Starting To Like Yourself

A long time ago you found yourself being picked last when the kids chose teams in the schoolyard. While was it that some girls were popular (who weren’t very nice at all) seemed to attract the cute boys, you wanted so much to be liked and couldn’t figure out why the boys couldn’t see it. And those insecurities that caused you to examine yourself at such an early age have stuck with you all these years right into adulthood.

And along the way, there were the good marks in school, but never quite good enough to get the praise from the people you needed it from most. If you did well in school, it seemed like they only were interested in asking you why you didn’t get out more, have more friends, date somebody. Then you graduated from high school and hoped that once you were free of the bullies and those that just intimidated the life out of you that things would be different. You’d meet new people, start fresh and make new friends, and no one would ever know you were a wallflower. But not much changed; you found yourself intimidated by co-workers, envied those that were confident and prettier than you.

If this is your story it’s a story you share with a whole bunch of other people too; more than you believe. Everyone is trying to find their way in this world, and some are having more luck at it than other people. But those popular people in school? Those that were voted most likely to live the life you all dreamed of? They haven’t had it easy either. Oh sure it looks that way from the outside, but they’ve got a lot of pressure to live up to lofty expectations.

But you; let’s talk about you. Don’t you deserve some confidence and some success? Of course you do. What is it you really want; I mean REALLY want? Most of the people I talk to like yourself, don’t want much more than a, ‘normal’ life. I mean they want a house, a job they do well at, they want to be liked by other people, take pride in the work they do and to be cared about and loved by someone and maybe have a successful marriage (or not) with someone they can spend their lives with. That nice guy that couldn’t even see them in school might be the guy they are hoping to find now as an adult. Someone to treat them with respect and love them like they know they could love in return.

So what does this have to do with work, jobs, keeping employment and finding rewarding work? Plenty. Employers generally like having workers on the payroll who are engaged with the work they do and can work productively with other people. Getting along with other people in the workplace means that you can communicate when you need to, share ideas or concerns, respect each other, and contribute as an individual to a group process so that the end result is better because so many people worked cooperatively.

In order to do all of this, a certain amount of confidence is needed. Please don’t mistake confidence for aggressiveness. Confidence is that feeling of self-worth, and it is expressed when you walk with your head up looking at people instead of down at the floor. Self-worth is the voice that speaks up at a meeting and says, “I have something to contribute”.

There are a lot of people who feel invisible to others of influence. All they are really hoping for is to be noticed and valued; in small ways not in the spotlight, but just appreciated and taken notice of. But it is a lifetime of being ignored or rejected that causes them to hang out next to the walls at gatherings, wait to be invited into groups instead of proactively introducing themselves to others and not applying for jobs they would do well at because they are scared to death of the people interaction that might be involved.

Everyone has desirable skills and attributes. What are your attributes and skills that you are proud of? Don’t say, “I haven’t got any.” That’s not true. However, you may have been told this by other people, even people you trusted and who should have been building you up in the past. If so, please realize they were wrong. If you are a kind person who’s shy and quiet, but very good at finding information, you might do well in a job where you perform research. If you love to read and escape into books where you walk freely around and engage in dialogue with the characters, fall in love and win battles you couldn’t bring yourself to do in the real world, maybe you’ve got a career as a proofreader, a publicist, an editor, working in a bookstore, a library, or for an online publishing house.

Don’t be afraid to voice out loud what you really want and to put on a piece of paper your good qualities. No one you now meet for the first time knows any of your past history. You CAN start fresh! It takes time, courage and the willingness to try.

“Why not me?” is what I’d suggest you ask yourself. “I deserve some happiness. I’m a good person.” And employers love to hire good people.


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