In this week’s Self-Care Sunday tip, we invite you to consider how you can earn your confidence.
Generally speaking, we are told that we should just love ourselves, and that we are perfect the way we are. And while yes, you should love yourself, and you do deserve your love, just the way you are … it’s not that simple.
Self-esteem and confidence are not things you can snatch out of thin air. You must earn them. And you can do that in four ways.
1. Use your strengths. We all feel better about ourselves when we engage in activities we are good at. It makes sense, right? If you are doing something you are good at, you feel confident.
You won’t always be able to use your strengths, but by doing your best to bring your strengths to the table whenever possible, you will feel better about yourself and your contribution to the world, your family, your work, or your team.
(This is a huge component for happy parents. If you are a parent, keep reading for an extra tip about using your strengths.)
2. Live in alignment with your values. Whether you value family, hard work, being of service, being adventurous, or being kind, you will feel good about yourself and earn your self-esteem by living in accordance with your self-chosen set of personal values.
3. Pursue your interests, big and small. These might be things like traveling to explore new cultures, cooking, or playing beach volleyball. Whatever they are, you will feel better about your life and yourself if you spend time pursuing your interests.
4. Find a place of belonging. In the best-case scenario, you were born into a family where you have felt like you belong, and then you found more of “your people” along the way.
But life doesn’t always work out that way. You might not get that sense of belongingness from your family. You might not have found “your people” easily. But finding kindred spirits to create a community of shared experience and support will boost your confidence, so it’s worth the effort to seek them out. Pursuing your interests can help. Search for people who share them. Look for clubs and meetups, and look online, as well. Your self-esteem will improve when you are surrounded by people who make you feel included and valued.
The truth is we all have to earn our own self-worth. We can't just force ourselves to love ourselves just because everyone keeps telling us we should. Instead, we have to go out into the world and behave in such a way that we live up to our own standards for what makes someone worthy, and by doing so we earn our self-esteem and confidence.
An Extra Tip for Parents About Using Your Strengths
A big part of being a happy parent is leaning into your strengths. Often, we set impossibly high standards for ourselves about parenting. We think we have to throw Pinterest-worthy parties, and take our kids to the beach and play Frisbee, and pack amazing lunches, and teach our kids how to invest while they are in middle school, and be fun, and be strict boundary-enforcers, and buy and train a puppy, and the list goes on and on.
This week, we encourage you to take it easy on yourself. Instead of trying to be all things, consider what you are already naturally good at. Maybe you are great at telling stories but you cannot cook a decent meal to save your life. Maybe you love playing practical jokes and making your kids laugh, but you aren’t interested in playing sports in the backyard.
Let yourself off the hook. Do more of what you are good at, and know that showing up as an enthusiastic, positive version of yourself more often will make up for those boxes you just don’t check.
Parenting is full of things we have to do: We have to wake up and pack lunches. We have to take them to school. Sometimes, we have to sit through painful piano recitals.
So stop trying to be everything, and instead, lean into your strengths.
Your children will enjoy you more, and you will enjoy parenting more.
P.S. It’s our mission to change the dynamic of parenting. If you feel like parenting is an arduous burden, you aren’t alone.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Join Resilience-Based Parenting (which should really be called Happiness-Based Parenting), and learn how to love raising teens and tweens.
The conversation is the relationship.When you have good conversations with your kids, you have good relationships with your kids.
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