In our last two posts we have been talking about building self-confidence as a first step in defining your own personal path to success. Self-esteem is a core identity issue, essential to knowing that we can accomplish our personal goals and be happy and comfortable in our own skin. How can you really achieve personal success without truly believing that you can? A bit like swimming upstream. While most of us know that it is something we need to work on, starting out can be hard and last week we made a few suggestions as to how give yourself credit and begin to understand what you do well and enjoy. Hopefully this got you thinking … How did it go?
For me, the other part of the building of self-confidence comes from also looking at those dreadful low self- confidence moments. Sadly, probably a lot more come to mind than those positive statement completions from last week For me though, there are two parts. One is what I am actually not very good (at rational moments I am pretty accepting of those, and try to get my significant other to do the same) and the other, often way worse, is about what I tell myself. The internal chatter that can rear its head at any time … It is usually quite insistent and often very loud.
For example, I prepare for a presentation, know all the facts, get the slides looking just the way I want, prepare my talking points, lay out my power outfit and then that hideous moment …the imposter monster jumps out. Who am I to be an expert on anything? What doI really know about any of this anyway? Sound familiar?
Or … I invite the guests, spend 3 days shopping, organizing and cooking, throw an amazing bash and as I brush my teeth I glance in the mirror and say, did I really entertain an entire evening looking like this?
This “chatter” shows up all the time, from professionally to personally, to socially, one of my kids throws a tantrum in the toy store, my husband wears the wrong shoes to the party at school, interviews, asking for a raise, a performance review where I have hung on for months to the one comment that isn’t perfect. The list goes on … but the chatter is there.
Our harsh “inner critique” or in Betty talk, The "ugly weeds”, can cloud any sense of accomplishment, this negative mantra starts and one bad thought can spiral to panic. It is not pretty, a lot scary and certainly doesn’t foster self-confidence.
What to do? Me, I Breathe and sometimes run (literally). It allows me to think … and what has worked for me is recognizing that this chatter is a voice. Only a voice. And like any other voice, it can scream but its volume can also be lowered, and on very good days, silenced. It doesn’t mean that it will disappear forever but it can be managed and sometimes, just sometimes, it actually feels good to try and prove it wrong! That is truly where my own motivation to succeed, blossoms.
Do you recognize your own ugly weeds? When do they invade? What do you do? Can you be friends?