Week 27: Do something you’re good at

Part of building self-confidence is enforcing strengths and this week I chose to focus on the things I am good at and build on those. After having a couple of weeks where I went through a (natural) phase of doubting my confidence, I decided it was time to get things back on track with a much-needed self-esteem boost.

First step was identifying things which I thought I was good at, and hopefully that others thought so too. These included

1. Running

2. Socialising

3. Talking

Number one because it’s a hobby I enjoy and take pride in, number two because I am a friendly and outgoing person who loves meeting other people and number three because many friends have told me I am good at talking and giving advice. With a fairly busy week on the cards, I was certain I could fit them all in.

I started as I meant to carry on with a 12km run on Monday evening which I felt much better for afterwards and already felt my self-esteem levels increasing.

The socialising bit also slotted in nicely with a couple of evenings where I happened to be meeting new people. I was in my element, ensuring I put my best foot forward and introduced myself to the newbies in the groups. Again, I came away feeling energised and happier. It never ceases to amaze me how much meeting new people can give such a boost to confidence levels.

Last up, the talking bit. I think one of the reasons people have told I am good on the phone is because, quite simply, I love talking! Not only that but I think, as humans, we have one of the greatest gifts of all: language.

We can communicate with other people, express emotions, tell stories, give instructions, laugh, cry, shout and stay silent. However, there are many instances in life, particularly in relationships and friendships, where there is a complete lack of communication. Perhaps because we’re scared or because we don’t know how to start but I have always found talking to be one of the best ways to solve issues between two people and I am the first person to act on it if I can tell something needs to be talked about.

I can see that it can be difficult, particularly for the British, who are all consumed in their fear of expressing emotion. However, as a Brit myself, I have pushed passed the embarrassment of all that and reached out to people.

I think it’s so important to reach out to someone, rather than pull away. Everyone deserves a second chance.

As it happened, this week I had had issues with a friend of mine. Someone who means a lot to me and I was scared of losing them over something really very trivial. We had arranged to meet up and I was in two minds as to whether or not to go.

I did go and the evening got off to a very stilted start, there was a definite atmosphere. They weren’t going to say anything – not because they were scared but because they didn’t realise how I was feeling. We have to remember nobody’s a mind reader!

The matter had been playing on my mind, so I simply said “I want to say something to you” and off I went. Turns out they didn’t realise how much the matter had upset me and all of a sudden we were back on the same page. They agreed to think more about what they said in future and I felt 100 times better. It was a simple misunderstanding, like 9/10 cases between two people.

So for anyone who is worrying about what someone else is thinking or who is struggling with an issue in their relationship or friendship, the best thing you can do for yourself is open up and talk about it. If the other person is worth it, they will open up too.

We can speak thousands of words a day yet when it matters, we fall silent. Let’s change that.

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