Industry educator and business consultant Nina Tulio (@ninatulio) shares her top five tips for improving your self-worth.
Why is it so much easier to give our friends and family great advice, yet not take our own? Why is it so much easier to give a compliment as opposed to receiving one? The answer is one word...self-worth. Self-worth refers to the value and respect that an individual has for themselves. It is the belief in one’s values and abilities and the feeling of being deserving of love, respect and happiness.
Self-worth is often tied to a person’s sense of identity, which is why I feel like we struggle a bit with self-worth in our industry. It’s so easy to discount our time and talent or even give away free services because at times we may feel if we don’t, the client won’t come back. They may not like us or think we are too ”expensive.” I say “we” because I lived in this space in my early years as a salon owner. However, the more I focused on my value, i.e. skill set, knowledge and building connections and relationships with clients, my confidence grew. This is what I want for you. Fostering self-worth is an important part of developing a healthy relationship with yourself and can also greatly impact the way you run your business. Here are my top five tips on how to improve your self-worth.
 Practice Self-care.
I don’t mean go take a hot bath. Although, that is a great way to wind down and destress. I mean take care of your physical, emotional and mental health. This includes getting enough sleep, eating healthy and eating consistently, not only when you have 20 minutes to shovel in food while a client is processing. Get active. Move your body. I know time can be tight, but try to plan for a brisk walk, even if it’s for 20 minutes every day. Pop on your favorite podcast and enjoy. Additionally, make time for hobbies or activities that bring you joy and relaxation. A lot of your life revolves around the salon. I can not tell you how important it is to check out and recharge. Do the things you love with the people you love, and it will create a total mindset shift.
 Identify Your Strengths.
Everyone has unique talents, skills and qualities that make them valuable. Make a list of your strengths and accomplishments, and reflect on how they have contributed to your life and the lives of those around you. Can it be tough to celebrate your wins? Sure! But, one thing that is very important when fostering your self worth is to acknowledge your wins—big or small. Take a moment to reflect on how far you’ve come over the past six months or a year and really give yourself a pat on the back. Celebrate a win with a client or how you had your best week in sales. Or, maybe you have a personal win you would like to celebrate. No matter what, you have to learn to be your own best cheerleader.
 Challenge Negative Self-talk.
Pay attention to the negative thoughts or beliefs you have about yourself, and challenge them with positive affirmations. For example, if you find yourself thinking “I’m not good enough,” replace that thought with “I am capable and deserving of success.” If you have a moment behind the chair when those negative thoughts kick in and send you down the rabbit hole, where you already assume she isn’t going to like it because it may be a little more brassy than you like, be kind to yourself. You haven’t even turned her around yet, and you’ve already talked yourself into her being unhappy. Give yourself a bit of grace. Be sure not to put your own feelings about the client’s hair on them. Nine times out of 10 they turn around, and they absolutely love it.
 Set Boundaries.
Establishing healthy boundaries with others is important for building self-worth. Learn to say no to things that don’t align with your core values or priorities, and don’t be afraid to communicate them with your clients and friends/family. You will be so surprised at how things shift when you start to set the standard in your business and create boundaries that serve you. You will start to attract more of your target clients that believe in your time and talent and will respect the boundaries you set in place.
 Surround Yourself with Positivity.
Spend time with people who uplift and support you, and avoid those who bring you down. Seek out positive and inspiring content, such as books, podcasts or social media accounts that promote self-improvement and personal growth. They say you are like the five people closest to you. Be sure your circle is one that will support your goals and dreams and cheer for you along the way.