“You cannot perform in a manner inconsistent with the way you see yourself.” ~ Zig Ziglar
I bet you know someone just like my friend Laura – beautiful, kind, capable, intelligent and yet totally plagued with self-doubt. Laura has little self-confidence and low esteem and nothing that we say to her seems to change her opinion of herself. Laura’s self doubts cost her dearly – for example she was too reluctant to try for a job she would do brilliantly.
And Laura is not alone in her feelings of self doubt and insecurity, despite huge evidence to the contrary – most of us rate ourselves less favourably than our friends and family do. According to Professor Leary of Wake Forest University “You filter the cues that you get from others through your self-concept.”
To put this another way, you filter or assess what others say about you and match it to what you already believe about yourself. So if someone praises you, it’s possible that you might just think they’re being kind rather than 100% truthful.
However, if you have done the best you can (an Attitude of Excellence) you are making a big mistake to totally dismiss their comments.
The Vicious Cycle
Equally, some of us tend to blame ourselves when anything goes wrong, whether we are responsible or not. This reaction can reinforce our toxic thinking about ourselves, setting up a belief system in which we expect to fail or get something wrong, making it more likely that we will fail. It become a vicious cycle.
The better way is to analyse what happened and learn from it. Truth is that we are always going to make mistakes sometimes, that’s life.
How do you see yourself?
How do you think this year is going to go for you? Are you going to be successful, fulfilled, happy?
The answers to these questions matter. How you see yourself and what you expect to happen influence both your decisions and your behaviour.
If you see yourself as inadequate or a failure, it will show in your body language and people will ‘read it.’ It will show in how you approach tasks. It will show in how you talk to yourself. There is a lot of research that suggests that we believe what we say about ouselves more than what others say. I am going to post on this soon.
And of course the opposite is true. If you believe you are going to succeed, you will convey that to others and to yourself. This positive feeling of expectation will motivate you to keep going and it will help you to notice opportunities.
Who are you listening to?
It took me a long time to accept that my self worth is dependant on how God sees me and not how I see myself or how others see me. I know that I am far from perfect (! as anyone who knows me will tell you) and yet I also know that God loves me. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God has good plans for our lives and Jesus told us that He came to give us an abundant life (John 10:10) However, He also tells us that the thief will come to steal, kill and destroy.
Don’t listen to the thief, dont let him steal your self worth or your future.
Some tips and suggestions
“Don’t be bluffed into silence by the threats of bullies.(the bully might be you) There’s nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life —body and soul— in his hands. What’s the price of a pet canary? Some loose change, right? And God cares what happens to it even more than you do. He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries.” Matthew 10:28ff italics mine.
Ask God to show you areas where He would like you to change. Confess and repent and then let go. “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
Make a list of all the negative thoughts/expectations you have then, for each one, write a faith-filled statement or affirmation from the Bible and say them out loud every day. Keep telling yourself that you can do it.
Hang out with people who support you, encourage you and will give you great advice. Read/listen to people who have succeeded in areas that you want to make progress in.
See yourself as someone who is loved, and capable. Always do the best you can at that moment and take a Godly pride in your successes.
As always I welcome your comments and ideas- thank you for reading this post.