Do you often think or feel you’re not living at your full value? Do you often think or feel that you’re worth more – financially, emotionally, physically, mentally? At some point we’ve all questioned our value; which is absolutely normal. At multiple intersections in our lives we encounter those moments that make us question whether we’re worth as much as we think. 

The answer is: yes, you’re absolutely worth it. If not WAY more than you actually give yourself credit for. It’s your, what I like to call, misguided protector that’s holding you back from reaching your full value and potential.

Think back to the last time you wanted to dive into something big. Something that made you want to jump out of your seat and completely change your life and the world. Something that, despite the magnitude, you absolutely and whole-heartedly believed you could make happen! There was nothing that could stop you from going all in and knocking the socks off yourself and everyone around you – the thing that would allow you to leave your mark on the world. And as quickly as that inspiration came, so did your misguided protector. That little voice that convinced you that you didn’t have it in you. There was no way it was going to happen. So you moved on.

As painful as it is to admit, our misguided protectors actually serve a purpose. They protect us from pain, rejection, sadness, regret, disappointment and all other emotions that go along with not realizing the awesome and empowering greatness we all know innately exists within us. But what those misguided protectors don’t know, that you’re learning, is that those experiences, no matter how painful and wretched they seem in the moment, are tremendous learning opportunities. How can we recognize our greatness if we don’t falter a little bit? How else would we make our greatness that much better if we weren’t shown a more effective way of doing it along the way? This is why I call them misguided. They exist to protect us from all the feels that make us want to retreat, but those feels are what make life worth living. If we didn’t have the downs, how could we appreciate the ups?

My misguided protector’s name is Louie. He’s such a cute little guy. Very unassuming, 100% in my corner, and always creeping up the moment I have a stroke of genius ready to completely transform life. Just this morning I was reflecting on the last few months, specifically all the times Louie showed up, so that I can be more effective at recognizing when he’s sneaking in and how I can readjust his message to work in my favor. The instance that stuck out most was a financial situation that passed me by because I didn’t believe in my own value. And I remember hearing Louie at that moment, “The offer is pretty good. Just take it. You’re lucky they’re giving you anything.” While I was pissed the instant it dawned on me that I didn’t stop him at that moment, I immediately gave myself reprieve that I wasn’t in that mindset a few months ago to make him stop. I didn’t have the repurposed relationship I’m starting to have with him now that allows me to calmly and compassionately tell him to shut [the ____ ] up. 

Think back to those moments you’ve talked yourself out of going after something. What did you think? How did you feel? What did you hear? That was your misguided protector manipulating you into playing small. It was well intentioned. He/she only wants to the best for you, and to him/her that’s minimizing the hurt and disappointment you might feel if things don’t go your way. But here’s the thing. You’re in complete control in defining “your way”. Additionally, you’re strong enough to bounce back if negative emotions result from whatever it is you do on your path to reach your greatness. 

Want to start increasing your worth today? Name your misguided protector. It disarms him/her by separating from you. He/she is not you. He/she is a persona you created much earlier in your life to protect you from pain, and since then you’ve held onto him/her to maintain that protection. As you continue to deepen your self-awareness, your belief in yourself will inevitably increase and the influence of your misguided protector will diminish. But here’s the catch! Your misguided protector can never be completely destroyed nor removed. He/she is a portion of your being, your energy, and as such cannot be completely eliminated. The more in tune you become with your misguided protector, the easier it will become to repurpose his/her message to be more uplifting and empowering in those moments you want to repurpose the world!

You are 100% worth it. You are absolutely and unequivocally unlimited. 

Lauren Ammon is a certified professional leadership development coach dedicated to radically shifting workplace cultures by empowering the next generation of leaders through self awareness around how they show up and harnessing their energy to lift [others] as they climb. She works with young professionals and emerging leaders whose professional ambitions include leading others and who are in the process of figuring out the most effective way to bring their definition of leadership to life to positively influence themselves, their teams, and their overall workplace environment. She fosters an open and engaging relationship to fully explore what’s going well as well as what’s holding young leaders back from stepping into their full potential. Want support in identifying your misguided protector and repurposing his/her message? Reach out!