Tap into Your Richest Resources!
How can you quiet the negative voice that tells you not to try, that you are a failure, that no one will listen to you? According to K. Bradford Brown, PhD and W. Roy Whitten, MDiv, it is possible to self-correct and pull yourself out of the negative zone. It is imperative that you do so or otherwise you will stay stuck in a very uncomfortable and self-defeating place. And while you might think that praise from others will make the difference, all the acclaim won’t mean a thing if you don’t think that at least some of it has merit. That doesn’t mean that all the commendation changes you. It does not. Only you can do that.
“The best bet is to bet on yourself.” — Arnold Glasow
Now ask yourself: Are you capable of perfection? No? Here’s a reality check: you cannot be perfect because it is an impossible state. Do you know what is in a perfect vacuum? Nothing: no air, no particles, no life. You, in contrast, are a living, functioning being with in-born capacity. And that is what you need to keep reminding yourself. You matter. But if you hold yourself to impossible standards, you are setting yourself up for failure.
Perhaps you think you do not deserve to think well of yourself because of something you did. Maybe there was more than one incident that haunts you. If so, it’s time to ask yourself a very honest question: Is this who I am? Be honest. Think about some of the helpful acts you have done, no matter how small they might seem. Do you remember birthdays? Yes, that counts. In a work environment, do you back up your opinions with facts or experiences? Did you ever encourage someone? Add these events to your growing list. What about contributions to charity or donating your time to others? These acts, and so many more like them, form the truth of who you are, not those damaging thoughts that replay the not-so-good episodes.
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” — Anne Frank
How do you want to live your life? Do you want to be ruled by self-defeating feelings? Do you want to give in to every impulse that reinforces behaviors that don’t feel right?
We all know the person who must be the life of the party, who literally lights up a room. I knew someone like that who once confessed to me that he was driven to draw attention to himself. He told me, “I didn’t get a lot of notice as a child. We had a big family and my parents were stretched both financially and emotionally. I discovered that if I was funny, if I said outrageous things, if I kidded people and laughed at myself, then I would feel validated. I did this all through school and then at my jobs. I craved the attention but at the end of every evening I was still with the one person I didn’t want to be with, and that person was me. I kept thinking that if my parents didn’t want to pay attention to me, why should anyone else? Intellectually I know this is wrong, but I can’t change now. What if I don’t act the same way, and no one pays attention to me? Where will I be then?”
My acquaintance was not acknowledging his inner worth. Until he did, he would try to rewrite his own history and attempt to get people to like him without showing who the real person was. Sure, maybe some of his buddies wouldn’t like him so much when that happened. And if that was the case, they weren’t his real friends because they did not bother to get to know the real person.
“No one can really pull you up very high — you lose your grip on the rope. But on your own two feet, you can climb mountains.” –Louis Brandeis
The preceding is adapted from The Winning Advantage: Tap into Your Richest Resources by Raymond Houser ©2018 Raymond D. Houser and published with permission of the author.