Remember being a child? It was easy to be cheerful back then. You could mix and match clothes with abandon. You could have messy hair, peanut butter on your face and skinned knees. No one really cared about all of that too much–they laughed with delight at you, and the happiness you brought them. Over time though, you were shaped.
You learned right from wrong, and social skills such as how to introduce yourself.
Others taught you the value of work, play and balance.
You developed an appreciation for family, community and country.
Overall, you became a pretty decent human being.
But then there were the bad lessons.
Things like gender, race or age.
Lessons that told you girls aren’t good at math, and boys always have to be tough.
Messages that skin color has something to do with anything.
Lessons that older people need to move out-of-the-way for younger ones, because their work somehow less value.
This is why we can get stuck in life.
We have competing messages in the hard-wiring of our minds and souls.
On the one hand, we know we have value, and can make others happy simply by being part of their lives.
We understand we’re part of a greater community, and can contribute to the well-being of those around us.
Or maybe we’re not supposed to show compassion when we’re upset at the plight of another.
We’re supposed to be ‘tough’, remember?
All of these competing messages wear you down, and dilute the power you have to make the world better place.
They’ll make you hesitate, instead of act, because you don’t really believe you can make a difference.
The bad messages you’ve learned will eventually overtake the good ones, because fear and inertia will take root in your soul.
Don’t let this happen to you, okay? You’re better than that.
Here’s how to increase self image, if you have lost a sense of your true value.
I’m telling you in advance: it won’t be easy. Society is too noisy right now, and negativity rampages across all of our platforms.
Sadly, negativity makes more money than other outlooks, so it’s taken over everywhere.
But you can beat it.
Keep reading to learn how to develop self confidence.
Step One: Cut out as much of the media as you can.
They’ll say you are too heavy, too old, too unattractive, too unorganized, too poor, too something.
Pssst–it’s because they want you to buy something.
A cream, a program, a service–they’re telling you that something about you is bad, and what they offer will make you good.
Turn it off. Seriously–turn it off.
Step Two: Stop comparing yourself to other people.
Whether its people you know in real life, or people you want to know in real life–stop comparing yourself to them, because every single one of us is different.
We each have different skills, goals and capabilities.
Here’s a personal example.
I remember crying one day in Kindergarten because I couldn’t draw a triangle.
Seriously. It just wouldn’t come out of my fingers, no matter how hard I tried. All around me, kids were zipping off their triangles, and then racing off to recess. Meanwhile, I couldn’t go until I made my triangle, and I ended up crying with frustration. Drawing triangles just wasn’t my thing.
I can rapidly string a collection of words together– that out of nowhere–will make you burst into tears.
My gift is with words, not triangles.
Stop crying about the triangles you can’t make in your own life, and give us more of your special gift, whatever it is.
That’s what we need more of.
Honestly. The world has enough triangles.
Step Three: Look at old pictures of yourself.
Yup. This is super-cheesy.
Here’s the thing, though.
Remember that messy kid with peanut-butter, and clothes that didn’t match?
You should, though.
That’s the free-spirited, inner-magic-making person we need more of.
I have a photo of myself from college that I keep on a bulletin board near where I write.
It reminds me of the optimism I felt back then.
When I look at this picture, I immediately recall my late-night study sessions, part-time jobs, and clumsy entry into adulthood.
I remember being surrounded by people who held me accountable for goals, gave me benchmarks to mark my progress, and mentors who told me my potential was unlimited.
No wonder my smile is so big in this picture.
Go find your own picture from the past.
Find a picture that makes you feel good about yourself, and reminds you that your potential is unlimited, too.
Then put it up, and look at it regularly.
Gosh, you’re beautiful…
Step Four: List all of the drama you’ve survived.
Seriously–sit down with a cup of coffee and a notepad.
Write down all of the things you’ve survived.
Stuff like your divorce. Did you think you’d ever get through it? Remind yourself of your bankruptcy, layoff, medical crisis, kid in rehab–all of the things where Life kicked at you, but you kicked back.
And you won.
Put all of this ugliness down on a piece of paper, and marvel–seriously marvel–at this incredible list of drama you’ve survived.
You’re incredible, You.
Because they love you.
Your spouse, your children, your coworkers, your friends–others care for you a great deal, even if they don’t tell it to you enough.
You provide them with something they can’t get from anyone else in this whole, wide world.
For just this moment–absorb every bit of love being sent to you from around the world.
It’s yours, Friend.
Isn’t is awesome?
Life is harder than it should be, huh?
It’s really easy to be ugly to people.
It’s easiest, though–to be ugly to ourselves.
This minute–stop your negative self-talk, because you are a beautiful, valuable and
powerful human being.
We’re all on a journey of personal evolution, so we can’t mark our progress by
looking at the paths of others.
Instead, we have to focus on our own goal. Then take a deep breath, put on a big smile and keep
putting one foot after the other, until we get there.
Wherever that is.
I’d love to hear where you are headed, and hope you’ve enjoyed these tips to help with self confidence.
Please feel free to leave a note below, and then remember to
subscribe, so we can stay connected.
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Self-Esteem Help: Keeping Your Eyes on Your Own Paper
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**Chanler Jeffers has seen many extraordinary things over her lifetime. An adventurer, survivor, overachiever and advocate of kindness in all instances, she has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), and is a member of their Circle of Champions. She has had the good fortune to live and travel all over the world, grew up as a military dependent and was a single parent for many years. She has survived cancer, and gently shaped countless people over her years on this little planet we call home. Follow along as she shares her knowledge, her experience and her love. Oh, by the way–one more thing. She’s married to a Bass playing rock star, lucky girl.