Forget about forgetting your insecurity — here’s what to do instead!

Only when we accept our insecurity will we get confidence to move on.Deep down, we’d all like to be able to simply forget — or delete — our insecurity.

Some people will claim that we’re better off having insecurity. Because it’s a natural, human trait that keeps us grounded and in touch with our humility.

But when someone with certain ambitions also has low confidence… They just wanna find that insecurity and simply press ‘delete’.

I know you’re out there, and I totally hear you.

However, here’s why we need to go about it a different way…:

Obviously there’s the fact that doing away with a considerable part of our mindset tends to be a time- and ressource-demanding process.

But there’s also the fact that when we want to get rid of something, first we need to accept it.

Those of you who struggle with stress and panic anxiety will know this. The more we fight it, the worse it tends to get. It doesn’t start to go away until we calmly and openly acknowledge and accept that it’s there.

It’s like that for all imaginable problems, really.

Hell, just imagine trying to walk on a broken leg because you won’t accept that it’s broken. Not exactly clever, yeah?

When we accept something, we grow a little. I’m all about personal growth, and this case is no exception.

Because, just like with stress and anxiety, when we embrace insecurity, its influence lessens because we allow ourselves to contain it.

When we’re big enough, we can contain anything. Including the things that have been opposing us. And if we simply absorb our obstacles, they’re no longer in our way.

Pretty cool philosophy, right?

Furthermore, if you’ve ever been insecure, you’ll always remember that feeling no matter how hard you try to forget it. So really, it’s no use. But the root of the matter is, it’s not about forgetting; it’s about learning to ignore it at the right moments.

And yes, I specifically use the word ‘ignore‘ here. Some might think me self-contradictory for talking about embracing insecurity first and  then simply ignore it. But really, this is how confident people do it.

Given the right set of circumstances, anyone can feel insecure about something. This is basic, primal neural functions at work. We’re hardwired to look for trouble. But that doesn’t mean there’s really anything to be insecure about. So we need to learn to distinguish between real and perceived threats. Then, we’ll be able to tell our insecurity to calm down when it’s not useful.

Which, in fact, it rarely is.

Now, apart from acknowledging your insecurity, there are several things you can do that will naturally diminish it.

If done right, meditation helps. Also, exercise is always a good thing. Eating healthy and getting enough sleep should go without saying. (And then, of course, there’s confidence coaching, which I most heartily recommend!)

Different things work for different people. But however you live your life, always remember this:

Everyone feels insecurity. Even confident people. It’s what we DO about it that shows our real character.

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Okay, so you messed up. Now what?

If you messed up something, you might feel embarrassed. But mistakes are necessary if you wanna build confidence.Okay. So you did something wrong. Maybe you made a social blunder; maybe you carried out some task and failed. In short: You messed up.

For people with low confidence, failure can be downright devastating.

I know. Because I used to be ashamed of things I did or said. All the time.

And I’m not talking about calmly realizing one’s wrongdoing and immediately learning from it. I’m talking an involuntary panic-anxiety-attack-like-muscle-spasms-complete-with-grinding-teeth-and-making-noises sorta sensation.

With an inner voice going like: “Screw you! You messed up, and you’re useless! You’re unable to do anything right, and you should be locked away! You messed up, and that’s all you’re ever gonna do!

Every day, several times.

And it doesn’t even have to be something big. It could be a misused word, a social faux pas… anything.

When non-fident people react drastically to making any kind of mistake, it’s because non-fidence is often accompanied by low self-esteem, perfectionism, and insecurity.

When we have low self-esteem, we tend to judge ourselves more vigorously than we would our peers. If we don’t like ourselves, we’re hard on ourselves. Simple as that.

But moreover, if we don’t allow for ourselves to make mistakes, we develop perfectionism. Which, in turn, makes it seem so much worse to us when we do make a mistake. — Or even do something in a manner less than “perfect”. (Which, as I’ve written about before, is a BS notion.)

