Sometimes, when all our doubts, fears and insecurities overwhelm us, we start thinking, “I wish I was somebody else.” It is very common to think that some or most people are better than us, especially when we are feeling low. The truth is often very different.
You might see a very pretty girl sitting by herself at a party, casually sipping on a glass of Asti Spumanti. You think to yourself, “she looks so perfectly calm and confident.” But if you could read her mind, you might see a very different story.
She might be thinking, “Are people talking about why I am seated here alone? … Why don’t guys find me attractive? … I don’t like my ankles, they look too skinny … I wish I was as intelligent as my best friend.”
We look at a successful young business entrepreneur and say “Whoa … what else could he ask for?” He stares at himself at the mirror and says to himself, “I hate that I still have acne … I wonder why my friends won’t talk to me any more … I wish mom and dad could have worked things out.”
We Sometimes Fight Self Confidence
Isn’t it funny? We look at other people, envy them for what seems to us to be their perfect lives and wish we could trade places with them, while they look at us and think the same thing. We are insecure about other people who themselves are probably insecure about us.
We suffer from low self-esteem, lack of self-confidence and lose faith in self development because we are enveloped in quiet desperation.
So it can happen that we can spend all our time obsessing about what seem to us to be our negative points when they really don’t matter to anybody else. At the same time, we might have a seriously irritating habit that we are not even aware of.
I have a friend who never gets tired of talking. And in most conversations, she is the only one who seems to be interested in the things she has to say. So people tend to avoid our circle whenever she’s around. Not only is this a social handicap for her, but it also irritates anybody who is with her, that they cannot speak to anybody else while she is there.
One key to self improvement is to LISTEN and TALK to a trusted friend. Find someone who you are comfortable about opening up with on even the most sensitive topics you want to discuss. Ask questions in a way that makes it possible for the other person to tell you what is really happening.
You could say, “Do you think I would get along better if I were more polite to people?”, “Do I tend to sound argumentative?”, “Do I talk too loud?”
This signals to the other person that you are interested in self development. Usually, she will hesitate to tell the truth right away. She will probably say “No,” because she doesn’t want you to feel bad. If you just repeat that back to her as a question, “No?” she will probably expand on it and then you may begin to get at the truth.
Take Criticism From Friends Seriously, They Try To Help
Of course it’s important to accept any comments or criticisms that she makes. You may feel hurt but try not to show it or she will not want to tell you more. Then you may want to check out the results with other people, because that person may not be seeing you clearly either.
One of Whitney Houston’s songs says “Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.” True enough. In order to love others, you must love yourself too. Remember, you cannot give what you do not have.
Before telling other people how to improve themselves, let them see that you yourself are following the path of self development. Self improvement makes us better people, more open to the world around us. We then inspire other people, and eventually the rest of the world will follow.
It is vital to stop thinking of yourself as a second-rate being. Forget the repetitive thought of “If only I was richer … if only I was thinner” and so on. Accepting your true self is the first step to self improvement.
We need to stop comparing ourselves to others and accept that everybody is valuable for the different contributions that they make to the world.
We all have our insecurities. Nobody is perfect. We always wish we had better things, better features, better body parts, etc. But life need not to be perfect for people to be happy about themselves. Self development and loving yourself is not a matter of shouting to the whole world that you are perfect and you are the best. It’s the virtue of acceptance and contentment. When we begin to improve ourselves, we then begin to feel contented and happy.