No one is perfect. And we all have numerous characteristics that comprise our personalities and abilities. But for some, that nagging voice in your head that points out your flaws might be drowning out your ability to truly reflect on and appreciate all you have to offer. The first step toward building a permanently positive self-image is first to recognize then conquer your self-defeating beliefs.
By creating these three simple lists you have taken a major step toward tapping the self-confidence you need to help you reach your potential in practically any area of your life:
List #1 -- First, think about some of the ways you undermine your own self-image, and how it costs you that precious self-confidence that you know could help you excel in virtually any aspect of your life. What are some of the things that you do or attitudes that you're aware of that sabotage the way you think of yourself? Begin with a list of self-defeating beliefs and include all of the ways in which you put yourself down. This list can also include things you don't like about yourself in virtually any category or part of your life. If you're struggling to pinpoint the self-defeating things you tell yourself, my book Stage Climbing: The Shortest Path to Your Highest Potential offers a framework to identify the beliefs that are preventing you from living your life optimally.
List #2 -- This list is of things about yourself that you are proud of and that you feel good about in any part of your life. What are you successful at? What do you do well? What would you like to brag about if given the opportunity? Include anything you have done in which you have excelled -- big or small. For instance, these can be aspects of your job or an avocation, exceptional abilities in your skills as a parent, or even ways in which you are highly valued in your friendships.
When you look at these first two lists together, you can easily see that there is no one word or phrase that can accurately describe or evaluate all of the aspects of who you are. At the very least, list number two will serve as a frame of reference to help you balance your self-image.
List #3 -- Using your positive List #2 of the things you are most proud of and that you excel at, make a final list of one paragraph success stories. For example, these are things you would most like to be remembered for many years from now.
Finally, take the success stories you've created and keep them as positive perspectives, especially during those times that List #1 is vying for your attention. Never forget that no matter who else is in your life, you will always be your most reliable source of support and that you are as worthy of happiness and self-respect as any other human on earth.
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