It has taken me nearly four decades to accrue a healthy dose of self-esteem. I would find some occasionally that would allow me to do great things, but usually it would disappear until another event would prompt its appearance. I was wary of this lack of consistency in feeling confident as I wanted to be relaxed, cool, and knowledgeable that I was an authority on my strong suits. I knew that the people who were successful were those who had a strong understanding of their self-worth and merits. It wasn’t until I read an article in a magazine that everything started to click for me.
The subject of the article discussed the way to own your greatness whatever it was. This concept appealed to me so I read voraciously for hints, helpers, and definitive processes to obtain this heretofore unobtainable prize. What the article revealed was so simple and obvious it surprised and cheered me at the same time.
To show confidence in your abilities you cannot undermine yourself through language of negativity. By only speaking of yourself and your accomplishments in glowing terms it will showcase your greatness and leave no wiggle room for people to doubt your word. The article used the television cooks as their prime example. It stated that no one ever heard television cooks criticize or project failure of a creation they had been cooking. Every word is a positive reinforcement of their talents and fantastic finished product. “Mmm, smell that roast! See how the meat simply falls off the bone it is so tender? I cannot wait to eat this marvelous and scrumptious dish!” the cook might gush. Not once did you hear, “Oh know, this doesn’t look right and it’s cutting terribly. I guess I messed this recipe up like all of the rest!” These examples are from the two extremes, but the person you would want to cook your meal and, at the very least, invite to stay on your television is the competent cook with a strong opinion of him or herself and his or her cooking skills. We need to learn from that lesson.
As a girl I had always written, but never for publication. I would criticize my work as not good enough, not developed, etc. A certain amount of constructive criticism makes people better, but by never believing in my talents and education I did not give myself a platform to excel and exceed. Once I started writing online and gained a readership, my opinions about myself and my work changed. When I launched Chief 187 Chatter nearly a year ago, I still hadn’t fully committed to my vocation/art. Not until I started filling out bios on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter as “writer” under the job description did I start truly owning what I do. By empowering myself to call myself a professional writer I allowed more great things to occur. Now I can confidently say, “I am a sought-after writer”. Conceited? No, because it is true. I never said I was the best at what I did, but I spoke the truth about my status. When I am on the phone plugging myself to prospective business partners, I tell them what I now believe; I am a damn good writer who is prolific, professional, and able to deliver a top-notch product.
Whatever your vocation, desire, or interest, believe in your strengths. Reinforce how you have worked hard, learned much, and can offer more. If you have a dream, visualize yourself in your dream. Paying dues is a necessary obstacle, but one that everyone faces. Not every opportunity will be the right one, but try everything! Don’t settle, just do what you know is right. The only person you need to believe in yourself initially and all along is YOU. Once you get that down, the rest is easier!
I can finally say with confidence and pride, “I believe in myself!” Do you believe in you?