We all grow up comparing ourselves to others. “Keeping up with the Joneses” is a very real and exhausting disposition. We pride ourselves on outer success, image, and popularity when we should be focused on inner strength, inspiration, and purpose. We instead are driven by what others think of us rather than finding fulfillment in the moment.
We neglect our personal story, our struggles, and vulnerability when sharing ourselves with the world. It becomes about achievement when it should be about actions. We think our weaknesses are something to be insecure about when they can create more honest, open relationships including a great relationship with oneself.
- Outgrow the Old You
Insecure? Drained? Depressed? How you feel may not always be your fault but your attitude is one makeover that can start today. Your old thinking patterns belittle, demean and demand from you. They are called The Judge. Cognitive behavioral therapy suggests changing these patterns by replacing those thoughts.
Start with the words, “I Am.” End the sentence with what you want to become. Example, right now you may be feeling “I Am Insecure.” Replace this with “I Am Inspired.” See how it works? Track your thoughts, develop mantras and say “I Am” statements. You are speaking then to your obstacles and turning them into opportunities.
How long does this take? Less than five minutes a day.
- Harness Your Happiness
Visualize your happiest memory. Now, write it down. Put this into a jar. Close the lid. Take a deep breath and smile. You just started a Happiness Jar!
Each day, write down something that made you happy or a happy thought. This could be a memory, a moment, a mantra, you name it! Then, when you are feeling down, take out this jar and reflect on happiness. Happiness is a choice, not a feeling. It’s a concept that we choose to harness. We can harness our happiness by making this choice to reflect on happiness itself. Choose your thinking patterns.
Remember all those times things turned around, you made a difference, you helped that stranger or you had a fulfilling time with family or friends. Reflecting on it will cause you to build on those moments.
- Authentically Be
You don’t have to have all the answers; You just have to be authentic. You may feel fear, insecurities or like the sum of your mistakes, but Steve Jobs once directed that we should Connect the Dots. Follow your passions and let the dots connect rather than focus on a destination. That’s what he did. “Something inside you knows what you want to be,” He once famously said. That authenticity can lead you greater than focusing on societal success. Focusing on the inside passions rather than outward validation for what we do. Getting into that school, getting a raise or promotion, shouldn’t be the sum of all we can be. Living your passions is how to be inspired. You don’t have to have the answer. You don’t have to know where it all is going to go. You just have to show up.
- Learn Self Love
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You have to really love yourself to get anything done in this world”
Insecurity drives our image. But what if it was self-love that drove our style?
Love of self isn’t easy, but it starts with a list. Start with this question, “What would you like to hear today?” Answer that.
Write a list of things you would like to hear about yourself, not a reflection of who you already are. We often underestimate our abilities. This is like the “I Am” statement. What do you love about yourself? End with that question. You then have two reflections – what you would like to hear about yourself and what you already love about yourself.
Try this in a journal. Ask questions, let others in on this question. Letting others into your journey helps overcome insecurity to being inspired.
- Share Your Story
Do you have someone you can share anything with? The answer may depend on how open you are about sharing your story. Your story can help others and it can be freeing. You may be insecure about your past, but you should be inspired to create your future from overcoming said past. The struggle in your story gives you a powerful resilience. It shows the heart and soul of anything that you’re trying to do.
When you share your story, you share that overcoming adversity is human and that humanity can touch and change others on the same or similar journeys. We can shift the narrative of loss to one of love. We can redeem ourselves through sharing our stories and finding enlightenment out of our trials.
With these ideas in mind, you can find fulfillment in any situation. You can find empowerment through both loss and love. You can become a greater, more satisfied person in the end by changing the way you think, the way you act, the way you look at things and the way you love. The power is in you. Good luck!