Welcome to this weekly online resource. Wellness professional Jo Foster, offers self care tips through her insights on mindfulness and positive psychology, her weekly online yoga classes and nutritious recipe recommendations.
This week we will begin considering how we can develop, preserve and enhance confidence. Enjoy!
In Greek mythology a young man named Narcisus fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water. Narcissism today is defined as a personality disorder, where an individual has an extreme pattern of self-centered, arrogant thinking and behaviour, a lack of empathy and consideration for other people, and an excessive need for admiration. The Narcissist seemingly does not lack self confidence and appears to be largely unacquainted with his/her inner critic, (although looks can always be deceiving) instead the Narcissist seems to only have a band of inner cheerleaders!
I have to say it sounds somewhat appealing, almost liberating to be freed from my inner critic, not to mention having a band of inner cheerleaders! The Narcissist is likely to recognise all their successes, disregard their failures or absolves responsibility. Their inner critic is silenced when it comes to evaluating their actions. However, in reality it would be a great loss to loose this source of insight. Here is why we should value our inner critic and how we can develop a healthy relationship with failure and success.
Failure is the stepping stone to success
Where failure comes from stretching your capabilities and falling short of the desired outcome, then it is important that we recognise that there are successes that you have achieved in the pursuit.
For example, you decide to apply for a new job or promotion and you don't get it (this time). The success in this scenario is that you had the confidence to take the risk and put yourself forward, in preparing your CV you recognised numerous professional achievements and spent time evaluating and learning about your skills. In interview you articulate your abilities and share your successes. Whilst you don't secure the position you may have achieved valuable insights that help you shape changes that you may choose to make going forwards that ultimately lead to greater career and personal fulfilment.
This same analysis can be made to failed relationships, the loss of a job, failing to pass an exam, failing to reach a financial target or failure to reach a desired fitness goal. There are always successes and lessons along the way. Any in most circumstances there is always the opportunity to move forwards and try again or try something different. Don't absolve responsibility of failure, if you do that you miss the opportunity to reap the personal development opportunities it offers.
In the job interview scenario you are required to share and articulate your successes but why wait for a requirement or to be asked to share these insights. If you confidence is running low, keep a success diary for a week or so. Simply jotting down the small things that you did well that day. This should include the simple things like cooking a good meal for someone, meeting a deadline, going for that walk despite the weather. As your confidence builds articulate your wins with colleagues, friends or family. Where the success is shared with another, celebrate together. Seeing your successes will develop your self esteem that you can achieve great things and this will inspire you to stretch your potential and take a few more risks / stepping stones to success.
Whilst the Narcissist may not experience issues with low self confidence they do sadly struggle to have fulfilling relationships and ultimately many will fail to achieve fulfilment in their careers and other goals. Their distorted view on reality ultimately disconnects them from it. Your inner critic is a great asset and one that should be appreciated. But your inner cheerleader needs to shine through too. As with all things there is a balance to be struck. Which element of your personality do you need to nurture to level out the scales?
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And, this recipe is soooo delicious!