Sometimes, when all our doubts, fears and insecurities get the best of us, we tend to come up with the idea of “I wish I was somebody else.” More often than not, we think and believe that someone or rather, most people are doing better than us. - when in reality, the fact is, most people are just as insecure as we are.
You spot what you consider a totally together person strutting around the room alone at a social event, casually sipping on a glass of what could be their favorite drink. You think to yourself, “he looks so perfectly calm and confident.” But if you could read thru their crystal-clear mind, you would see a cloud of thoughts and you might just be amazed at what he is thinking “are people talking about why I am coming here alone?... Why don’t people find me attractive? …I don’t like my eyes, they have too many wrinkles… I wish I was as intelligent as….” Similar thoughts may travel through your own mind.
We look at a successful business entrepreneur or entertainer and say “Woo… what else could they ask for?” She stares at the mirror and murmur to herself, “I hate my body… I wonder why my friends won’t talk to me… I hope mom and dad would still work things out.” Underneath the trimmings of success, they are dealing with personal insecurities just like the rest of us.
Isn’t it funny? We look at other people, envy them for looking so outrageously perfect and wish we could trade places with them, while they look at us and think of the same thing. We are insecure of other people who themselves are insecure of us. We often suffer from low self-esteem, lack of self-confidence and lose hope in self-improvement because we are entrapped in quiet desperation.
Sometimes, you realize that you have an irritating habit like biting off your finger nails, having a foul mouth, talking too much, and you – of all people, is the last to know. Some of of us can be downright arrogant and intolerable.
One key to self-improvement is to LISTEN and TALK to a trusted friend. Find someone who you find comfort in discussing even the most mundane topics. Ask questions like “do you think I am ill-mannered?”, “Do I always sound so argumentative?”, “Do I talk too loud?”, “Does my breath smell?”, “Do I ever bore you when were together?”. In this way, the other person will obviously know that you are interested in the process of self-improvement. Lend them your ears for comments and criticisms and don’t respond with answers like “Don’t exaggerate! That’s just the way I am!” Open your mind and heart as well. And in return, you may want to provide your friend with constructive criticism that will also help them to improve themselves.
Do you remember Whitney Houston singing about, “Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.”? True enough. To love others, you must love yourself too. You cannot give what you do not have. Self love is not about ego or self centeredness. It is the foundation for all other love in your life.
Before telling other people some ways on how to improve themselves, let them see that you yourself is a representation and a product of self-improvement. Self-improvement makes us better people, we then inspire other people, and then the rest of the world will follow. Recently, my 26-year-old son surprised me when he said, “mom and dad I don’t listen you, I observe what you do. Despite your challenges I see a lot of perseverance.” I really didn’t know he was watching us in this manner.
Stop thinking of yourself as second-rate being. Forget the recurring thought of “If only I was richer… if only I was thinner” and so on. Accepting your true self is the first step to self-improvement. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others only to find out at the end that we’ve got 10 more reasons to envy them.
We all have our insecurities. Nobody is perfect. We always wish we had better things, better features, better body parts, etc. But life need not to be perfect for us to be happy about ourselves. Self-improvement and loving yourself is not a matter of shouting to the whole world that you are perfect, and you are the best. It’s the goodness of acceptance and contentment. When we begin to improve ourselves, we then begin to feel contented and happy.
Written by Dr. RL Kight for Mind Power Solutions. Visit www.mindpowersolutions.com to learn more about our personal development and training services.