Some people may think that most of the tips I share are only for those really struggling with anxiety, depression or insecurities but this isn’t true. What I have learned and share could help everybody. Just simple changes to daily habits or ways to approach things that could help you reach even greater heights.
“It doesn’t have to be bad to get even better!”
Successful, happy people have an edge over everybody else through their very positive self image and positive memory of past accomplishments. They know what they are capable of and have a high enough self-esteem that they can take risks without the fear of failure.
Self-esteem levels are key to how much you put yourself out there, how often you take action and how regularly you step outside of your comfort zone. Basically your self-esteem is how much you value and believe in yourself.
Here’s an example, say we consider our self-esteem and confidence levels as a stack of poker chips. The person with the bigger stack is going to play more freely and attacking as they can afford to lose a few hands and still be in good shape.
On the other hand, the person with the low stack (low self-esteem / confidence) is going to play much more defensively to avoid losing what they have left or getting hurt. They won’t make a move or take a chance in case they end up failing or looking foolish.
The guy with 1000 chips can play hands of 10 chips 10 times and still have 900 chips left. They allow themselves to try and fail knowing that eventually the risks will pay off. The guy with 30 chips can only afford 3 losses of the same value and they’re out. They won’t attempt and fail as they have too much to lose.
Your self-esteem works the same way. The more you have, the more you’re willing to get out there and take action, and as you probably already know it’s the people that take action that usually get the reward. Fortune favours the brave!
The less you have, the more likely you are to feel sorry for yourself, get frustrated, and avoid taking risks in case you fail. You’ll feel you’re safer not trying than making an attempt and falling on flat on your face.
You need to build your stack, increase that level of self-esteem so you can get back in the game. Improve that self-confidence so you are not so scared to take a chance and put yourself out there.
One way to raise your stack is to start a Victory Log. Simply list down all your achievements from the past and present that you have either forgotten about or that you take for granted. There must be plenty of things that would petrify some people that you have already accomplished. You need to remember what you are capable of.
List all the countless small things over your life-time that you should be proud of. Gather photos as reminders if you have them. Watch back videos if you have any available when you need a pick me up.
This is a simple but effective way to build a healthier self-image and self-belief.
The Book of You
One of my original Happiness Management techniques is the Book of You, very similar to the Victory Log only it covers the whole picture of you and your goals for the future.
All you need to start is 3 sheets of paper or a note pad split into 3 sections. On sheet 1 or Section 1 you write a sentence, list or story describing each of the strengths you have. If you find this hard start by thinking about all the things you are grateful for about yourself. Are you kind? Good at a certain sport / career? Witty? Good at cooking? Organised? Great at golf? Honest?
Every single thing you like about yourself! Write it all down.
Go into detail. Instead of writing “I’m good at golf”, write – “I’m great at short chips onto the green, excellent at putting, good at judging distance of shots, calm under pressure” and so on. Break it down to every skill you have.
Section 2 is similar to the Victory Log. Write down all your accomplishments no matter how big or how small, take nothing for granted. These can be success stories, good experiences, happy times and achievements you are proud of! Anything you consider a highlight or achievement.
These achievements are something that insecure people often forget about, take for granted or refuse to draw strength from. That is going to change when you write these down. Everybody has done something to be proud of, even if you start off with a small list and build it up by adding to it every week.
Section 3 is your chance to lay out some future goals. Forget all your usual excuses and get creative … no restrictions, dream big! If you one day want to stay in a five bedroom house write it down. Describe every detail of every room, even describe the garden.
If one day you want a particular job, write it down and how it feels to have it … use your imagination, and remember, no excuses and no limitations. If you had a magic wand and could change anything, what would it be? How would things be in a perfect world? Write this all down, the perfect scenario.
Close your eyes and picture exactly what you like to achieve. Now open your eyes and write that all down, every detail.
You will start to achieve some of these things and as you do you move them from Section 3 back into Section 2 – a nice little reminder for you to reinforce what you have achieved so far. This will be an ongoing process as you will always find some area of your life that you would like to improve and you can add these to chapter 3.
Positive Daily Habits
Another proven technique you could try to increase your stack would be my Positive Daily Habits technique, where every day you list down 5 things you are grateful for, 5 highlights from your day and 5 actions you will take tomorrow.
Again a very simple exercise but one that promotes self-worth and confidence. It allows you to be grateful for who you are and what you have, and builds your confidence by reminding you of what you achieved each and every day. Setting actions for the next day keeps the habit going.
The level of your stack (self-esteem) is entirely your responsibility, if you want to achieve even greater things or feel more confident then why not increase your stack. Work on yourself to bump up your self-belief levels and give yourself the courage and confidence to take risks. Allow yourself to try and fail, you will always learn from the experience.
“Success is not permanent and failure is not fatal”
Good luck and keep smiling.