At various points in our life, we have several people telling us that “you are not good enough” or “you always make mistakes”. Somewhere along the way we internalise the opinions of others. The negative things we hear stay with us for ever. They might have said something in the heat of the moment but we remember those and keep repeating the statements to ourselves. Such that we start believing in those critical voices and lose our self-confidence.
All of us have a strong inner critical voice. The inner critical voice is at its peak when we fear something or are scared of trying anything new. In one of the self awareness workshops I had conducted, I gave an assignment to students to list achievements they are proud of. One student wrote, “I have absolutely no good quality. I fight with my brother, I don’t do well in school, my teachers are right in thinking that I am a total duffer.” I felt sorry for the student as I firmly believe that every person has some good qualities. Let us look at ways you can challenge your inner critical voice and overcome some of your fears.
Visual reminder of success:
Make a colourful collage of your talented self and put it up in your room. Include pictures from your photo album which show you achieving something, for example, winning a prize. Or, use pictures from magazines which demonstrate the skills you have. If you are helpful then include picture of one person helping another; if you are good at drawing, sketch a picture of you helping your parents in the house. Anything that you think is interesting about you, try and see if it can be depicted in the collage. Give captions to pictures and see your talent come to the surface. Place the collage in a prominent place in a room you visit frequently. Take a look at the collage whenever you feel your confidence dipping.
lIf you are not a visual person you could even use the notepad or the memopad on your mobile and jot down your positive qualities. Every time you are praised or do something positive, make a note of the same on your note pad. Over a period of time you will have a list of achievements which can add up to your positive self opinion. Any time you feel low go ahead and revise this list mentally such that your confidence level grows.
Make your talents grow:
Take every chance to enhance your personality. If you like to help people, volunteer your time to help others. If you like to draw see if you can improve your drawing by taking a class. Or, learn another art form during vacations.
If you like nature adopt a few trees or plants in your neighbourhood and look after them. Or, take care of the plants in your house.
The list of activities you can do to enhance your own image is endless.
Take a note of your various achievements and let your inner critical voice go on a long holiday.
Don’t let your inner critical voice get the better of you. Make a realistic estimation of your talents and don’t give up your dreams.
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