In preparation for an upcoming Lunch and Learn event, I identified seven thoughts that can undermine natural confidence. You may have come to believe that you need to do something in order to gain or grow your confidence, however, the truth is, you are already confident. Nevertheless, there are common thoughts that destabilize that confidence.
When you recognize the underlying beliefs (which are generally not true), those ideas no longer sabotage your natural capacity to feel self-assured and trust in yourself. You are able to see and accept things the way they are, not how you want or need them to be. You can see the truth of who you are – an intelligent, resourceful person doing your best with the information you have in each moment. You begin to understand that on a spiritual level, there is nothing wrong, everything is unfolding as is for reasons you many not yet comprehend.
Here is Thing One.
Thinking You Need to Be Special
Growing up, you may have been told that you were special, and you absolutely were in the eyes of loving parents. You may have been praised for being cute, precocious and clever. These messages may have had you come to believe that being special meant you were safe, loved and accepted by those you depended on for care.
Perhaps you came to understand that if you excelled in anything – school, sports, art, music – your achievements garnered praise and recognition from others. You learned to please, perform and perfect as a way to guarantee continued appreciation for who you were.
However, current research suggests that the number one cause of anxiety and depression among young people is the belief that they need not only to be special but to be exceptional. Pressure is exerted to get the best marks, get into the best schools, play on the best teams, have the best clothes, friends, etc. These pressures exert a lot of stress and expectations.
What if it was okay to be ordinary? This does not mean that you are not unique, with your own distinctive combination of talent, strengths, intelligences, it means it is okay to be all you are and no more. What would that do for your self-esteem?