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By Denise M. Michaels
Everyone encourages us to step out and be bold, be courageous. Get beyond your comfort zone. Great advice. What happens when you make your best attempt, believe in yourself and the big risk you jumped into doesn’t turn out exactly the way you hoped?
- Stand up and say your piece at a staff meeting and wind up feeling totally flummoxed and out of your element?
- Let yourself fall deeply in love and the relationship didn’t go the distance so you kick yourself for being vulnerable?
- Take a long shot in your business and you end up crashing and burning?
These are the times to be kind to yourself and nurse your emotional scars. Beat-ups don’t help. Then dust off your embarrassment and start fresh again. After all, winners aren’t the people who never fall down. Winners are the people who keep getting back up again and again. At their core, despite whatever brought them down temporarily, they believe in themselves.
Recently I attended a spiritual meditation group that takes place monthly in my community. A circle of about a dozen like-minded people share, listen and get still to meditate together. The group includes an attorney, a minister, a teacher, a medical professional, a couple retirees, a writer, an insurance agent and several others. Some jump into the discussions enthusiastically, eager to have their two cents heard. Others listen quietly the entire time.
The subject of guilt came up in the conversation last night. One woman acknowledged because of her religious background and what she sees on television, she feels guilt all the time. She wants to believe in herself. A man in a well-tailored shirt and slacks admitted to thinking a lot of self-bashing thoughts.
With these emotions constantly bouncing around in your mind, it’s almost impossible to believe in yourself.
I shocked a few people when I said for the most part I consider guilt a wasted emotion. If I walked around feeling guilty it would be very difficult to ever believe in myself. Plus, if I don’t believe in myself, how will anyone else believe in me?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not coated in Teflon, impervious to fault or mis-steps. I apologize for little errors, words that didn’t come out quite right and other gaffes more than anyone I know. Because I believe when you sincerely say “I’m sorry” you clear the air of negative energy or animosity. I also see making a mistake for what it truly is. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad or unworthy person. The ancient definition of the word “mistake” means to, “Miss the mark.”
If you learn from every mistake or foible you’re far better off compared to people who try to protect their ego or go on offense over and over again. Every time you insist on pushing down your feelings of hurt or being at fault, it takes your level of wisdom, peace and calm two steps backward. How do you pivot in a positive way and see yourself as a little stronger, a little better for the lesson?
When you try to be perfect or push away the slings and arrows of life by looking for ways to blame others or acting like it never happened, it pushes the mistake or error deep inside. It may seem like you’ve kept your belief in yourself safe from harm. Over the long run all the mistakes, errors and boo-boo’s pile up deep inside. Believing in yourself becomes more difficult than ever.
At your core when you’re gentle with yourself, forgive yourself and learn from mistakes, you grow. Believing in yourself becomes easier. You also feel like you can be more authentically you. No longer do you show a brittle, shiny exterior to the world while wondering why you condemn yourself endlessly when no one’s looking. You’ll find it easier next time around when you fall to get up, move forward, smile that megawatt smile and go on to the next great adventure.
Denise M. Michaels is a ghostwriter and book coach. She helps CEOs, entrepreneurs, therapists, speakers and aspiring authors become more recognizable, influential and in-demand. Using the leverage a book provides – you can become the go-to expert in your niche. To contact Denise about your book or book idea click here now.