Self-esteem is a tricky old business. Confidence, self-love, understanding your own worth; it's something the majority of us work at all our lives, and most won't ever reach that point of being truly happy with how we are as people. I've been thinking recently about this in business terms, and how unwilling I am to really big myself up. I mean, I've been running my business since the age of nineteen, and it's still going - I read somewhere that 8/10 businesses fail within the first eighteen months, so that in itself is something. And yet I always focus on the mistakes I've made throughout the years, the months when I've really hardly made any money and I've struggled to make rent.
Whether directly or in-directly, we've all been made to feel like we're not good enough. We're made to believe that if we like our bodies, we're proud of our achievements or we actually like who we are as people, we're arrogant rather than confident. God forbid, we actually thank someone when we receive a compliment rather than shying away and denying that perhaps our hair actually does look nice could ever be true. But in our business and career lives, could the theory of "faking it 'til you make it?" be the way to go?
Now, this theory can go either one of two ways. A couple years ago bloggers started selling "coaching programmes" for bloggers and businesses; there was a bit of hoo-ha about it as it seemed like the only experience some had was knocking up a few advice post on their ever-changing blog. That's not what I mean when I'm saying "fake it 'til you make it". I'm saying fake your confidence, until it grows naturally. Shout from the rooftops about each and every little accomplishment you've made, because absolutely no-one else is going to do it for you.
It seems to be a bit of a British thing, that we're naturally quite shy and retiring people who don't particularly kick up a fuss about much. But it seems to me that if you want to get anywhere with your career, business or blog, you need to speak up about it. Don't pass off what you're doing as if it's something anyone can do - they haven't, you have.
"A closed mouth doesn't get fed"
It's all well and good saying this, it takes some practice to get to a point of being happy enough with yourself that you can act like this on a daily basis. Here's a few ways I'm practising:
- Accepting compliments, taking them in and saying "thank you"
- Celebrating even small achievements - they all count
- Treating yourself
- Speak and think about yourself in a positive way
Being your own cheerleader isn't about bragging or boasting, it's like the law of attraction. Speak about yourself positively, believe in your achievements and your capabilities, and positivity will come back your way. What do you think?