In Disney's Beauty and the Beast, just when the two we're starting to fall in love the Beast said "I'm just fooling myself, she'll never see me as anything... But a monster."
How easy it is to put ourself down and lose sight of our self-confidence!? We miss a deadline at work. We gain a couple of pounds after the holidays and no longer fit in the skinny jeans. We don't get the job we interviewed for.
The sad part is how it's not as easy to regain that confidence as quickly. Below are three "simple" ways that helped me get I back on the days I lost it on the freeway:
Write Down One Positive Thing
People (therapists, coaches) often say to write down one thing positive about your day. It can be anything from an interaction you had, something you did at work that made you smile or the sole fact that you could wear jeans to the office. This helps you end the day on a positive note and gets you to look forward to the coming day. Try to give yourself a compliment as well.
Say Thank You
Recently in an emotional intelligence workshop, the instructors spoke about how gratifying it is for someone to say 'thank you.' Not only does it help with building interpersonal skills, but it can make someone's day and lift them up to constantly demonstrate that behavior. We have a tendency to say 'no one cares or appreciates what I do' and our motivation sinks. By expressing your gratitude, it'll remind someone that you're watching and then in turn they may go off thanking others.
Stop Dwelling on What You Can't Control
This isn't as easy as it sounds but we have to start somewhere to be in a different location in the end. Recently, I found myself dwelling on things that didn't be or wouldn't be. One day, I wrote down a list of all the things that bothered me. On a second sheet of paper, I wrote actions for some of those things. For example, one thing that bothered me were how I felt after receiving feedback. My action was to take the feedback and see how I'd be able to improve myself if it were valid or how I can eliminate the perception without making drastic changes. For items I didn't have actions for, I set out a goal of just not think about it. This helped in keeping my spirits high.
Being a pessimist for most of life, it's far too easy to get stuck in a negative circle. We look at everything we don't have or all the flaws we've developed. Granted it's good to admit you have a problem to go work on it but everything in moderation.
Since EQ** is such a hot topic these days I'll reference the definition of two pieces from the element of Self-Perception:
"Self-Regard is respecting oneself while understanding and accepting one's strengths and weaknesses. Self-regard is often associated with feelings or inner strength and self-confidence.
Self-Actualization is the willingness to persistently try to improve oneself and engage in the pursuit of personally relevant and meaningful objectives that lead to a rich and enjoyable life."
The key is being aware of your self in order to drive true happiness in what you do.
Sometimes people closest to us need a reminder of that so the main purpose of this post is to tell my friend "Belle" how awesome she is. I met Belle about 11 years ago in high school Geometry class. Her smile brighten up the entire class. But that wasn't all. Her kindness, positive attitude and sense of wonder, developed from her Disney passion; made identifies and isosceles triangles all that better. Although we may not be at a point in our lives that we used to ponder about in fourth period Geometry, just remember Belle- the time is now to look at all the great things you've accomplished and write down all the things you want to accomplish.
There will be roadblocks. There will be people who will try ( I repeat try) to bring you down. There will be setbacks and derailers. You'll lose friends but probably gain better ones. You'll fall but get back up. You'll shed some tears but will be able to smile again.
But more importantly you'll love yourself. Confidence drives us and we can't possibly be confident without a little TLC for that gal in the mirror.
Keep your head up high: how else will you reach the stars?