Personalizing Diversity 4

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Step 2: Value Self

Valuing self is not about boasting or self-aggrandizement, says diversity expert Mary-Frances Winters. She says it is about accepting that you are unique and believing that there is a special purpose that you are here to fulfill. It is about valuing your gifts. Knowing self is a prerequisite for valuing self. It relates back to what Socrates said—know thyself and to thy own self be true.

We lose much of our greatness by trying to copy, compete, and/or compare ourselves to others. We complement others. I, as an individual, become greater when I offer my unique gifts in concert with others -- much like an orchestra that creates music using the individual sounds of strings, brass, woodwinds and percussion instruments playing in concert. All are very different but no less valuable to the whole. If we were all the same, creativity would be lessened or restricted in advertising.

There is no other person like you. Not even twins have the same fingerprints or same identity. Therefore think about what makes you different and unique and about what mark you’ll make on the world. How do you want to be remembered? How do you distinguish yourself from others? What value do you bring to the table?

You cannot value others if you do not value yourself. The ability to respect, accept and include others is only possible if you are first confident in yourself.

According to the Management Library, an easy exercise to understand your value is to fill in the blanks of the statements: "What's important to me about being a ______, is ________________________."

"As a ______, I bring to this organization ______________________________."

"My organization empowers me to live out my special character as a _______, by ____________________________________.”

"What I value about those who are different, is _____________________."

By filling in those blanks you are able to acknowledge and value your individuality and the value you bring. Try completing those sentences with different aspects of your identity.

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