5 Easy ways to develop a secure sense of self.
We all want to be liked and accepted. We all have this expectation that people will love everything that we do.
However, this thought process often leads to excessive worrying which can have a negative effect on our lives. It can be so debilitating that it interferes with our ability to feel at ease with ourselves and prevents us from living life to the fullest potential. This alone is the biggest problem with seeking validation from the world. We have to stop expecting the thumbs up and just BE.
Imagine if Yogi Brandy Drinkard never performed the beautiful dancer pose amongst a sea of sunflowers because she was worried about what the world would say? She would have missed her moment to connect with the earth…a spiritual moment of bliss blown away with the wind.
You can not move forward in life constantly living in fear of judgement. The paranoia, anxiety and worrying will actually keep you from pursuing your dreams. You’ll become a prisoner of someone else’s pointed finger. Do you really want to be held hostage by someone else’s criticism?
At the end of the day, you are the one stuck with the consequences of your decisions. You are the one that will have to live with the fact that you didn’t follow your spirit or inner call. Your friends, family, people who love you will also give you their suggestions or even orders on what you should be doing with your life. Kindly thank them for their advice because they do actually care about your happiness. However, It’s important to recognize that someone’s opinion is often based on what THEY would do. Only do what what is right for YOU. No one else has to live with your choices—but YOU do.
For example, I gave up everything for LOVE. I gave up everything so that I could travel to Singapore to be with the love of my life. I sold my car, tv, furniture. I gave away nearly all my clothes and shoes. I gave it ALL up with no guarantee that the relationship would work out. I had friends who approved and admired my courage. I also had friends who doubted my decision. Yet, I knew the right thing to do was to follow my heart. I’m glad I did because we are now planning to build a life together.
So how do we gain the courage and confidence to not place so much value on what others think of us? Sometimes we take baby steps but a lot of the times we need to leap. Here are some baby steps and some leaps.
JUST BREATHE: The state of your mind affects the breath, the reverse is true as well. When you are afraid, worried, and or full of anxiety we take shorter breaths. Take a moment to just BREATHE. For five minutes everyday, find a quiet place to just focus on your breath. According to Yoga Expert Sue Doucette, to breathe fully, sit up straight and place your hands on your belly, directly above your belly button. Let the fingertips of both hands touch lightly. Exhale fully through your mouth. Breathe in deeply through your nose and into your belly, so that your fingertips spread an inch apart. Let your belly fill with air. Hold your breath for two to five counts, and then exhale slowly through your nose. Match the length of the inhale with the length of the exhale. Continue breathing in this manner for five to ten minutes.
GET HONEST: Start being more aware of who you are. When we are young, we form mental representations like expectations, beliefs, “rules” or “scripts” for behaving and thinking, and for relationships. Getting to know your thought patterns and where they come from is key to stop repeating patterns which just serve to strengthen your insecure self. In other words, understand your childhood insecurity and the force it still contains. How does emotional trauma rise to your surface. Identify your patterns and the pain which manifests in the way you approach living life as well as how you treat others.
FOCUS ON YOU: Realize the majority of the time, negative comments someone makes is about them, and not about YOU. You know the phrase, “It’s none of your business.”?
Well, it truly is none of YOUR business. When a friend wants to share what someone said about you, tell them NO. You don’t need to know. Gossip eats away at your confidence, security and spirit. Join a bootcamp or a fitness class where you feel supported and motivated by others.
MEDITATE: Meditation is key to growing confidence in the developing self. You need the contentment with yourself that you can “play” alone, without needing to look over your shoulders to others for their validation. Silent sitting increases your capacity to be with yourself, allowing your fears to rise and pass away without giving them undue space. Meditation strengthens your contentment with yourself, developing your capacity to be at home in the silence.
Now here is the LEAP:
FACE YOUR FEARS: Do the one thing everyday that you’re afraid to do in front of others. Every time you walk out of your house, post on Facebook, go to a family event, public outing etc…the world is watching you. People see what you are doing all the time. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing something great or wretched. Someone will always have something negative to say. You’ll never be ENOUGH for others. BE ENOUGH for yourself. Use exercise to conquer fear. If you’ve never lifted weights before, hire a trainer to teach you how. Best believe there will be a lot of people silently judging your trainer and your performance too! Stop hiding and start living!