Did you ever wonder why some people walk through life with a permanent smile? Wearing invisible shields, and the problems just bounce off them, right? Like they never even existed.
I don’t know about you, but as I worked my way through the Kleenex, the Invincibles were getting promotions and new boyfriends. I wondered what they had that I didn't? Was there such a thing as an unlucky person against whom the world conspired?
It took the whole of my twenties to realise that the only thing that separated me from the movers and shakers was mindset. The narrative we tell ourselves. The story we’ve created to describe who we are. Once I started digging into this, amazing things began to happen.
It's no secret that brain scan studies reveal those with higher self-esteem have a quicker bounce-back rate and resilience that often leaves others aghast. But it isn't magic, and it's totally possible to learn the skill of confidence-building. But we must be willing to look honestly at our beliefs and be prepared to go at them with a sledgehammer.
Would you like to be challenged without questioning everything you are? Would you welcome an opportunity to learn and grow from mishaps and disappointments?
I wanted these things and wouldn't spend a moment more in doubt.
I knew that the process of transformation could be overwhelming and maybe unsustainable. I tried to find a way to roll it out in palatable pieces. It went something like this.
Firstly, be kind to yourself. Figure out what we like about ourselves and what we stand for. This was one of the hardest parts for me, as my early years were about ego and pretence. It had been so long since I'd honestly done something for the soul, I couldn't remember what made me tick anymore. I started making notes in a diary by my bed.
What are my strengths? What am I proud of? As my list grew, I vowed to remind myself of these things every single time I faltered. I stopped comparing myself to others. I made my own affirmations and slogans. 'I am Me, and no one else will ever be Me, and that makes me authentic’. With this in mind, it was much easier to apply step two.
Be kind to others. When we like who we are, we start to see qualities in other people and feel them worthy of praise and admiration. To talk about and admit that in no way diminishes us and our proposition. In the cut-throat world of music, I had hidden my respect for other creatives, often feeling resentful of their talents.