One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the past few years is that you can’t expect anyone – family, friends, a significant other, your boss – to be the one to raise you up, tell you you’re smart/funny/successful/strong/inspirational/brave (the list goes on…) – this has to come from within you.
This realization can be a painful process as for many of us, we hold all others to a very high standard, not always taking into account where they may be coming from, nor our own shortcomings. While we should always look to surround ourselves with people who bring positive energy and support into our lives, they may not always live up to our expectations, which is not always a bad thing. Often our expectations of them aren’t realistic, as a quick exercise of trying to put ourselves in their shoes can uncover.
Our friends are busy with their own lives and priorities to support every single initiative of ours. Our bosses have other priorities beyond telling us we’re a star and doing great work. Our parents may not tell us they’re proud of us every day. But are we realistic in taking offence to these things? Would we not do the same in many circumstances?
Regardless of the expectations you have for others and their ability to meet them, we have a responsibility to be our #1 fan. Our champion. Our biggest cheerleader. Through life, people may come and go, opportunities may change, and relationships will evolve. But at the end of the day, we are always there for ourselves. If we don’t believe in ourselves, who will believe in us?
One of the biggest aspects of maturity is our ability to be self-sufficient and not rely on others for support and encouragement. An ability to believe in ourselves and our decisions. A confidence in our choices. And a belief that we can do anything we set our minds to.
This is one of the most challenging behaviours to change, but arguably one of the most important. It won’t happen overnight, nor do I have a magic bullet solution to offer. It’s really about treating yourself as you’d treat your best friend/family member/someone you love. Learning to care for yourself and be gentle with yourself. Acknowledging that you’re human and that ebbs and flows in energy, motivation, and confidence are bound to occur but that does not detract from your worth as a person or your ability to succeed.
(If you can’t tell) I’m extremely passionate about this subject and would love to hear your reactions and responses in the comments below. Is this something you’ve struggled/currently struggle with? How have you overcome it?
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