What’s So Wrong About You Anyway?
The idea, here, is the rejection of the conventional advice about self-esteem and self-confidence. It reveals the myths and fallacies inherent in everyday life that only serve to reinforce low self-esteem and self-confidence. Defeating them is not as difficult as you may think, despite the rumors and buzz.
Is it a long list? Maybe you have unconsciously permitted yourself to become what your parents, teachers, and peers were! The significant difference now is the fact that you’re your own subject! The problem is that you’re a worse critic than your mentors ever were!
Fear and guilt about failure
to reach perfection can be a perpetual negative energy source. The craving for perfection is your hidden vice. You’re on a quixotic quest. You might as well give it up. Letting go of the unrealistic urge to be perfect can be painful. It gave you a goal, but that goal is an illusion. No one searches the end of a rainbow for the pot of gold promised by a wily leprechaun. Perfection is a fantasy in this imperfect world we live in. You’ll never be perfect. Neither will anyone else!
When you look at yourself in the mirror and reflect on your past, all those uncomfortable memories come crashing into your mind like angry waves on a storm-swept beach. One memory churns up another, as the sea plows through the grains of sand. Is that all there is within you? One failure after another? One shortcoming after another? Surely not! You’re not convinced, though, are you? Try this exercise:
The Long And Short Exercise
I once had a friend who was a terrific storyteller. Every time he started a story he would preface it with the common expression: “…Now, this is the ‘long and short’ of it.” Hearing that trite expression was boring, but the story never was.
This is a “long and short” exercise. It’s long because your list of negative memories is long. It’s short because the theme is always the same.
When you have some time alone, like times when you’re driving or jogging, select one of those worrisome memories. Now, ACCEPT it! The occurrence was something you did or said. It was real. It happened. You believe that it was terrible…it was bad…very, very bad. Maybe it was, or maybe it was not. That makes no difference. What matters is your opinion about it. OK. So, it was bad. Now what? Do you really want to wrap yourself up in your guilt? Honestly, you do not deserve that.
Go through some more of your prominent bad memories, and repeat this exercise for as long as you care to.
There’s a common theme to most of those negative memories. Identify it. This is something you can change. Make note of it, but– above all– accept it. The future is tomorrow. That’s the time for change.
There’s another theme or two to the remainder of your negative memories. Identify them. Maybe those are things that you cannot change. They might be part of your “dark self”. Every person has a “dark self”. ACCEPT that, too.
Cautionary Note: Don’t Get Lost!
You do want to transform yourself– yes– however, you should never attempt to lose your personality. You’re going to modify, not substitute, the integral parts of you. Others expect you to still be who you are.
Believe it or not, you do have your own specific brand of charm!
While you may work to reduce or eliminate those aspects of yourself with which you’re dissatisfied, you have so much more to offer. In the next chapter, if will be your task – if you’re willing to accept it – to identify your positives. This will take some hunting perhaps, but it’s a worthwhile and even a ‘fun-filled’ adventure. Those are the parts of you that need to be resurrected from the labyrinthine halls of your memory.