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How the Grow Your Value contest inspired me

Here's why you should enter the Grow Your Value bonus competition.

I am a wife, a mom of three, I have a career and I have friends. I am not an executive or a high-power corporate player. I am just a woman working every day to figure stuff out. It doesn’t matter what you do – if you feel like you deserve some recognition for where you are today, then do it. Here are five reasons to submit a video to the Grow Your Value contest.

It will force you outside your comfort zone.

I knew nothing about the Know Your Value movement. I watch the Today show every day, and Mika came on to talk about it. I never win anything, so I think I had the courage because I really thought I would never be picked. I was at a point where I felt out of balance – unsure of where to put my energy and not putting any energy into myself. The day I submitted my video reminded me a bit of how I used to be. Before my kids, I was a city girl, I worked in fashion, I traveled, I had a tiny apartment and I took chances. When I submitted my video, I saw a glimpse of the old me – taking the chance and not looking back.

You’ll attend the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute.

This place is unreal. I had no expectations when I flew down to Orlando to go to the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute. I was looking at it as a quick time away to do some choreography and read a book. I was terribly wrong – in the most fantastic way. The faculty and coaches met us at the door and my life was forever changed. That was the biggest prize for me. I was forced to face myself and saw that I was not being the best me. I was “surviving” and that is unacceptable for the people in my life, for those I love. I want to be my best self and the coaches reminded me of how I could do that.

You’ll connect with inspiring women.

I absolutely adored the other two finalists. Before meeting them, I was skeptical. I would be spending three days with people I knew nothing about and competing against them for the grand prize. Yes, we do competitions to win. Yes, it stings when you feel you did your best and still fall short of winning. But I grew to adore these women and all they had to offer, and I am genuinely happy that Emily Reeves won in Chicago. When she spoke, we could feel the presence of her lost brother in the room. We gained so much more than the final prize. We gained our own selves back. Woman are strong, we need to support one another. We need to encourage each other to have the confidence to know our value.

Participating as a Grow Your Value finalist was stress-free.

The producers, the writers, the designers, the publicists, the travel planners and everyone else involved made these two weeks of being a finalist so stress-free. This allowed me to concentrate on work and my family when I was home so I could balance the travel and time away. As a mom, I am the party planner, event planner, google calendar manager, iPhone calendar manager, dance studio scheduler, you name it. I didn’t have to plan a moment of my time during the Know Your Value event and that was blissful.

The Know Your Value experience has a life-changing message.

So many of us ‘happily’ sacrifice our own happiness by putting in energy and countless hours of work to create strong foundations for our careers, our families, those people and priorities around us – not stopping for a moment to think, “I am awesome at what I do.” Instead, we focus on what we didn’t do. Find strength in what you have already overcome and be the best you.