Here is a gift you can give yourself that’s 100 per cent free, but worth more than you can imagine!
Moments of weakness
Have you ever had one of those ‘less than’ days? Even people who seem to have it all together have moments (months, years!) where they feel decidedly ‘less than’.
There are those who are better at masking it than others, but self-doubt and low self-worth can creep in and overshadow all that is fabulous about you. Other people have problems when it comes to self-esteem. Maybe we secretly feel we aren’t good enough at our jobs and are just waiting to be found out, or perhaps we worry we are lacking as parents, partners or friends.
Maybe there are areas where we hold back because we feel less than capable, less than smart, less than attractive. The thing is, feeling ‘less than’ and allowing it to decide how things are going to be is a big, fat waste of precious time and energy. Time
to kick it to the kerb.
1. Stop comparing yourself!
No, really, stop it now. Comparison is the thief of joy. Read that sentence again, slowly, and soak in its meaning. Comparison is the thief of joy. Time spent fretting that you are not as pretty/thin/successful/smart/wealthy/happy as another person, means you risk losing sight of all that is right in your world.
2. Celebrate your ‘you-ness’.
You are unique. You bring your own brand of special to the table. Other people are not ‘better’ than you, they are ‘different’ to you. What are your gifts? I’m not talking about being able to play a Mozart piano concerto, but hey, kudos if you can! Are you kind? Do you love with all your heart? Do you keep a family fed, sheltered and safe? These are all great gifts. Play to your strengths.
3. Your ‘less than’ triggers.
Occasionally situations or people make us feel more ‘less than’ than others. Why? An honest assessment is needed. Is it within your power to change either the situation or your reaction? The answer is almost always yes! Try a few or all of the following:
• Surround yourself with positive, ‘can do’ people.
• Have the courage to speak your truth.
• Practise saying ‘no’. It can be enormously freeing.
• Log off social media for a while. In Facebook, Twitter and Instagram land, it can seem like everyone is living in a permanent Kodak moment. Except you. They aren’t, it’s all done with mirrors, but taking a break can help gain perspective.
4. Say what?
Examine your self-talk; it’s powerful stuff. Is there a Negative Nelly inside your head who loves to trash-talk you? She whispers things like ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I’m not worthy’, ‘I am ugly’, ‘I am stupid’. Girlfriend, Nelly is a big liar who needs to be sent packing! Daily (hourly!) positive affirmations can help enormously. Affirmations are encouraging messages we give ourselves to bolster self-worth. With regular practice, they become part of our truth. Imagine you are talking to a friend because you wouldn’t let a friend speak poorly about herself. Here are a few to try:
• I respect myself
• I am worthy
• I am good enough
• I am likable and lovable
• I deserve good things
• I accept myself, flaws and all
• I am beautiful, inside and out
5. Redefine failure
You made a mistake? Welcome, fellow human! Every failure is a chance to improve, learn and grow. Ergo, there is no such thing as failure. Make more mistakes!
6. Practise simple gratitude
Once you resolve to stop comparing yourself unfavourably with others, get up and take a walk around your home. What do you have? Do you have running water, electricity, food in the fridge? That’s a bounty of riches right there. Learn to feel grateful instead of like you are lacking.
7. Take care of you!
Nothing inspires positive self-worth quite like the kick you get from nurturing your body with wholesome food, regular exercise and quality sleep. It says ‘I care enough about me to put me first.’ When you bring that ‘A’ game, trash-talkin’ Nelly doesn’t stand a chance. You win.
8. Step away from the credit card
There’s a lot of pressure on us to have All The Things: new car, renovated kitchen, latest tech gadget, whatever. The ‘less than’ monster feeds off this stuff and plants the fear that if we don’t have All The Things, we will be excluded from the cool group because it proves just how inferior we really are. (What? You still have a flip phone? Your car is 10 years old? Eww! So not being your friend.) See? Ridiculous. The pursuit of shiny new things will never make you happier, just deeper in debt. Strive to be content in your own skin, head and heart. Who or what lifts your spirits and reaffirms your faith in humanity? Pursue those things first and foremost.