“Confidence isn’t walking into a room and thinking you’re better than everyone else.
It’s walking in, not having to compare yourself to anyone at all.”
Perhaps the single best piece of advice for me, ever.
You see, I’m a very insecure person, worried about what others think of me and constantly terrified of their disapproval. I compare myself to others, basking in a false sense of security when I feel I “measure up”, and wallowing in self-attack and shame when I see someone (usually a woman) moving with elegance, beauty and all the qualities I don’t have. Tears fill up inside and I droop my head.
I have no shame admitting this because this is a part of who I am. I set up camp here in the past and got really good at self-deprecation. My endurance for self-judgment and self-abuse was impressive. What you might comfortably accept as a compliment, I would deflect so fast and immediately start running narratives in my head about why someone would lie so egregiously to my face. They must feel sorry for me.
As the years pass I am getting worse and worse at self-attack. I just don’t have that kind of endurance and determination anymore. My disapproval for myself has withered and I can’t stay in self-pity for too long without cracking up.
Simply because I practice the opposite.
I practice accepting compliments and I practice observation instead of judgment
I practice valuing myself instead of comparing to others
I practice talking to myself kindly as I would to a friend
And I practice gratitude for what I already have.
I heard a smart guy (Tony Robbins) say:
The human brain is 2 million years old and it is not designed to make you happy.
It is designed to make you survive.
So, it takes practice to be happy.
Few of us make it to adulthood knowing how to be happy
Unless we practice loving ourselves, we will always apologise for being who we are.
Unless we ask What do I want, we will always care more about what others think.
The other day I was reminded of my fragility and insecurity. I saw what I lacked in another person and I started wallowing in shame before I knew it. The only difference between now and 6 years ago is I stayed there for half an evening instead of half a decade.
Our fear of inadequacy and the opinions of others will always be with us.
But when we practice accepting ourselves anyway we get better at dealing with it.
This is a reminder for me to keep practising.
I hope it reminded you too.