Sometimes, when our doubts, fears and insecurities overwhelm us, we tend to think, “I wish I was somebody else.” More often than not, we think and believe that someone or rather, most people are better than us, when in reality the fact is most people are just as worried and insecure.
You spot a totally eye-catching girl sitting by herself at a party, casually sipping on a glass of bubbly. You think to yourself, “She looks so perfectly calm and confident.” But if you could read her mind, you might find thoughts like, “Are people talking about why I am sitting here alone?... Why don’t guys find me attractive? …I don’t like my ankles, they look too skinny… I wish I was as intelligent as my best friend.”
We look at a young business entrepreneur and say “Wow… what else could he ask for?” He stares at himself at the mirror and murmurs to himself, “I hate my big eyes… I wonder why my friends won’t talk to me… I hope my parents can sort out their problems.”
Isn’t it funny? We look at other people, envy them for looking so outrageously perfect and wish we could trade places with them, while they look at us and think the same thing. We are insecure of other people who themselves are insecure of us. We suffer from low self-esteem, lack of self-confidence and lose hope in personal development because we are enveloped in quiet desperation.
Sometimes, you have an irritating habit like biting your finger nails, chewing your lip, and you are probably the last to know.
I have a friend who never gets tired of talking. In most conversations, she is the only one who seems to be interested in the things she has to say. So all of our other friends tend to avoid the circles whenever she’s around and she doesn’t notice how badly she became socially handicapped – gradually affecting the people in her environment.
One key to personal development is to LISTEN and TALK to a trusted friend. Find someone who you feel comfortable with talking about personal matters. Someone you know will be brutally honest rather than tactful. Ask questions like “Do you think I am ill-mannered?”, “Do I always sound so argumentative?”, “Do I talk too loud?”, “Does my breath smell?”, “Do I ever bore you when we are together?”. In this way, the other person will obviously know that you are interested in the process of personal development. Lend your ears for comments and criticisms and don’t give her answers like “Don’t exaggerate! Yes but…!” Open up your mind and heart as well. In return, you may want to help your friend with constructive criticism that will also help her improve her self.
One of Whitney Houston’s songs says “Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.” True enough. In order to love others, you must love yourself too. Remember, you cannot give what you do not have.
Before telling other people some ways on how to improve themselves, let them see that you yourself are a product of personal development. Personal development makes us better people. Only then can we inspire other people and the the rest of the world will follow.
Stop thinking of yourself as second-rate beings. Forget the repetitive thought of “If only I was richer… if only I was thinner” and so on. Accepting your true self is the first step to personal development. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others only to find out at the end that we’ve got ten more reasons to envy them.
We all have our insecurities. Nobody is perfect. We always wish we had better things, better features, better body parts, etc. But life need not be perfect for people to be happy about themselves. Personal development and loving yourself is not a matter of shouting to the whole world that you are perfect and you are the best. It is the virtue of acceptance and contentment. When we begin to improve ourselves, we then begin to feel contented and happy.