There are always three sides to a story – the two opposing angles and the truth. We can view the human psyche in the same manner. There are ways other people see us, how we see ourselves, and the actuality. Our view of ourselves is immensely important because we unknowingly act on and react to everyday situations based on our self-esteem. If our measurement of our self is low, we tend to get insulted quite easily and get upset over the smallest things. On the contrary, if we have a high sense of self-worth, we are happier, more resilient, and we don’t really mind what other people think of us.
Fortunately, enhancing one’s regard for self is not as difficult as expected. There are always many alternatives to choose from. One of them is to understand that each individual is unique. There is no basis from where we get our notion of perfection. It doesn’t matter what color hair we have, or what perks our interest. Even our perception of beauty or choice of cuisine are different from every other individual. There is no saying who among us has poor taste because we simply have grown from both nature and nurture, stemming from various cultures, and given an assortment of relationships and experiences. So, there is no need to compare oneself with his neighbor.
Another thing to remember is that we learn new things with varying degrees. We improve at a different pace from everyone. For instance, an athletic guy might acquire immediate skills at a new sport compared with a math whiz, but the latter will instantly beat the former at a science quiz bowl. We have been wired to be good at a collection of talents which are mixed and matched with our contrasting personalities and varied levels of determination and persistence. The outcome is always different for everyone. The technique is to enjoy the journey, not to merely reach the destination. Accomplishing the goal is not even a necessity once one enjoys what he is doing. It will eventually be reached sooner than later.
The third method is to define success according to one’s own standards. A sedentary elderly may already celebrate after having done 1 lap in a pool. Likewise, an obese couch potato can give himself a pat on the back for resisting that bag of chips. We don’t have to have Olympic-sized expectations of ourselves. Little things we undergo in a day become 365 little things in a year. And that’s a lot!
Fourth, we must believe that there is always someone better, and someone worse, than us. It just all depends on the issue. We might have more logical arguments than our friend who is better than us in making dinner. In the same way, we may have a lawyer spouse who wins every heated debate we encounter, but he ends up in the losers’ lounge come poker night while we take home the pot money. It is just a matter of what we are passionate about; this is where we excel.
Finally, there is the idea that doing good for others results in feeling good. Someone once said that man is, by nature, selfish, because even if he does favors for others, he still ends up the happier one. In other words, whatever we do, even if it is not for our own benefit, we still feel the joy that the receiver of the action feels. Perhaps this is due to that sense of satisfaction and acknowledgment that engulfs us after a charity event. Even a brief stint serving food at a soup kitchen provides immeasurable pleasure.
Confidence is definitely within anyone’s reach. We don’t have to be the most beautiful person in the room. We don’t need to be a genius, either. The only essential requirement is we be the best that we can be. Since each of us is our own version, we are perfect in our own right. There is nobody else in the world who can be better than us at being, well, ourselves.