FTC Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own and are based on my experiences. I wasn’t paid to recommend anything, the books I recommended truly inspired me. Read more here.
If you haven’t already read last week’s post, click here to learn about the types of relationships you need to have in your life and how to let go of those that no longer serve you.
A lot of us struggle with self-esteem issues. We all have our own insecurities and our idea of ‘perfection.’ But guess what, nothing’s perfect.
The important thing to remember is that your unique experiences, thoughts, physical appearance, and choices are what sets you apart from everyone else.
Embracing Your Physical Form
I think this is one area we can all relate to – whether you struggle with accepting yourself overall or just have days when your outfits don’t cooperate with your body type.
“But there’s just this one thing I want to change…”
First, consider why you want to change it. Is it because other people are telling you that you should or because you’re comparing yourself to other people? Or is it because it’s something you just genuinely want to change about yourself for whatever reason that’s personal to you?
If it’s the latter, then I say go for it!
Let me give you a personal example. My smile was something I never accepted about myself. Sure, I would admire other peoples’ smiles, but I didn’t hate my smile because of that, I just wanted straighter teeth.
So what did I do? I got braces. You could argue that I could’ve just learned to love my smile, but that’s something I wanted to do for a long time.
You may have the same reason or a similar example. My advice is if you can make it happen, go for it! Nobody has to live your life but you.
This can be controversial because many people would just say to learn to love yourself but I say that they should apply this reasoning to their own lives and not the lives of others.
I believe that as long as you’re doing things for your own personal reason and satisfaction, then it doesn’t matter what people think.
Here’s another popular example: your weight.
Just as before, if this is something you’re determined to change about yourself for the right reasons then do it. If you’re not happy with your weight, rather than just engaging in negative self-talk and becoming even more unhappy with yourself, come up with a plan to either gain/lose weight.
This is a great example because it requires discipline to change your lifestyle to achieve the weight you want. Believe me when I tell you the hardest thing to do is start working out. I’ve tried it to get toned, and I only lasted a few weeks (don’t be like me).
There are many reasons why people are either overweight/underweight; it’s not just because of a poor diet.
Whatever your reason, if you’re unhappy, invest your time in learning about ways to change your lifestyle (not just go on a diet because that’s temporary). Put in the work to get the results you want. It’s not just going to be handed to you.
Just remember one thing: Make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons!
Don’t do it because your “friend,” or parents, or significant other, or a random stranger thinks you should do it. Do it because you want to.
Building Your Confidence
Self-doubt is a silent killer for most of us. The truth is, everyone, deals with self-doubt, but only some people let it dictate their actions (or lack thereof).
You know the difference between someone who’s an expert and someone who just has a lot of knowledge on a subject? The expert declares himself an expert. That confidence establishes credibility, and people naturally trust them as a result. The other person who has a lot of knowledge just doubts that they are smart enough to claim such credit. Everyone else may see it, but it means nothing if that person doesn’t see it for themselves.
I used to struggle with self-confidence to the point where I let myself miss a lot of opportunities thinking I wasn’t qualified or ready to take on such a challenge. As I explained in my first post, I changed my mentality because of my new crowd, and my life changed forever.
Read my first post here: New Beginnings
The best advice I can give you is to ignore those negative voices in your head that tell you that you can’t do something. And don’t think about a new opportunity too much because if you do, you’ll eventually give yourself a million reasons why you shouldn’t do it. Just go for it!
When I started just going for things, I was surprised by how successful I was despite my “lack of qualifications.” I became so confident in myself that other people believed I knew what I was talking about – and therefore trusted my abilities.
In case you’re interested, this is the book I read 2 years ago that boosted my confidence and changed my perspective on how to approach opportunities.
The book, Lean In is written by Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook. She talked about how we as women tend to hold ourselves back and have our own part to play in the ‘glass ceiling.’ There were paragraphs in this book that literally described the kind of person I was before – extremely shy and always doubting myself. I highly recommend this book to any woman who struggles with self-doubt.
Improving your mindset
Here are 4 important things I’ve learned:
- “It’s not what happens to you; it’s how you react to it that matters.”
- You are in control of your life.
- It’s not about where you’re from; it’s where you’re going.
- Set boundaries & protect your energy
“It’s not what happens to you; it’s how you react to it that matters.”
Everyone deals with pain and tragic situations, but not everyone heals. The biggest mistake I see people making is blaming other people for their problems or drowning in their own sorrows because of some external factor. No matter how bad your struggles, you can heal – but you have to decide to want to heal. Healing involves forgiving the other person(s) (if applicable) and forgiving yourself and understanding that it wasn’t your fault.
The worst thing you can do is give someone who has hurt you more of your time and energy than they already took from you. Some things are much harder to stomach than others, but here’s the cold, hard, truth: Whatever happened, happened. You can’t go back and change it; you can only change the way you currently react to it. No matter how painful it was, or still is, you’re actually doing yourself a disservice by becoming cold and bitter as a result of someone else’s actions.
I highly encourage you to watch this video. It’s about Elizabeth Smart, a young woman who was abducted at 14 years old. She is truly an inspiration. Disclaimer: she briefly talks about being sexually assaulted by her kidnapper. Please do not watch this video if this is a sensitive topic for you.
You are in Control of Your Life
Despite what you may think, or what others tell you, you have the power to control your destiny. Just because you’re born with no limbs, doesn’t mean you can’t do anything; and just because you’ve hit rock bottom, doesn’t mean you’ve failed.
