Self-Confidence Boosters

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No one is good at everything. Elon Musk? Maybe he sucks at polka dancing (he could also tear it up, which would be AWESOME). Tom Brady? He might be a hot mess at playing the violin. Everyone sucks at SOME thing. You're gonna be good at some things, mediocre at other things, incredible at a few things, craptacular at plenty of things, embarrassingly bad at plenty things, profoundly divine at a few things, and so on.   

When we're struggling with something that is important to us, it can be especially difficult. Sure, it is easy to shrug off being crappy at something that you don't care about. I'm not great at doing backflips, but my job doesn't depend on me being able to do a backflip, my dream doesn't involve being awesome at backflips, no one in my life is counting on my backflip abilities. 

 

Wanting to be Better

If you find that you're not on the level of skill that you want to be for something, that's still okay. Expertise takes a tremendous amount of time. Listen to any expert or professional who is in the top of their field- they've had so many struggles, so many moments where they doubted themselves, times where they didn't know they could achieve their goals. You don't have to romanticise the struggling artist cliché, but you can practice compassion toward yourself when you note your limitations and opportunities for growth.

 

The Process of Growth

Whether you are wanting to improve your skills or mental health or physical fitness, the process of growth is not linear. It is not a straight line zooming into the atmosphere like a rocket across the sky. No. Growth is a series of fits and starts. It goes up then plummets, it has plateaus, dives, and whirls around. Remind yourself when you are struggling to accept the process of change and improvement that growth almost always looks messier than we want, takes longer than we want, requires more effort than we want.

Why? Because you know where you want to be in the long run and you see where you are and it can be so easy to focus on what is lacking. It can be so easy to see how far away you are, but not how far you have come. Those incremental gains, those little bits of "this small technique has improved" or "this one skill here has kinda gotten better even though I'm not at my end goal yet" can be easy to overlook. 

 

Keeping Your Spirits Up

There are some great ways to help yourself not get caught up in the disappointing bogs that can come with not being as skilled or as accomplished as you wish you were. 

  • Be practical and goal-oriented when talking about weaknesses. When you notice something "bad" or something that needs improvement, try to only think or talk about it in so much as it helps you change the thing. Stick to the facts: "this part needs to be tightened up," "I need to work on my pacing," "I think I need to try a different strategy here." Saying things like, "this sucks" or "this will never work" are not things that help you fix a situation. Think and say only the things that help you identify the problem and come up with possible solutions to fix it.

  • focus your attention on how far you have come instead of focusing on how far away you are from your end goal. Notice the gains you have made over the past few months or years. What things did you used to do that you've gotten better at? Take time to enjoy, appreciate, and notice your improvements, no matter how small. Don't dismiss any growth as insignificant. 

  • Focus on the process, not the outcome. The end point outcome might be really far out so focus your pride, your sense of accomplishment, your sense of fulfillment or happiness on your process. Your process includes your efforts, your attempts (no matter if they succeeded or went wonky), your dedication, your willingness to keep trying when things are hard, how much you care about learning and growing, your ability to weather the difficulties of your struggles, your perseverance, your patience, your willingness to try and try again.

  • Give yourself permission to suck. It can be hard to want to practice or try something when you expect yourself to be performing wonderfully or perfectly. "I know this isn't going to be as perfect as I want it to and I'm just going to be disappointed with myself, so let's not bring that world of hurt down on us." Perfectionism is a road to procrastination and avoidance. Instead, let yourself be messy, crappy, produce "failures," and be imperfect. Giving yourself permission to do "bad" work is crucial for creativity, motivation, and productivity. Maybe set aside a time each day for Carpe Suck time where deliberately allow yourself the freedom of a child to play, be curious, silly, goofy, messy, and just play rather than try to produce the most perfect work.

 

The Bottom Line

If you suck at something, does that mean that you suck? Nope. Everyone sucks at some things. That's normal.

Can you guarantee that you will be great at everything you wanna be awesome at? Nope. You're gonna be great at some things and not always the things you want to be great at.

Does that mean you're a failure? Nope. You have worth and value for many reasons, more than just how you perform this one specific task. You are good at many things and you have many wonderful things you bring into the world. 

Coco the LouderComment