And then there’s the insecurity, which doesn’t allow for much space for mistakes, nor for even trying. This is governed by the amygdala — the reptilian part of our brain — most commonly known for our “fight or flight” mechanism.

See, amongst our primitive ancestors, social identity was way more important than today. Dangers were all around. If you messed up something, it could get you expelled from your tribe and thrown out into the wilderness on your own.

All of this perfectly illustrates the dangerous downward spiral of non-fidence. If we have low regard for ourselves we make less space for ourselves to make mistakes. This, in turn, causes making mistakes to be even more likely, which, then, will only lead to much more self-loathing and shame.

Because we DO make mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. We know this perfectly well, yet tend to act like we’re the only flawed person alive.

But here’s the kicker:

Confident people make WAY many more mistakes than less confident people.

The more confident you are, the less regard you give to other people’s opinion about you. The higher you think of yourself, the less you worry about making mistakes. You know perfectly well that your rights outnumber your wrongs. You know perfectly well that you’re able to learn from your mistakes.

Indeed, if you don’t make mistakes, you can never learn. And if you don’t learn, you don’t grow.

In other words:

For every time you messed up something in life, you had the opportunity to learn, grow, and prevent yourself from making the same mistake again.

So get out there and mess up. Badly. Learn, improve, repeat. And as you learn and grow, watch as your confidence grows with you.

ACTION ITEM:

The next time you’re embarrassed about something, use the following method:

  1. Stop what you’re doing.
  2. Breathe. Ten long, deep breaths.
  3. Think. Realize that whatever negative response on your part are merely thoughts, and that they’re not necessarily true, constructive or favourable.
  4. Choose how you want to feel about what happened. Do you genuinely want to be ashamed? Or would you rather accept, learn, and grow?

The choice is yours.

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Are you humble or vain?

Outer values don't mean you're vain or less worth. On the contrary, they often reflect confidence.Many of us are raised into believing that humility, modesty and inner values are virtues. — And that those are superior and contradictory to being vain, selfish, and superficial.

That money not only can’t buy you love, but it’s the root of all evil. That we’re not supposed to think too highly of ourselves, and that wanting more than your average peer is “vain”,  “selfish” and “greedy”.

… And I say that’s all a huge load of life-denial.

Want six-pack abs? Of course you do!

Want a pimped-out car? Cool!

Want to be rich? Well, who doesn’t?!

Want to eat out at fancy restaurants every week? Well, count me in!

Sadly, there’s a prevalent way of thinking that allegedly, only weak individuals who try to cover up low confidence strive for these things. And that the two are incompatible contraries.

However, I’ve found the opposite to be true.

Whether you can have a humble outlook and still cultivate outer values is a matter of confidence. Because confidence is a matter of personal growth, and being able to contain presumed differences and paradoxes.

I used to think that nothing made any sense because nothing has any inherent meaning or value, and therefore, nothing mattered. And so, it didn’t matter what I did or whether I felt good, so I might as well feel miserable.

Today, I KNOW that nothing makes sense, has any meaning or value — so we have to apply our own meaning and value. I KNOW that my existence is as objectively pointless as any other human being’s. — But also, I sure do know what I like. So I’ll have some more of that while I’m here, thank you.

Non-fidence often entails envy of other people’s fortune. With thinking in terms of scarcity, pettiness and settling — rather than abundance, admiration and ambition.

When you see successful people driving cool cars, dining at expensive restaurants, working out to get slim and fit, and whatnot, those things are assuredly a reflection of confidence. — Feeling that you’re worth something, and that it’s totally cool to have nice things because why shouldn’t you be allowed to?

But they’re only brief values, not permanent ones!

… And??

Whenever we eat anything, it’s a passing pleasure. And, for that matter, whenever we have sex, watch a movie, get drunk, have fun and all-round entertain ourselves. Life CONSISTS of passing moments and sensations: Why not make sure they’re enjoyable?

