Sunday, 7 August 2011
I have a deep rooted belief that you can do extraordinary things with your life when you are happy with yourself. As a communication coach, I’ve constantly seen a correlation between these two factors.
People who are happy with themselves are more authentic and more sociable; they have more initiative, take more risks and bounce back from failure faster. All these traits create a context where success and fulfillment happen a lot easier.
Being happy with yourself is certainly a wonderful condition, but it is also not very common. I find that most people struggle with limiting beliefs and self-image issues that prevent them from being in this condition.
If you want to be happy with yourself, chances are that you’re gonna have to work for it. Here are the most important ideas I think you want to apply:
1. Know Your Strengths
People who are displeased with themselves often believe that they have nothing of quality to offer. This is of course, baloney, but since they are unable to see their strengths, it seems like the truth to them.
For this reason, it’s important to know your strengths. We all have strengths, natural qualities that we are born with or we have developed. Unfortunately, many of us are not very aware of them. One of the best things you can do is to commit yourself to discovering your entire personality and clearly understanding your strengths.
2. Discover the qualities under the Flaws
I’m frequently told that I’m stubborn. At one point, I thought this was a big flaw of mine. Eventually, in my quest for self-knowledge, I’ve realized that it was actually a quality that others labeled as a weakness: most of my opinions and decisions were based on solid logic and facts, and I knew this, so I was very firm in them. This came off to many people as stubbornness.
Many qualities are often labeled by ourselves or by others using words that reflect weaknesses; but if you look at the practical effects they create, you will notice that they are in fact, qualities. Take a good look at what seem to be your flaws: could some of them be strengths in disguise?
3. Annihilate Perfectionism
You cannot be happy with yourself if you ask of yourself to be perfect, to have no flaws and to make no mistakes. Perfectionism will kill your self-esteem and keep you in a perpetual cycle of self-hate.
It’s fundamental to realize that you don’t need to be perfect and perfection is an insane expectation, even if it’s very common. Don’t just know this at a conscious, rational level; let this idea sink in and make it a part of your very psychological fabric.
4. Learn and Grow Constantly
While perfectionism is insane, wanting to learn and grow is a very healthy thing. Psychologists believe that our most complex and our defining trait as human beings is the need for self-actualization: we want to be all that we can be. In order to do this, we need to constantly learn and grow.
Set specific personal development goals for yourself and work on achieving them. Read books, take classes or work with a coach; practice consistently all that you find valuable. When you know that you’re always improving and becoming a better person, you naturally tend to be very happy with yourself.
Do not expect for a miracle method that will make you love yourself forever. Reaching and maintaining a state of happiness with yourself requires just like growing in any other area, consistent practice. On this journey, you will find perseverance and the ability to have fun with it to be your best companions.
Enjoy yourself and keep walking!