How to Feel Good About Yourself

Feel Good About Yourself

by Jayaram V

Most of us are not comfortable with who we are or what we do. Even the most successful people upon earth do not feel so good about themselves. Much of our unhappiness and dissatisfaction can be attributed to this. Sometimes, people feel emptiness within themselves. That void may arise if you push the real person in you into the background and become a different person in the eyes of society in your search for acceptance and approval by others.

Barriers to authenticity

Several times during the day you may deal with negative feelings about yourself, your relationships with others, your actions, or your self-worth. You may not notice most of them as  you manage your daily tasks. However, in some cases it may lead to denial and delusional behavior. As people lose touch with their own feelings or become insensitive to their own perceptions, they also become insensitive to others and stop empathizing with them.

It is difficult to explain why deep inside people are defensive about themselves and do their best to ignore their true feelings. You do not feel good about yourself if you have a standard or an ideal in your mind, against which you keep measuring yourself. This measuring, comparing and evaluating habit makes you feel unhappy about your own accomplishments or physical identity. Such standards are implanted in your mind early in your life by your parents, peers, education, or the values your society or community upholds. Once you accept them as the standard, you begin to measure yourself against them and may even write your own life script based upon them.

You will not feel good unless you learn to be yourself, whereas you cannot be yourself unless you have the freedom and the opportunity to do so. In many parts of the world such freedom does not come easily. The world wants you to fit in, and to be other than what you truly are. You are bound to the world to which you belong. Since you live within it, you cannot be free from its influence. The binding may happen because of your attachments, or the influence society exerts upon you through your friends and peers. Social influences bind you to acceptable and approved lifestyles as they play a major role in your life, molding your behavior, attitude, cultural preferences, beliefs and values. Once you accept them, you are no more a free person and you cease to be yourself.

As you suppress the real person in you to meet with the expectations of society, you tend to ignore your real feelings and the intuitive messages that you frequently receive from your higher mind. It results in further consequences such as making wrong choices, ignoring your own interests, or putting the interests of others, even of organizations, above you. In your eagerness to seek the approval of others and to be acceptable to them, you may even rationalize your behavior or ignore the truths concerning your life. If you notice how in today's world people so easily succumb to the charms of film stars and celebrities who rarely present themselves to their admirers in their true colors, you can understand how far people have to come accept superficiality as the reality and how real they may be about themselves.

Actualize your self-worth

Life is precious. You have a rare opportunity to live intelligently, be yourself and express your uniqueness. Your uniqueness is the only gift of Nature that puts you in a unique relationship with the rest of the world. You are not meant to be a cog in the wheel of life. Your life, personality, and individuality can be lessons and examples for others to emulate. Instead of meekly submitting to the values and standards that society imposes upon you, you can establish your own to maximize your potential and actualize your dreams

You can learn to be yourself, feel comfortable with your thoughts and actions. You can be an authentic person in presenting yourself to others and in your relationship with others. Have you ever wondered why so many people use fake images for their social profiles? You do not have to hide yourself from yourself or from the world, or pretend to be someone else. Here are a few suggestions how you can bring out the authentic person in you and value your life and self-worth as an individual.

1. Pay attention to yourself rather than overly preoccupying yourself with the external world and its numerous distractions. Knowing yourself is more important than knowing your friends, strangers, celebrities, and public personalities. As you listen to your thoughts and feelings and learn to identify them, you will become more authentic in your thoughts and responses.

2. Find your passions, what drives you, engages you, and keeps you interested and motivated. Plan your life around them. If you cannot do it due to circumstances, at least express them through other means such as hobbies or voluntary activities until you are comfortable with making life-changing decisions about your profession or occupation.

3. Do not be afraid to make mistakes or face the possibility of rejection or failure. Consider them part of your effort to express your individuality and uniqueness. As your failures wake up the old demons in your mind, try to understand how you learned to respond negatively or depressingly to them and what judgmental notions are associated with them.

4. Do not be afraid to challenge authority figures, popular opinions or established conventions. People in the world can be divided into three groups, those who exploit, those who are exploited and those who know both of them and are wise enough to discern the difference. At least do not succumb to misinformation and ignorance in making choices about your happiness or self-worth.

5. Stop judging yourself. according to the values and standards the world imposes upon you. Society creates its own labels and stereotypes to perpetuate certain myths about human life and behavior. It may label you as a white person, black person, immigrant, minority, majority, male, female, wealthy, poor, middle-class, average, excellent, overweight, underweight, strong, weak, and so on. See how many of such labels and categories you have accepted to define yourself and regulate your life.

6. Focus upon your achievements. People generally tend to focus more upon their failures and weaknesses rather than their successes and strengths. It is necessary to remember your successes and strengths and build your life around them, while you may still keep working on or working around your failures and weaknesses.

7. Forgive yourself. The person who deserves most from you your compassion and forgiveness is you. Learn to dispute your negative self-talk and feelings of guilt that undermine your value and self-worth in your own eyes.

Your feelings reflect your state of mind. If you are true to yourself, you will notice them without mental filters and defensive thoughts. You cannot value yourself as a person unless you trust your own judgment and accept that in life your happiness maters above all. You cannot have freedom and independence, unless you learn to stand for yourself, your beliefs, thoughts, actions, and values. It will also be difficult for you to trust yourself if you are not true to your thoughts and feelings and know what you actually represent and stand for. You cannot live a whole life and remain a stranger to yourself. True self-awareness arises from authenticity, honesty and clarity in your values.

Equally important is recognizing the rights of others to be themselves and feel good about themselves. You can always respect the individuality and freedom of others without being submissive or aggressive. The other person can be a child, an adult, a stranger, or a close friend. In this regard there is no better advice than the popular suggestion that you should treat others the way you desire them to treat you. To avoid unhappiness to others or hurting others, you may still extend social niceties to them and be part of the world in which you live. However, deep in your heart you must remember that your uniqueness and happiness matter and you are the one who is responsible for it.

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