Your thoughts dictate your actions. If you tell yourself you’re going to fail a test, you won’t have the motivation to study. Similarly, if you tell yourself you’ll never succeed, you’re not going to try. Because what’s the point right?
The point is it is your fault. But before you feel hurt or attacked, think about it this way. Since you are the reason you’re not where you want to be, you can become the reason you get where you want to be. Instead of defaulting to pity and hopelessness, I want you to feel empowered.
Complaining about a problem or situation isn’t going to get you anywhere. I am a firm believer in the following:
If you don’t like something; change it. If you can’t change it; change the way you react to it.
For example: If you don’t like the way your boss is treating you, think about why. Is it because your performance isn’t up to standard or are they just a pain? If it’s the first, (a situation you can change), then improve the quality of your work or be consistently punctual if that’s the problem. If it’s the latter (a situation you can’t change), then understand that this has nothing to do with you so you shouldn’t take it personally. They may just be struggling with their own issues and taking it out on you as a result. Reassure yourself that you do good work, and learn to deal with adversity. When you realize that it’s not you, you’ll feel much better.
Here’s another book I’d highly recommend called Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny! by Tony Robbins.
You’ve probably already heard about Tony Robbins since he’s such a great motivational speaker. He shares some great points in this book about the poor habits and ways of thinking we have that hold us back.
If you want to continue your personal growth journey beyond this series then this is a great place to start. I promise you won’t regret getting this book!
It’s not about where you’re from; it’s about where you’re going.
Just because you’re born in an underprivileged family, doesn’t mean you’re going to be poor all your life. Some of the most successful people today came from nothing. Their life teaches a powerful lesson: you can either use your circumstances to hold you back, or you can use it to push you forward.
Another big mistake, and sadly the most common mistake that people make is making poor decisions that make them spiral out of control, and blame their decisions on other people.
Again, I’m not invalidating your pain. That is not my intention. I just want you to realize how that leads you to make poor decisions.
For example: Let’s say you just got out of an abusive relationship. You’re hurt, cold, and bitter. You turn to alcohol to numb the pain, so you drink excessively (you also deny this because it’s always “just one drink…” that turns into you blacking out). Your future relationships aren’t successful because you haven’t healed, so you end up hurting everyone you come in contact with. This makes you feel like you’ll never find love again and that something’s wrong with your love life.
Well, guess what, if you’re looking for the cause then you can look at the fact that you never healed from that abusive relationship. That turned into a series of poor decisions that you blamed the other person for, but in reality, it happened because you turned to alcohol. But guess what, you can choose to heal in the same way.
Have you used the FREE Worksheet yet?
Set boundaries & protect your energy
To all the empaths like myself, please protect your energy. You may not realize how other peoples’ moods and behaviors affect you, but it does.
Have you ever talked to someone and they were so bubbly and energetic that it made you feel good? Similarly, have you ever talked to someone who was groggy and rude, and they just ruined your mood? It could be as simple as that, or as complicated as trying to help someone with their issues.
I’ve been in many situations where I put myself on the line and devoted so much time and energy into helping people that didn’t want to help themselves, and it drained me. It’s one thing to want to help somebody, but it’s another when they don’t want your help.
When people aren’t ready to change, they can take a toll on the people around them. On one end you want to help that person, but deep down you know that the help they need is beyond you. For one, it starts with them. Please don’t make the same mistake I did by allowing negativity into your space for people who won’t appreciate it.
It can be tough to just leave someone you care about hanging, but that’s not what it is. I’m not saying not to help your family or friends when they need you, but recognize when you can’t help. Recognize when they either need professional help, or they need to look into themselves and make changes to improve their situation.
There are many other types of toxic relationships you could be harboring that are affecting your energy. Click here to read my post on what they are and what you can do to protect yourself.
No amount of love you have for someone can influence them to want to change. They have to want it for themselves. It’s not on you to run yourself dry trying to force people to do things they don’t want to do – even if it’s in their best interest.
Think about a time you were going through a rough situation, and you had people around trying to help. You definitely appreciated the comfort and support, but did you change immediately? Probably not. You had to learn your lesson the hard way. You had to reach a breaking point for you to want to change. Understand that the person you’re trying to help isn’t at that point yet. Love and support them but make sure you protect your energy.
This is the point where you become the best version of yourself.
Here are some new practices to adopt:
- Always remain positive. Life is going to throw a lot of curveballs at you. You can always expect things to be tough, but in order to see the silver lining, sometimes you have to just accept your difficulties and try to learn from them.
- Every time you’re met with an obstacle from this point on, ask yourself what you can learn from the situation. Don’t default to being defeated and resorting to your old ways. You did not come this far to only come this far. The only way you can fail is if you don’t learn from your mistakes.
- Be a continuous learner. Always seek new knowledge. Read books and meet with people to learn what they know. Don’t limit yourself to one topic when it comes to this; the more you know, the better.
- Stay hungry. Never give up that inner drive that pushes you to want more for yourself. Always be grateful for what you have, but never settle for less than you think you deserve.
What did you think of the series? Leave a comment below! If you’ve missed any posts, don’t forget to catch up:
- Personal Growth Series: Creating and Achieving Your Vision
- Eating Healthier: Change Your Diet and Watch Your Skin Glow
- How to Passively Manage Your Spending
- 3 Types of People You NEED to Have in Your Life
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