How do you feel about yourself? Nope….tell the truth. Chances are that you are reading this alone and that there is no one to overhear you. Will you say it aloud for me? Are you your own biggest fan?
I walked into work today and the first person I saw was a good friend of mine. She has a lovely smile and a genuine, warm personality. She is a single mom, totally in love with her son, good at her job, and a pleasure to be around. I walked over to her and said good morning and that I thought her hair looked very nice today. I was not making this up or saying it just to make her feel good. I genuinely thought she looked nice and wanted to tell her. Compliments are important. Her response, however, broke my heart. She laughed and told me I was wrong. That her hair did not look good and that she needed to get it colored and cut. Her bias toward herself made it so that she could not even accept my compliment. In fact, it was so ingrained that she had to verbally reject my compliment.
I wish this was an isolated event. Unfortunately, I can give example after example, and it is not isolated to women. My assistant is a man. Well-dressed, quick-witted, caring and compassionate. And yet? Give him a compliment about the suit he is wearing, and his first response is that he cannot fit into any of his other suits and that he must lose weight. Why is his bias toward himself so strong that he cannot take a nice compliment and feel good about it?
We, as a society, are quick to judge, quick to spot the negative and comment on it. We have gotten ugly in the way we speak to each other, the way we write, and especially in our television shows. Why do men want to watch other men in a cage trying to hurt each other? Why do women read magazines that tell them everything is wrong with the way they look, the size they are, and the style they choose? We will have to tackle society together, for the greater good, as a large goal. But what we first have to do is tackle the problem of our own self-esteem.
What do Kim Kardashian and Stephen Hawking have in common?
Why is Kim Kardashian famous? Why do millions follow her every move? She is pretty, but so are you. She is talented, but so are you. The difference is confidence. The world tells her that she is exceptional and she believes it, which gives her confidence, which allows her to do great things. Her self-bias is positive, not negative.
Stephen Hawking has faced severe physical challenges that most of us can never comprehend. So how did he transcend that to become the most famous scientist in our modern day? He did not listen to “You can’t”. He believes in himself. His self-bias is positive, not negative, which allows him to accomplish great things.
The single most important change you need to make is to recognize that these biases are your own.
Getting ahead in this world is a struggle. Not against the tide of the world, but against your own self-doubt. You must be your own biggest fan.
I speak and write to motivate. Not because I believe that we don’t have problems, but because I know that we all have great problems. Every day, we face new challenges. The fact of the matter is that no matter what the outside throws at us, we will never achieve what we hope to if we are doubting ourselves first. If you want to be a success in business, in relationships, with your family, or whatever your goal may be, the first step has to begin within you. Recognize your own negative bias and crush it! You must believe in yourself more than the world believes in you.
You must be your own biggest fan. How? I’m not sure, to be honest. I do know that you will never achieve what you want by saying “I’m not good enough” or “I’m not like those people”. The beauty of the human condition is that we can always change, always improve. It will be hard work. Do not be lazy! When you decide that what you dream of is more important that what you currently have, nothing will stop you from obtaining it. Make the changes in your life so that you can look into the mirror with confidence. Cast away your negative thoughts and listen to the world with fresh ears. My friends, your own negative self-bias is your single biggest enemy. Please do not let it win.
Oh, and when anyone gives you a compliment. Believe it. A compliment is a beautiful flower, enjoy it.