Don’t get me wrong. We should, ideally, feel good about ourselves no matter what we do. But I believe it goes the other way, too.

I believe that the things we do should also make us feel good. If someone else considers them “vain”, so what?

Just because you feel good doesn’t make it right. I know. But that in itself sure doesn’t make it wrong, either.

We’re here once. (And there’s no sensible reason to believe otherwise until someone presents sufficient evidence.) So for goodness’ sakes let’s go ahead and make that one time worth looking back upon.

ACTION ITEM:

Indulge yourself. Do something you’ve been wanting to do, but didn’t because you thought it might be too vain or selfish.

If you want to be worth it, go ahead and think that you are. That’s how we grow a little.

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“The one word you need in order to succeed”

In order to succeed, don't just say 'yes' or 'no'. Say both, to the right things, respectively.Yeah, notice how there’s a lot of these kinds of headlines out there? “The one word you need in order to succeed”. “Learn this one word and it’ll change your life forever”.

To spare you the time and effort, I’ve hereby decided to write, well, the one article you’ll ever need to read about this topic.

(… In order to succeed? You be in charge of that.)

You see, in my years of studying confidence and self-development I’ve read several articles like that. And while some of them do contain important truths, I have a problem with the entire premise. Because…

***SPOILER ALERT***

This one word they talk about is always either ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

The idea, then, is that if you just say ‘yes’ — or ‘no’ — to whatever comes your way, things’ll start looking up for you.

You can probably see where I’m going with this. Because…

How on Earth would you possibly live like that??

And it’s not like I don’t get it. I KNOW you’re not supposed to take it that literally.

But what these articles fail to address is the crucial distinction between what one either accepts or rejects .

If you say ‘no’ to everything you’re not gonna have much going for you. But if you say ‘yes’ to everything you’re gonna burn out from stress within a week.

What’s really important is WHEN to say either ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

For the sake of argument, let’s distinguish between a ‘yes’ and a ‘no’ mentality. Both can be attributed to non-fidence in their respective ways.

A ‘yes’ mentality in that non-fidents are often people pleasers who will seek to avoid causing conflict and rejection by over-agreeing, over-accepting, and taking on too many burdens of their peers.

A ‘no’ mentality in that negativity is closely related to non-fidence. If you look at yourself negatively, you probably don’t have a very positive outlook altogether. And to protect themselves, non-fidents tend to be rejective towards new ideas that might challenge their comfort zone.

In order to succeed, then, we gotta figure out the right things to either accept or reject.

To better ourselves, we need to teach our ‘yes’ mentality that sometimes it’s okay to disagree, reject non-supportive ideas, and acknowledge that we’re not able to solve everyone’s problems.

And, conversely, we need to teach our ‘no’ mentality that we’ll go nowhere by not allowing ourselves to, that new ideas fuel our growth, and that meaningful change happens outside our comfort zone.

It takes years practicing this distinction. Hell, I’m still working on it. But it gets easier.

Just don’t ever think you’ll do yourself any good by resorting to leading a one-track mentality.

ACTION ITEM:

Write two lists of five to ten things.

One, a ‘yes’-list — of things towards which you probably need to be more open and accepting. And, well, in order to succeed in some areas.

The other, a ‘no’-list — of things which you probably need to cut down on, or maybe remove from your life entirely.

These things might be actions, habits, ideas, people, food, gadgets… Whichever might be either obviously beneficial or detrimental to you.

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Why is taking the first step so hard?

Taking the first step can seem scary. Take it anyway.If you’re anything like I used to be, you’ve been held back by your current problems for more than a matter of months. You’ve wanted to be taking the first step. But… How??

We do this for several reasons. Some more evident than others.

For example, if lack of confidence is holding you back, there’s probably several by-problems affecting your entire predicament.

You might feel too tired; stressed; hurt; overwhelmed; too frightened. Or your fear might be an inner, hidden one which manifests as apparent laziness and comfortability.

