No one is immune from feeling down about themselves, but I do know some people who seem to struggle with it less than most.
In times of my own self-doubt I began to notice that there are a few commonalities about those self-assured people in my life. The character traits below all come from adopting a healthier mindset. Each of us is fully capable of learning from and adopting these behaviors into our own daily lives.
They focus more on caring for others than on impressing them.
So many insecurities come from worrying about what other people are thinking about us; our hair, our clothes, our bodies, our personalities.
Truly confident people, though, have very little time to worry about what others are thinking because they would rather be focused on taking care of them. They make intentional efforts to build all of us insecure people up with encouragement and smiles.
I hardly ever hear a negative thing about another person leave their lips, and I hardly ever hear them bringing themselves down either. When our intention changes from making ourselves look good to building others up, something in our heart switches over from envy to kindness.
We begin to care less about what we don’t have, and more about the happiness of those closest to us. Our question changes from, “Am I enough for everyone else?” to “Am I DOING enough for others?”
They appreciate beauty, but they don’t make it everything.
There is no way to avoid thinking about appearances because our world is absolutely saturated by it. That might not be fair or right, but it’s true.
It feels good to look good, but comparing our beauty to others will always lead to heartache no matter who you are. If we don’t want what we look like to define us, why are we defining ourselves by that? Or worse, why are we letting others’ beauty make us feel bad?
Someone else’s beauty does not ever make you less beautiful.
My self-confident friends like to look good, but they don’t do it to be noticed walking down the street, they do it for themselves. On top of that, once you spend a just a few minutes in conversation with them, the magic from their happy souls is so contagious (regardless of how perfect or imperfect their hair is) that you may walk away from the interaction feeling pretty ravishing yourself.
When we want the people that we encounter to know that they are lovely, we actually become more beautiful in their eyes. Get the cool new haircut and put on your favorite outfit, but don’t forget to remind your best friend that she is beautiful, because she is and she might need to hear it today as much as you do.
Their excitement for life is captivating.
The people that have stolen my heart are those that are thirsty for life and invite me to come along on the adventure with them.
I have a friend that seems to wear a smile from ear to ear at all times while she tells me stories about finding some amazing donut shop, or hiking to the top of a mountain in South America.
I always want to be around her because she is trying to squeeze everything she can out of life, and I want in on that! Everyone else who meets her feels that way too. Some of her adventures have led her to what could look to some like failure, but she never talks about those times with shame.
She dusts herself off pretty quickly, admits her mistakes, and then tries something different. She could accomplish anything that she wants to because she doesn’t just believe that she can, she gets off her butt and she goes for it.
They don’t change for anyone.
Consistency is something somewhat rare when everyone is trying to be dazzling all the time. I like being around the friends that don’t surprise me with a different version of themselves in every social situation. Especially when that consistency is rooted in humility.
It can be hard to be ourselves when we are afraid others won’t like us. The truth though, is that if someone doesn’t like me it does not change my worth! There will be people that will bring us down for whatever reason, but being able to let it go is freedom.
It releases us from the pressure of having to be anything other than who we are. Being comfortable in our own skin tends to make others feel the same way too. Writing this forces me to ask myself who I really want to be. In every situation and around every person am I truly being myself?
They are satisfied with what they have.
Trying to constantly wow other people often turns into the need for more stuff. The coolest hat, shoes, career, you name it.
The thing is, no amount of money or things will ever get us into the ‘enough’ range. There is always another hill to climb when we live like that. And there will always be someone else another step higher than us.
There is nothing wrong with setting goals or with wanting things. The line between motivation and greed might be different for everyone, and it is something that we have to monitor in our own hearts. With all lines of that nature, I won’t be the only person who is constantly doing a strange dance back and forth along it.
We need to check ourselves occasionally- Are we going for that new job just because we think it will make us look good enough to others? If no one would ever know that we have this brand new gadget, would we even want it still? You know what makes me stop thinking so much about what I don’t have?
Realizing how thankful I am for what I do have. I read a quote that said, “What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things that you thanked God for today?”. Making the list of things that I am grateful for starts to get awfully long and doesn’t leave me a lot of time to list the things that I want.
All of these tips can easily be summed up in one line – thinking more of ourselves is actually a result of thinking about ourselves a little less.
When we turn our focus from trying to be successful for everyone else, we start enjoying the work that we are doing because we remember that it is because we love it and because we desire to reach success for our own satisfaction.