By Lindy Earl
Humans are interesting people. I realize how silly that sentence sounds, but we really are an odd combination of good and bad, pretty and ugly, happy and sad. For instance, we are loved from the minute we are brought into this world. Just your existence was enough to make people – parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends, so many people – smile! You didn’t do anything but exist, and it was enough.
Yet, it can be hard for us to accept that, but easy for each of us to believe bad and ugly things. How backwards.
For no clear reason, some bad feeling can hit you. It may be smells, sounds, or words that trigger a negative feeling or memory. Wham. They just hit! Because of this, we need to be proactive about feeling good about ourselves.
Let’s say something clearly to start: Nobody has a good childhood. Bad thoughts and feelings return, as was said, due to sounds or smells or something that reminds us of something negative from our childhood. Even if you came from the best loving and kind family in the world, something bad happened at some point. Bullies are everywhere. Sometimes it’s not even an intentional slur, but your feelings were hurt at some point.
I had a speech impediment as a child and had four years of speech classes. In 4th grade our teacher decided to have everyone in the class write something nice about everyone in the class, anonymously. I think it was supposed to be a confidence-building exercise or something. Anyway, one of my slips of paper said, “She talks funny.” Now, why the teacher included that after she told us she read all the papers overnight to be sure nobody used the opportunity to be mean, I can’t imagine. It made a little 10 year old girl cry. I was well aware I talked funny! I had been teased about it since I was 5. But the poor teacher didn’t have a clue that the words on that paper were heartless and cruel to the mind of a little girl. Bad things happen in childhood and in life. We need to deal with it and get past it. Yes, I am long past what happened in 4th grade and lost my speech impediment about a year later.
So, knowing that there is ugliness everywhere, you need to know that
You are good.
You’re really okay.
You are who you were meant to be.
You’re able to change what you don’t like about yourself.
So it’s easy to say this, but how do we accomplish this? First, surround yourself with positive people. They may or may not be related to you. Just because we are blood kin with someone does not mean that they are a positive influence in our lives.
This came home to me hugely in my first year of College. I had developed a habit of putting myself down in high school, thinking if I could show others that I could laugh at myself, and if I put myself down, I was beating others to the punch. What resulted was a lot of self-induced slaps.
When I started College, I decided that it wasn’t a healthy thing to do and stopped it. What I learned was that others weren’t putting me down. In fact, I was a lot more likeable than I’d ever known. Now, part of it is the maturity difference between high school and college. The point is, if someone is negative to you or about you or is consistently negative, stay away from that person!
Second, find people who want your best. If your family doesn’t, stay away from them. At the very least, don’t confide in them! There are people in this world who truly like you for who you are—not what you can do for them, but just for your personality, wit, sense of humor, and who you are. Find people who want to encourage you and build them into your life by spending time with them.
Find a spiritual center, whatever you call it. You need to look beyond yourself. You can’t handle this life alone, and the sooner you realize it’s not all about you, and you recognize a power greater than yourself, the sooner you’ll be living the right way.
Fourth, volunteer! You’ll feel better about yourself; people will look up to you; you’ll be someone’s hero. Doing for others while expecting nothing in return is actually a good thing. It again makes it clear that life isn’t just about you, and paying it forward will come back to bless you.
Be a hero as often as you can—play with your children; take your Significant Other out to dinner; give to charity; let someone go in line before you; pay compliments honestly but regularly. The smallest word of encouragement can do great things for people.
Be a friend. Call others, even if they don’t call you back. Invite people over first or immediately invite people over once they have you over. Think about how you would like to have your friends treat you, then treat others that way, all the time. Be friendly, outgoing, and cordial. Show genuine interest in others’ lives and you’ll receive a wonderful return.
Be mannerly. I’m serious. This shows your quality and is simply the right thing to do. Mom was right when she taught you manners and there is never an excuse to not be polite. As you always use your manners, you’ll realize that you have a good reason to believe in yourself.
You can use this information to be more successful—socially, financially, psychologically, emotionally, professionally. Be a more successful spouse, parent, sibling, friend, employee, and boss. You are a good person and fully worthy of believing in yourself.
Lindy is a Relationship and Business Author and Consultant. Please contact her to speak at your next gathering at LMEarl@EarlMarketing.com. Please find and like her Face Book page: https://www.facebook.com/ColumnistSpeakerConsultant/?modal=admin_todo_tour