Maybe you don’t know how to plan your time. Maybe you prioritize wrongly. Or maybe you don’t feel comfortable in making the right choices.

The right choices are different from everyday ones like choosing what to wear, what to eat, when to sleep, what to read, etc.. For the most part, those make but small differences in our lives.

Conversely, making the right choice is the last thing anyone does before permanently changing their life for the better.

The right choice has will and focus behind it. A will to go in a certain direction; a focus on the direction itself.

Now, those things in themselves don’t make any choice “right”. (I’m sure a lot of murderers had will and focus too…) But any right choice will necessarily encompass will and focus.

Then, why is making the right choice so hard for people with low confidence?

I’d like to be able to present a simple, yet surprising reason here. But the fact is, people are different, and so are their sources of low confidence, respectively.

Some might not know what they want. Others might, but may then be too scared of failure and humiliation. – Or even of the responsibility and exposure following a successful completion.

Whatever it is, here’s the good news:

While taking the first step might seem hard, the first step matters less than you think.

So what really matters is that no matter how you feel, you go ahead and do it anyway.

Yes, it’s scary. But you can do it.

Consider how great musicians and speakers get nervous before going onstage. Hell, great artists are among the world’s most notoriously depressed people.* But they do it anyway.

I’m not making you feel bad about yourself. I’m saying, whatever you want to do CAN be done.

And if you don’t know what you want, you won’t find out by wallowing in inactivity, but by getting out and gathering new inspiration.

Remember: You can always change directions. If you’re stuck somewhere, you probably won’t evolve. But whatever new place you go, you’ll learn new things to help you further on.

All you gotta do is to be taking that first step to get going.

ACTION ITEM:

1) Write down your three biggest values, your three biggest strengths, and your three biggest interests.
2) Take the biggest one from each category, and write down three possible ways of combining the three into something you’d like to do.
3) Pick one.
4) Write down the three first things you can do to make this happen.
5) For the next three days, do one of these things.
6) Repeat point 4) to 5).

Congratulations: You’re taking the first step.


Sources:

* https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3181877/; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10203964

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Wait for it… — On the virtue of patience

How do you expect to succeed at anything if you haven't got the patience?Building confidence takes patience. — In that it takes years.

Some people attract confidence naturally. But, unfairly as the world works, not everyone does.

If life’s truly got you down, turning it around is one of the bigger projects you’ll ever undergo. And even with a fairly normal life, rising above the average and becoming extraordinarily successful will also take years.

Trust me.

This is one of the major reasons that people get stuck in unsatisfying lives: We often end up settling for certain conditions because we think they’re inevitable. This can be because we’ve endured them for a certain period, and/or because we find ourselves coming back to them.

It’s all due to a lack of one little term, which means a world of difference between those who succeed and those who don’t…:

PATIENCE.

When someone settles for less, there’s necessarily a bi-sensation of giving up. And even though this might feel nice, it only does so because it’s comfortable. And, more often than not, comfort is what keeps us from getting where we want to be.

How many times have you planned to get up early only to snooze within the first millisecond of the alarm clock?

How many times have you wanted to lose weight only to keep gorging on junk food several times a week?

I could go on, but you get the point.

We settle for things by allowing them to happen. And by not being sufficiently patient we give way for allowing something to happen which we might end up settling for, even though initially we wouldn’t necessarily want to.

This is especially true for people of low confidence. When we’re not confident, we think unrealistically less of our abilities, therefore often not putting in the necessary work to succeed in whatever our pursuit, thereby getting used to failing.

And, in turn, we end up thinking of not only ourselves, but of everything we do, as a failure. — Which, in a classic example of downward spiralling, affects our patience negatively.

However, if one has enough patience to succeed, guess how that affects our confidence — and our patience? Yes, exactly.

Patience is crucial. Not only to succeed in any endeavours, but to a basic, good life. Think about it: If you want to achieve ANYHING worthwhile, how are you gonna do it if you deem failure in the midst of the process only because you get impatient??

