Rihanna shocked everyone when news broke that she sought therapy from a life coach for low self-esteem. Now, in case you had any doubts about this at all, if someone as talented, successful and gorgeous as Rihanna needs self-esteem counseling, we probably all do. If one of the world’s biggest stars can underestimate herself, then you probably will as well. If only from time to time. So what can you do about it?
Rihanna’s self-doubts arose from a scheduled appearance at London’s Westfield Stratford City for which she was paid an astounding £500,000, an amount so great the singer started to question whether what she had to offer was worth that kind of money. Whether she herself was worth that kind of money. “I’m not _____ enough,” is a negative choose-your-own-adventure story that so many of us pick up from time to time. If we keep re-reading it, disastrous conclusions about ourselves can ensue. We begin to doubt our abilities and inhibit ourselves from accomplishing the greatness engrained in all of us. Thankfully, this lonely, metaphorical library can easily be transformed with “self-stories” that are far more positive, empowering, and honest. It’s due time to throw out your copy of Adventuring in Underestimation-Land.
Keep in mind that regardless of the big smiles orthodontists and Crest Whitestrips have allowed us to have, everyone feels insecure about something in their life. And it’s not always about the way you look. The façade of social media doesn’t make that any farther from the truth. The woman you envy at work with impossibly styled hair and sharp wit questions her intelligence, despite having earned multiple degrees. The ones you spend hours stalking on Instagram spend even longer with their beauty routines, despite being entirely beautiful without any help from makeup or editing. Even Rihanna, who should (admirably) be more appropriately dubbed the Countess of Confidence, was admirably open about her struggle with self-doubt and confidence.
The trick is not to ignore this unfortunate reality, but to try to unteach ourselves the lies we’ve told ourself, and been told by others. We are enough and capable in every way. If RiRi can realize that, we certainly can too- and help others see it in themselves. Here are a few signs you need to stop underestimating yourself and brush the dust off the spine of your copy of How I Kick Ass and Take Names:
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1. Comparing Comes Natural
Comparison is the easiest way to cloud over how awesome you are. Just because someone else has something you want or has done something you haven’t doesn’t mean you’re lacking. You undoubtedly have a quality someone else wishes they had, even if you’re oblivious to what it might be. We see ourselves differently than the way others see us. It should never be more negatively. The harder you work at reaching your goals, the easier it is to be patient with yourself in spite of someone seeming like they’re doing better. No one is racing you to a finish line- move at your own pace.
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2. You’re a Chronic People Pleaser
Everyone has opinions. Don’t lose yours as a result. Just because people you respect say they have your best interests at heart doesn’t mean that they should talk over your inner voice. Whether it be your best friend, boyfriend, or parents you strive to please, they’d probably end up happiest seeing YOU pleased. It’s your life, and you deserve to be your own number one. Your dreams and aspirations can’t be fulfilled by anyone else. Be assertive and take care of yourself, people will eventually respect you for it.
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3. Your Squad Drains Your Energy
The people you choose to spend time with affect all parts of your life: your hobbies, opinions, and direction. Becoming stagnant, bored, and negative is unavoidable if those are the kinds of cronies you’re around. You can’t apologize for saying goodbye to friends that have skewed priorities or a poor influence on you. It’s only wasting precious time that could be spent making ones that uplift and support you. Life is better spent with those that love what you love and inspire you to be a better human being every day.
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4. Your Self-Critic Won’t Shut Up
Sometimes we can be our own Simon Cowell (AKA the notoriously abrasive ex-judge from American Idol). There are occasions when this criticism can come as a necessary wake up call, and push us to be our best. Don’t get too stuck in the habit, though. No one wants to be the moderator of their own roast. Find ways to love and praise yourself instead. Practicing positive self-talk has a huge influence on the beliefs you form about yourself. It’s like Mom always said…”If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say it at all.”
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5. You Don’t Trust Your Struggle
Hard times are unavoidable. In the midst of them, we can feel a little trapped. Always remember that they’re temporary, and that anything can be managed with the right perspective. Experiences make us stronger, and there is always light to be shed. Have faith and trust that the process is leading you on your way to something better. We can’t always control our circumstances, but with a certain sense of determination, progress is in everything. Choose positivity. Belief in yourself is the best outfit you can wear- you’ll never have to change out of it once it’s on.