you’ve just got to go out to the gym. So, I pushed, and pushed, and pushed, and pushed in the way that I can. In the end, we agreed she’d got her personal trainer. She hit the gym. And just within 3 months, she was back to her normal self. She felt good about herself. It made her a better mother. Of course, she’s been going to the gym consistently since.
You’re not a bad parent, if you go out to the gym 3 times a week. You’re not a bad parent, if you look after yourself and have a spar session, or a session with the girls, or a session with the lads, once or twice an evening. It doesn’t make you selfish. It doesn’t make you a bad parent or person. Care for yourself, not too much to a certain point, everybody else gets nothing. Then you can care for others best.