I don’t want this for you. I don’t want any of you to settle for less than you truly want. Allow yourself to slowly build the patience of a saint, and you will be able to reap whatever tremendous benefits you want.

ACTION ITEM:

For 24 hours, turn off your phone, don’t go online, and don’t watch any TV or listen to any radio.

Why? Because we’ve gotten so used to these everyday distractions that our attention span, and, hence, our patience, suffers drastically. The longer you’re able to abstain from these kinds of instant gratification-kinda stimuli, the better your patience will be.

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Don’t be that guy…

Nobody likes someone who moans and bitches, be it online or IRL. So whatever you do, don't be that guy.You know how in every comment section online there’s always that one guy who’s bitchy and moany about whatever the subject matter? Yeah, don’t be that guy.

Often, there’s more than one. (Lookin’ at you, YouTube!) And of course, girls do it too, but they tend to be more passive-aggressive, whereas guys can be more up-front.

As far as I see there seems to be a strong connection between that type of behavior and low confidence/self-esteem.

This doesn’t mean that all of my readers are “moaners”, as it were. (Au contraire, I like to think that you’re smarter than that.) It’s simply a matter of how non-fident people tend to think, and how many people seem to use online comment fields as an outlet for all-round negativity.

You see, non-fidence and negative thinking go hand-in-hand. If you tend to have negative thoughts about yourself, you can’t very well have a positive outlook towards life in general, right?

And, conversely, if you tend to see flaws, ugliness and shortcomings everywhere, it would likely include yourself.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with questioning and critical thinking per se. But the line between critical and negative tends to be blurred, at best. And when you’re non-fident, it’s all too easy to let negativity take over.

I hereby implore of you…: Don’t be that guy.

Whether online or IRL, just don’t moan and bitch. Those people bring about nothing constructive. Their attitudes and choice of words are poisonous towards a normal, healthy environment.

But what if I’m being negative towards something that really deserves it, like racism, misogyny, corruption, global warming, or reality-TV??

Look. Sensible people know perfectly well that those things are messed up. But what matters isn’t how we talk about them; it’s how we act towards them.

If you really wanna solve a problem, do something constructive to solve it. You solve nothing by simply pointing out negative aspects.

Don’t be that guy who bitches and moans without bringing anything constructive to the table. Don’t be that guy who does nothing but increase our collective amount of verbal sewage.

If you bitch and moan about things, chances are you’ll not only look less cool to those who oppose you, but you’ll likely become ingrained in the very habit of negative thinking. And that’s tough to unravel when you need momentum, lemme tell ya.

So, am I not ALLOWED to speak my mind all of a sudden?!”

Yeah, notice how you’re still making negative assumptions rather than taking my words to heart. 😉

Bottom line: Yes, there’s a downside to everything. But we gotta ask ourselves: Which side would serve me best to focus on? Which side is more beneficial and constructive? Which side would be ideal working towards?

I wage that 99,99% of the time, it’s the positive side.

ACTION ITEM:

Note three things which you usually perceive negatively. For each of those, write three paragraphs of 50-100 words apiece, each concerning one positive aspect of that thing.

This exercise challenges our usual habits of thinking, and makes us see things from a different, positive perspective. It’ll probably surprise you how tricky — and beneficial — it is.

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We need a more nuanced way of saying “just do it”

Try telling someone with low confidence and/or depression to just do it. -- Actually, don't.People with low confidence and/or depression endure additional frustration when confronted with the attitude of just do it.

Popularized by an immense athletics corporation, it’s hard not to see the mass-appeal of this ubiquitous saying. — And of its more jaunty sibling: Nothing to it but to do it.

Ah, how quaintly it conveys confidence and a winning spirit.

Unfortunately, it’s hardly translatable into utility.

Two reasons for that:

    1) First of all, it only presents an attitude that, when paired with persistence, focus, and above all a crystal clear plan, will help you endure. But when you have neither, what good is a one-sentence peptalk in itself?

