We all experience times in our life where our self confidence and inner strength go between being non-existent and well, non-existent. This is natural and as hard as it is, we need to embrace it. When we feel like this, we know that something needs to change. These emotions you are feeling are telling you that you need to start putting more work into yourself and stop worrying about the things you cannot change. It’s not easy, I realize that. Once you learn to love yourself and who you are becoming, you will notice that you start doing these 8 things that you didn’t do before.
1. Saying no.
Alright, people treat this word like it’s foreign or better yet, a curse word. I get it. When you say no, you tend to feel as though you’re letting somebody down. However, the person you’re letting down by not using it when it is necessary, is yourself. You get to a point in your life where you realize that nobody is going to put you first so you have to learn how to do it yourself. You are an adult and if you don’t want to do something, say no. You don’t need an excuse or a story as to why you have to say no. A simple no is valid and you don’t let anybody tell you differently.
2. Taking risks.
When you are constantly scared of the outcome and when you don’t have confidence in yourself, you stray away from any kind of risk. You don’t think you can handle the bad outcome of whatever you’re considering. However, when you truly understand yourself and who you are, flaws and all, you realize it’s more important to say you tried than to always wonder. This can go for your career, your friendships or even your personal relationships. I recently met a new friend last week. We got onto the topic of a girl he’s crazy about. He was too scared to say anything because nobody likes rejection and he didn’t want to ruin the friendship. I explained to him that at the end of the day, it’s more important that he be able to say he went for it. If I have learned anything, it’s that if you want an extraordinary life, you have to do extraordinary things and those typically include risks.
3. Making adult decisions by yourself.
Listen, it’s always good to get other people’s insight. I know for myself, I have a select few who know me better than I care to admit. These are the people that can call me out when I’m lying to myself or avoiding an issue. They know how my mind works and the things I can handle versus the things that make me a hot mess. Always respect the opinions of those who are close to you and who really want what is best for you. Nonetheless, when you are in tune with yourself and your needs, the big life decisions are not as scary. You find a direction and you start to know what you want and not what everybody wants for you.
It’s not always fun, but it truly is good for your mind, body and soul. People will recommend that you find something you enjoy so it doesn’t feel like exercise. I agree, plus it gives you something to look forward to. I know for me, as hard as it is to commit to the gym three times a week, I consider it a mental exercise too. I’m forcing myself to do something that’s hard but beneficial. I don’t necessarily wake up thrilled to put my body through hell, but I never regret a workout. It’s important to show your physical body as much love as you show yourself emotionally.
5. Taking responsibility when it is necessary.
We are not perfect. I mean, I try to convince people that I am, but it never works. Everybody makes mistakes. I know I do almost on the daily. Always take responsibility for your actions, especially when you’re wrong. If you hurt somebody, apologize. If you screwed something up at work, own it, apologize and fix it. It’s how you respond to your mistakes that say the most about you as a person. People who are in a good place emotionally know that they will screw up but they also know they deserve grace just as much as the next person.
6. Refusing to waste your time.
I hate to break it to you, but we only live once. We don’t get redo’s. If I have learned anything lately, it’s that life is too damn short to waste your time. I spent the last two years battling an uphill battle for a guy I was completely in love with. It was literally the most emotionally exhausting two years of my life and believe me when I tell you that I have been through some shit. Looking back, the hardest concept about that whole thing was the fact that I wasted as much time as I did. TWO YEARS. Do you know what I could have experienced in the two years I spent pining over someone who refused to admit he loved me? It’s beyond the point but you better believe that I will never waste my time like that again. Life is too short to do anything but strive to make yourself a better and happier person.
7. Knowing your worth.
This one also comes with age. The more you go through, the more you realize what you want and what you absolutely will not put up with. You start weeding through the relationships in your life and figuring out the ones that really make you a better person and the ones that weigh you down. Sometimes there is aboslutely nothing wrong with the relationship other than the fact that you stopped impacting each other’s life. You just sort of exist there. This isn’t a bad thing, but when you love yourself, you realize that you don’t have time for any relationship that doesn’t lift you up or bring something to the table.
8. Speaking your mind.
The beautiful thing about opinions is that everybody is allowed to have them. Some people spend a lot of time and effort trying to tell you that your opinion is wrong when in fact, it’s just that, an opinion. When you love yourself, you have a new found confidence that allows you to say whatever is on your mind. If you don’t agree with something, you say so. You won’t be afraid to tell your manager what you want or what you’d like to eventually do. You speak up for the raise you have been wanting. When you are interested in somebody, you tell them. When it comes to social games, you could care less. You say what needs to be said.