They say you can become any type of person, the most ideal person you can imagine if you are determined to have the right mindset. They say you can create your own world more positively by following your dreams, inspiring others, and being inspired by them.
But I say, don’t forget to be proud of who you are first of all. “Becoming a person you want to become” does not mean you scrap your old self because it sucks. With a work-from-home business, independence is always, and will always be, important so you feel balanced and be excited about whatever you do.
Two major medical disorders caused me to have a communication problem; ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder - “Asperger’s”) and stuttering. My symptoms were so mild that I didn’t recognize either of them until I quit my day job in my early 50’s.
For too many years while I was working in an office as an employee, I tried my hardest to talk as smartly as I could in meetings, I tried my best to be as cheerful as I could to my colleagues. Fortunately, my optimistic nature allowed me to keep going throughout, but my god, it was always a struggle.
It was only when I started to work for myself and obtained my psychological freedom, I suddenly realized how I had restrained myself just to get on with others. That’s when I needed to rediscover myself; my strengths, weaknesses, what I can or cannot do, and what makes me happy.
Steps To Be Proud Of Who You Are Whatever You do
People casually say “I’m proud of myself” in the sense that they just have a fair level of confidence in themselves. But they often say that in an attempt to make their weaknesses seem less significant.
I believe that being proud is to accept every part of oneself, good or bad. So if your self-esteem is low - if you don’t like yourself enough to be proud, it means that you have higher self-awareness than others. It implies that you’re at least one step ahead of others as far as self-development is concerned.
You can boost your confidence by knowing yourself better, pushing forward the best parts in you, and accepting the bad parts in you as they are. So here are the steps you can take.
#1 Identify Your Characteristics
List up your strengths and weaknesses, the positives and the negatives, the characteristics that others don’t have. You can randomly write down as many as you wish, but pick a few - no more than 10 - that are most significant to you. For example, if you are;
Focused or easily distracted in a particular situation
Honest to yourself and others
A risk-taker or a risk-averse
Spontaneous or planned
Introverted or extroverted
Generous or tight
Creative, analytical, or over-analytical
Proactive (adaptability skills) or reactive
Optimistic or pessimistic
Self-critical or critical of others
Financially prudent or spendthrift
A good learner or a good teacher
Versatile/flexible or rigid
Emotional, sensitive, nervous, or easy-going
Hard-working or easy-going
#2 Rediscover Yourself
Whether in general or work-related, finding your strengths and weaknesses is a fairly easy part. But it becomes a lot more interesting when you think about what made you who you are today, i.e. mostly your upbringing.
You may be already aware of the personality you inherited as you grew up from your parent, a particular family member, or someone who was close to you for a long time.
Rather than assuming "it's in the genes", dig a little deeper and ask yourself how you feel about it.
So this step is to go through the list you created at #1, look at each point, and find out;
- What led you to that characteristic, then
- How you feel about it now.
For example, if you often tend to joke around to disguise your insecurity, and that's exactly what your father used to do… You can ask yourself;
- Did I actually like it every time my father joked? When did I NOT like it?
- Do I wish I could tone it down a little sometimes?
- Do I feel that people don’t take me seriously enough because of it? Do I make a fool of myself? And is my self-esteem negatively affected by that?
Nothing’s going to happen overnight just by analyzing your background this way. But over time, you’ll start figuring out the best of the best part in you, so you can make use of that part more.
#3 Decide What You Really Want To Do
Challenging is good. But you don’t want to waste the substantial time of your life doing something you don’t want to do, right? Placing yourself in an unfavorable situation is not something you can take pride in. It’s okay just for a short time in order to accomplish a particular goal, but not for a lengthy period of time.
Your current job that you’re not entirely happy with. Your business that’s struggling to grow. Relationship/friendship and any other problems that cause you to stress, etc. Exercise #2 above can be applied to all aspects of your daily life.
For example, you are a teacher because you have a vast knowledge of that particular subject, but you don’t think you’re not an excellent communicator and you barely feel proud of what you do. Then work out 3 questions;
- Why did you choose the job in the first place? Is it because you were led to believe the job would be a perfect fit at your younger age?
- Can you find a different career path, say, monetize your knowledge by writing (e.g. books or blog articles)?
- Do you think you’ll take pride in your new career?
What Is It To Be Proud Of Who You Are?
I used to think that life is a continuous effort, so in a way, being proud of your achievement would mean focusing on the past and failing to learn new things.
But of course, you do also learn from your past experiences - success or failure. It’s important to look back and acknowledge the milestones because it’s one great way to boost your confidence, hence making you proud of what you are capable of. I was missing that point.
Shutting Out the Noise
Ever feel like you're surrounded by a bunch of voices telling you what to do? It's like everyone has a plan for your life except you. The trick is learning to turn down the volume on all that chatter. You've got your own thoughts and ideas, right?
Start by taking a step back from all the advice and expectations. Maybe it's saying, "Thanks, but I need to think about this on my own." It's not rude; it's about finding your own space, isn't it?
Trusting Your Gut
Once you've got some quiet, it's time to tune into your gut feelings. They're like your inner GPS, guiding you towards what feels right for you. Ever had a moment where something just felt right or wrong, even if you couldn't explain it? That's your gut talking. Listen to it. It's surprisingly wise, isn't it?
Setting boundaries is key. It's like building a fence around your personal garden. You decide who and what gets in. If someone's advice or expectations don't align with your values or goals, it's okay to keep them out. Boundaries aren't just about saying no; they're about protecting your peace and priorities, right?
Being Okay with Disappointment
Here's a tough one: you might disappoint people. But guess what? You know you can't please everyone, and you're not supposed to. People might not understand your choices, but that's their issue, not yours. You're living your life, not theirs, aren't you?
Focus on these steps, and you can start to clear out the clutter of other people's expectations. It's all about finding what works for you, and sometimes that means tuning out the noise and listening to your own voice. Does it sound freeing to you?