In other words: I should just do what, exactly?

And when? And how? For how many hours a day? What time of day? And until when? And succeeded by what?

     2) Second, depression and low confidence is impossible to understand unless you’ve been through it yourself. And the people who are keen on giving well-meant advice often have no clue what kind of situation they’re addressing…:

Feel depressed? Well, you just gotta pull yourself together!

Can’t lose weight? Well, you just gotta eat less and exercise more!

No luck with the ladies? Well, you just gotta be yourself!

Don’t have any friends? Well, you just gotta have more confidence!”

*SIGH*

Look: Building one’s confidence and/or breaking free of depression can be tough. Solving those issues can take months, or even years. And…

If you have neither confidence nor direction in life, being met with an attitude of just do it isn’t only inappropriate; it can seem downright insulting.

If we wanna carry something out, we gotta be specific about it. Only THEN does it make sense to talk about “just” doing something.

First, however, we gotta figure out what we’re gonna do. And for many people, this in itself is a biggie.

(Hell, it took me +33 years!)

Specifically, the best way to get started on this is to start walking one path. Plain and simple.

Pick it out of interest. If you don’t feel like you’re going anywhere, pretty much anything will do.

This isn’t a mandatory future career we’re embarking on here. We merely walk a path because any momentum is essential for any progress, and because standing still will only cause us to deteriorate.

Also, if at any point we feel like changing directions, we can always do that. And we will have gathered valuable experience for our onward journey.

ACTION ITEM:

Write down at least three things you’d like to answer the next time someone gives you the happy-go-lucky attitude of just do it.

No need to be belligerent. Just think about what you’d most of all want people to understand, and use that as a benchmark.

Optionally, if what you need might be direction, write down three things you’d might wanna pursue. List any pros and cons beneath each one. If you have no interests whatsoever, take comfort in the fact that you likely have worlds of undiscovered interests ahead.

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We don’t “deserve” anything

We don't deserve anything just by feeling, thinking and acting however we happen to do. And that's what we necessarily do all the time.Many coaches and self-development whizzes will talk about living the life you “deserve”, and how you somehow “deserve” certain things. But… You don’t deserve anything.

Because nobody does. And already, I have a good idea what most of you are thinking:

But I’ve been miserable for so many years! I deserve to be happy!” “I’ve worked so hard! I deserve money!” “I’ve never slept with a girl! I deserve sex!

No. You don’t deserve anything, and here’s why…

Whenever we do anything, we do it because it’s what everything in our lives leads towards.

When we do something out of habit, we run on autopilot. Our habits are formed through a myriad of contributing factors, internal and external.

Whenever we break habits, it’s because we use our will. But our will is just as much of an inescapable condition as our habits.

When we break habits, it’s because our habits have become unbearable. – To an extent where change is the only option. And whenever we try something new, our guiding contributor is our curiosity. Which is just as ingrained as our habits, our will, and everything else comprising our personalities.

I know: This is kinda heavy on the philosophy. Bottom line: We gotta understand and accept that life isn’t fair. Everyone is who they happen to be. They still don’t deserve anything more or less.

While this doesn’t mean we don’t have any will of our own, it simply means that our will isn’t “free”; it’s conditioned. The only things of which our thoughts, feelings and actions are independent are the things to which we aren’t exposed in the first place.

For example, you can’t somehow want pancakes unless at some point you’ve heard about the existence of pancakes.

But we can invent things! Someone invented pancakes!

Yes. And that person wouldn’t have been able to without hearing about the existence of flour, eggs, sugar, and water, and being disposed to combine them.

We’re not the unique center of the universe just because we’re self-conscious. We can combine things – willfully or accidentally. But the comprising elements need to be available to us first.

Also, this doesn’t mean there are no values. It’s just that there are no objective values.

Some might claim that empathy, love, and procreation is “bigger” than us, transcending generations. But in a larger perspective, it still falls flat.

