This article is inspired by Kelly, who sadly passed away recently. Kelly was confident, caring and kind. I would like to share a story with you that I know she would happily share with the world. Over a cup of coffee, Kelly and I discussed the importance of being confident within yourself and Kelly told me about a practice she did with her three daughters. While she was driving them to school Kelly would ask them, tell me one thing you love about someone else and one thing you love about yourself. The answers would surprise and delight her.
How wonderful to develop regular practices with her daughters to teach them to look for the positives within themselves and within other people. Imagine if we all did this.
There are several important messages in the activity of “what do you love about someone else and what do you love about yourself”. It teaches us kindness to others by looking for their positives and it teaches us self-compassion and kindness to ourselves. It teaches us to have a positive mindset. So often we focus on our negatives and give them too much attention. We self-sabotage ourselves by holding ourselves to unrealistic benchmarks. This can then lead to being too judgmental towards other people as well as ourselves.
Sometimes I think we fool ourselves that we need to achieve a certain goal and then we will be happy and confident. The trick is we need to first spend the time on liking ourselves and then we are better equipped to reach that goal.
Positive thinking about ourselves can take some work, part of this work is to pull ourselves up on the negative thinking. For example, I can think my legs are too fat, or I can challenge myself and say my legs allow me to walk and that is awesome, so I refuse to hate my legs, I choose to be grateful for them.
Accept that you are not perfect, and you don’t have to be perfect to be a wonderful person. Look for the good in others and celebrate them and yourself.