In the past month I have come across a quite a few talented, precious, unique children and young people who don’t like themselves. And when I say don’t like themselves, these are individuals who cannot find even one tiny morsel to like about themselves. Their self-esteem is flat line, zero, zilch. And I find it heart breaking, particularly as this lack of confidence and self-belief is likely to carry on into adulthood and affect every aspect of their lives.
I have also been talking to some adults whose negativity and lack of faith in themselves and their ability is causing all manner of issues in their lives, but sadly they don’t believe they deserve anything better from their time on this earth. Their damaging thoughts are noxious weeds poisoning the garden of their minds and ensuring that their life turns out exactly the way they expect. Because let’s face it, if they don’t believe in themselves, how can they expect anyone else to?
As an outsider I can look impartially at these examples and clearly see what impact their self-destructive thinking is having on the quality of their work, their relationships and their life experiences. But I can also relate on a personal level because there have been times throughout my own life when I’ve been full of self-doubt and lacking in confidence. I’ve done a lot of personal development work over the years and I now have a number of tools to help weed out self-doubt and cultivate my confidence; but just like the weeds in your garden, if you don’t keep on top of the weeds in your mind they can spread and take over.
Recently I was preparing to deliver my ‘Weed Out Self Doubt’ workshop to a new group whom I had not previously worked with. The day before the session I had a complete crisis of confidence, which was quite ironical given the topic of the workshop! Despite the fact that I know all of the things I need to do to get my confidence back on track, I couldn’t seem to shake my doubts. So I called one of my closest, wonderful, understanding girlfriends for a pep talk. She reminded me of how passionate I am about the work I do, of how many people I’ve helped and of how many times I’ve run successful workshops in the past. Her reassuring words enabled me to get some perspective on my detrimental thoughts and I’m incredibly grateful for her support. Sometimes when we can’t seem to get out of our own head, it is useful to talk to someone who knows us well and can provide the encouragement we need to believe in ourselves again and connect with the positive thoughts that will nourish the garden of our mind.
The most important part of clearing your mind of negative thoughts is to start noticing them; to be aware of when their poisonous roots are taking hold and to replace them with positive affirmations. This will help our gardens to flourish and bloom and ensure that we start to see some positive changes in our lives.
So I’ve decided to introduce Weed Out Wednesday, a dedicated time once a week to notice any negative and unhelpful thoughts I might have been having and to replace them with positive affirmations. And I’d love you to join me. Each Wednesday I will post a reminder on Twitter and Facebook for you to observe your thoughts, consider any limiting beliefs and substitute them with kind, loving messages for your soul.
And as my recent experience highlighted, it’s often useful to have support with these things so why not find yourself a Weed Out buddy? Connect each Wednesday with a person in your life who lifts you up when you’re feeling down; someone you can share your weeds with. You can work together to choose some new positive thoughts to replace them with each time you catch yourself wallowing in your weeds.
Remember, if you don’t first believe in yourself you won’t be able to give your best to the world so join us for Weed Out Wednesday each week and watch your self-esteem and your life blossom!
Mel Sherwood is a pitch and presentation specialist who prepares ambitious entrepreneurs and business professionals to take centre stage, embrace the spotlight and present with more confidence, credibility and conviction.
Mel's book 'The Authority Guide to Pitching Your Business - how to make an impact and be remembered... in under a minute!' is available on Amazon. To find out more go to www.melsherwood.com or follow Mel on Twitter @MelSherwood_