Eventually, mankind dies. Like the five billion species before us. Eventually, Earth will be swallowed by the sun. There will be no individuals to experience “values”. And even though we might consider the existence of otherworldly species that might share a resemblance of these values, we have no way of knowing.

(Enough philosophy for today, I promise!)

Now here’s the liberating part:

If we want values, we just gotta pick ‘em for ourselves. Your values are as good as any. So stick by them. If need be, you can always change them as you go along.

The universe; destiny; God; whatever you call it, owes you exactly dick.

And therein lies liberation. Because…

Whenever we think we “deserve” something, we live by entitlement. And confident people have no need for entitlement. They know that the only reward we get is whatever we set ourselves up for, and that the path towards it is a purpose in itself.

Confident people set themselves up for success knowing perfectly well that we don’t deserve anything. Because it’s not a matter of “deserving” it. – It’s simply a matter of doing whatever it takes to achieve whatever we want.

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How forgiveness and empathy might harm you

If you don't allow yourself to stand up, other people will walk all over you.Anyone who has low confidence and self-esteem will know that a lot of one’s energy goes towards forgiveness and empathy. Towards worrying about what others think of you.

When we do this, we give others the opportunity to walk all over us. Partly because we don’t wanna lose the people we happen to have in our lives.

But also because we’re used to thinking of forgiveness and empathy as good things. – In fact, don’t most people raise their kids into thinking like that?

And so, this can easily lead to being a pushover. Being people-pleasing and putting up with way more shit than you ought to.

Even putting up with being hurt. And even repeatedly.

We might try to justify it. Downplay it. See it from the other person’s perspective. (“He’s probably been having some rough times lately, so it’s only right that he vents, and maybe I can help out a little by letting him take it out on me”.)

Ultimately, none of those things help us. In fact, in those situations they only harm us. — By assisting us in neglecting the one thing that should, ideally, matter the most to anyone:

Our own needs.

If we’re not used to asserting ourselves, setting boundaries for ourselves, having standards for ourselves, and saying no, we slowly let our own needs deteriorate. And if you don’t allow yourself what’s vital for yourself, what kind of person do you expect to be??

Now, forgiveness and empathy aren’t bad things in and by themselves. But they don’t necessarily solve anything in and by themselves, either.

And sometimes, forgiveness and empathy might do us more harm than good! This tends to happen when we cultivate them towards other people first, and towards ourselves second.

When you have confidence, you have no problem putting your own needs ahead of others’. Confidence, among other things, means conviction that you deserve whatever you want in life.

“But how can I be convinced of that?? We’re all just people! So how am I “better” than anyone else??”

Nobody said you were. But nobody said you weren’t, either. And if anyone did, what would you expect to gain from listening?

Also, if you please others more than yourself, aren’t you living by something equally as arbitrary, only self-destructive?

Think about it: If you don’t put your own needs first, how do you expect to get anywhere in life??

“But if I put my own needs first, won’t people think I’m being selfish/egotistical/stuck-up/narcissistic/etc.?”

Yeah, notice how that’s still worrying about what other people think.

First and foremost, we need to realize that opinions, whether our own or others’, are simply opinions.

They’re not necessarily true or false, they’re nothing more than different perspectives. So, we need to ask ourselves, “What perspectives can I use? And what perspectives are harmful to me?”

Now often, we do NEED other people’s perspectives. So as not to get stuck in our own, and so as to provide a certain amount of experience when needed. But there’s a world of difference between that, and living by other people’s opinions.

ACTION ITEM:

This week, assert yourself just one more time than you normally do. If that means just once, it’s still better than none. It might mean not taking a certain task upon you even if urgent. It might mean putting some time off for yourself each day. Or it might just mean telling someone to piss off, plain and simple. Turn off your phone and work on something that’s important to you.

Anyone should do that every single day. Because it doesn’t make you an asshole; it just makes you self-assertive and confident.

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