What do you think about yourself? Do you deserve the good things that happen to you? Do you feel good, competent, valuable? Are you happy to be you?
Two of the most common beliefs are “I’m not worthy” and “I’m not good enough”. Our inbuilt negative bias doesn’t help – we keenly feel, and hold on to, negative experience. At the same time, we tend to dismiss and quickly forget any good feedback, successes, achievements. It’s definitely not a balanced view of life, the world, and ourselves.
How do we regain perspective so that we can feel more confident, and claim back the healthy, joyful self-worth we began life with? Here are two suggestions for kickstarting the process.
Be like Velcro for the positive. Someone gives you a compliment? Don’t shrug it off – cherish it! Anytime you are shown kindness, anytime you receive a heartfelt “thank you” – don’t let it slip away! All of this is meaningful, significant, and true – just as true (if not more!) than your perceived failures and mistakes. Notice when people value you, respect you, make you feel included and loved. Notice when they ask for your opinion, for example – you are important to them. Hold on to all that; it’s so easy to forget! Go over it before going to sleep, or when you wake up, to start the day on the right foot.
Do you feel you need more concrete evidence? Then gather that evidence, give yourself the proof you need. You can carry out a little social experiment: ask a few of your friends to do you a favour. You might be surprised how many will be eager to – even flattered that you are trusting them enough to ask. Even the ones who say no will have good reasons, be very apologetic and probably offer to help you at the first opportunity they get, or to do something else for you.
That’s only a couple of “stepping stones” that you can hop on to cross the river of self-doubt – you may need more, but, as they say, every journey begins with one step. The crossing is worth it: your whole life changes, when you love and believe in yourself. And yes, you deserve to.