“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation, but your thoughts about it.”
: the way you think about or understand someone or something
: the ability to understand or notice something easily
: the way that you notice or understand something using one of your senses
Our self-perceptions are often instilled in us before we have a say in them. Learning to change how we see ourselves helps us find our hidden strengths, or improve weaknesses we didn’t know we had, to get along better in life.
If you don’t know where your strengths or weaknesses lie, you don’t know what areas you need to work on. Or how to leverage your assets! Self-perception is simply being aware of who you are, what you’re like, and what you’re capable of.
Adjusting your self-perception comes down to being honest with yourself. Recognizing your weak points helps you identify when you need to ask for help. Acknowledging your strengths can give you the courage to assert yourself even when you don’t feel like you deserve to. Some wrong perceptions we adopt over time sound like this…
* “I screwed up, so I am a screw up.” This all-or-nothing mentality lends itself to low self-esteem, but it’s a false correlation. We’re good at dwelling on our mistakes, but bad at remembering when we got it right. The negative doesn’t eliminate the positive. This is where shame enters, not just accepting the mistake and moving on, but identifying it as yourself.
*”I’m not good at this yet, so I never will be.” Everyone sucks at everything until they don’t anymore. Failing a hundred times at something is discouraging, but it’s incorrect to assume that those failures mean you’re not good enough. In fact, those failures are how you get better. This is a common theme I see in young people who have been told all their life that they can do anything if they hope hard enough. This simply cannot be true. What can be embraced is the strengths you have and work them.
*”Someone doesn’t like me, so no one likes me.” People who like or approve of us may not say it as often as someone with a grudge, so it’s easier to focus on the negative. Think about this though, YOU don’t like absolutely everyone, so why do we assume that everyone must like us?
*”I’ve never had any complaints, so I must be good.” Unfortunately, those closest to us may not always be the most objective reviewers of our talents. Until your skills have been put to the test in an arena free of bias (like the workplace or public performances), a lack of complaints doesn’t prove talent.
In order to change a perception about yourself, it might be time to figure out what your strengths are. By embracing your strengths, you can use them to overcome the areas you aren’t as strong in. This is a tremendous resource: http://www.strengthstest.com/strengths-finder-themes It’s the way you can find out about the strengths you have and how to implement them into your life. If you’d like to read the book, stop by the office and borrow my copy, then do the test.
See you next week!