Comfortable in your own self and your own skin; this is the goal- the one state of mind that should be given priority above all else. We dip in and out of comfort zones in our careers, our goals, relationships- this is due to shifting dynamics and challenges- but the ability to be comfortable with your self-worth and self-image is of great importance.
To some walking into a room is daunting and can induce anxiety, to others they don’t think twice and don’t recognise making an entrance- they are just themselves getting from A to B. Perhaps it is our own self perceptions that we are confronting and we offload our own insecurities to others when really its imaginative, whilst others have simply learnt to be themselves and are happy to accept themselves and not to concern themselves with others opinions.
I often struggled with perceptions that others may have held about me; a key lesson I have learnt is not too judge others until I’ve personally gotten to know them.
‘Remember your value, showcase your worth for you. Life moves too fast to succumb to anything that is short of constant, unrelenting happiness for the sake of pleasing outside opinions.’
So, how do you become more comfortable with yourself? Strength to voice your opinions, enter a busy room with eyes on you, ooze confidence in your own self-esteem and presence? Acceptance, Strategies and Comprehension are three key elements to building a stronger mindset. You may already be using these without realising but not fully utilising them.
I implemented these elements throughout my various careers, and I found that I was able to gain clarity and control my nerves- slowly with practise of exercising these elements, any situation that felt out of my comfort zone I was able to mould into positive thoughts and actions.
“I am my own biggest critic. Before anyone else has criticized me, I have already criticized myself. But for the rest of my life, I am going to be with me and I don't want to spend my life with someone who is always critical. So, I am going to stop being my own critic. It's high time that I accept all the great things about me.”
― C. JoyBell C.
Does the above sound familiar? Absolutely. Can you remember the last compliment you gave yourself? It’s far too easy to highlight the imperfections, notice the wrongs over the rights. I ask you to next time to give yourself the positives from a situation first over the negative, choose to compliment yourself instead of creating the negative thoughts- most importantly your opinion and perception should be valued above others.
“To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.”
― Sun Tzu,
Read the above quote twice, you can relate this to when you are faced with your own battles. Ask yourself are you in a battle with other people or are you creating the battles with them? Most of the time it’s you against you. My most successful strategy that has worked for me is my ‘Anxiety Bubble’, I only allow myself to step into my anxiety bubble at the last moment and deal with what’s in front of me- this prevents hours of fretting about uncontrollables.
“Because there are three classes of intellects: one which comprehends by itself; another which appreciates what others comprehend; and a third which neither comprehends by itself nor by the showing of others; the first is the most excellent, the second is good, the third is useless.”
― Niccolò Machiavelli
Choose the first to be excellent and be aware of the second. Choose to understand why you have let yourself feel uncomfortable and insecure. There can be multiple reasons but by bringing them forward can allow you to eliminate them one by one over time. Finally, being aware of others understanding of what they think about you is only created by you.
Using the three elements I allowed myself to accept the environment I was in. I would use strategies such as an anxiety bubble, creating this protective mindset where the external pressures weren’t there and finally comprehension, understanding its a normal human behaviour to have an opinion on someone else positive or negative. Its how you react to it.
But more importantly you are your own worst critic, understand that you are creating these imaginary thoughts from others and actually believing you’re a mind reader.