Monday, November 23, 2015

We've got to Nourish to Flourish

What are the words that you whisper in your own ear? The words that you tell yourself when you
mess up, when you're about to step out on stage, when you're going to attempt something for the first time, when you accomplish something, when you are competing with someone for a promotion?

Do you offer yourself words of encouragement, support and love?  Or... do you instead offer words of discouragement, criticism and hopelessness?
We've got to Nourish... to Flourish!
In order to grow straight and strong, we have to learn to speak to ourselves with words of encouragement.  We have to balance out, if not drown out, the voice of our inner critic.  They have had free reign in our minds for far too long, with little provided to counter all of their You-can'ts, You-arent's, You-don'ts.

I'm not here to tell you that you can do anything.  This is far too broad a statement for it to possibly be true.  However, you can do anything better than you can do it right now.  I can guarantee that if you try it, if you practice it... you can do it better.  You might not get to be 'the' best... but you can get to be 'your' best.  A far healthier and more achievable goal, and a change in perspective that is needed to get you up and out there trying!

When we start by thinking that we'll never be 'the' best at something we give up before we've begun. However, few of us need to strive to be 'the' best.  Unless you're competing to be the World's Champion in something, you needn't even be bothered by the thought of it.  Instead, we are simply looking to be 'our' best.  We don't even know what that would look like if we never begin.

Creating a strong sense of self-worth comes through repeatedly trying something.  It is through repetition that we develop the skills, experience and capability in something.  However, to keep on trying we need to become comfortable with the thought and fact of failure.  It's part of the trial process and an integral part of the learning experience.  We can't begin to learn what 'better' looks or feels like without it. When you fail at an attempt it doesn't define you, it simply defines that attempt. Explore what didn't work and determine what to try differently in your next attempt.  It's the getting back in the game after defeat that builds your resiliency, resourcefulness and, most importantly, your self esteem.

Perhaps two of the strongest words that you can tell yourself are "I Can".  These two little words can be used to create and strengthen your sense of self-worth like no others.

  • I can handle this
  • I can figure this out
  • I can make this work
  • I can manage
  • I can get through it
Like the little train chugging up the hill, thinking you can is often all that's needed to take on new challenges, develop new skills, to nourish your self belief.

What would you accomplish if you believed you could?
We can proactively build our self-esteem, creating positive momentum, by doing.  Getting things done is proof that you 'can', providing the motivation needed to activate your 'more' muscle.

The following are my Top 5 Tips for how to Nourish your self-esteem, to nourish your inner Cheerleader, so you too can Flourish and grow...

  1. Start Small.  Take on something that you can start immediately and that is relatively easy. You want to get some fast and easy wins that create the momentum of success. Offer yourself some definitive proof that you are capable and competent. Give your Cheerleader some early and easy wins to cheer about, giving them examples to help stifle your inner Critic.  
  2. Have a vision.  You want to have some clarity about where you're going.  Once that ball is in motion we want it to be difficult to stop. We want your positive momentum to keep that ball constantly in motion... we just want it to be rolling in a direction of your choosing!
  3. Do something you're good at.  Build your wins.  Doing something you're good at builds examples of success that will give you the confidence you need to tackle less-skilled tasks. Proving you have talent and worth in one area helps you to handle the inevitable failures you will experience while learning something new.  Failure is part of the natural process of growing and serves a very useful purpose.  However, having examples of things we ARE good at, ARE capable of, ARE successful at helps us to hang in through the challenging stages of learning something new.
  4. So something that scares you.  In order to truly flourish you are going to have to try something new.  You may have talents and abilities you will never know you have if you never challenge yourself to attempt new things.  To truly come to know all that you are and all that you can be you need to step outside your comfort zone and try something that makes you a little nervous, that you're a little unsure of.  Just think of the doors that open for you each time you push that fear to the side though.  Your cheerleader is now leading you forward saying... Wow!  If you did that, maybe you can also do this!  Oh... the opportunities that await!
  5. Give yourself Recognition.  Look at everything you just did!  Look at what you tried!  You need to recognise your accomplishments, reward your bravery in stepping forward. It is important that your attempts and successes get noticed and celebrated, even when it's just a party of one.  Even if things didn't go exactly as planned, it was a step taken in the journey of getting there.  It deserves recognition. At the end of each day, highlight a minimum of 3 things that you did, you accomplished, or you tried... they are deserving of recognition.  Begin learning to see your wins and to celebrate them.  Build the positivity and momentum that keeps your ball rolling forward.

What would you accomplish if you believed you could?
Go and make it happen!

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