For this week’s blog, I started writing about ‘inspiring others by self improvement’ and half-way thru the article, I made the following statement: “Before telling other people some ways on how to improve themselves, let them see that you yourself is a representation and a product of self improvement.” Then it got me realize that I never said anything about my own story on how I overcame my failures and reached the state where I am now. So, I decided that’s what I’ll do for this week and finish posting the other article for next week.
Here it goes … my own self improvement process. Not too many years ago, I was going through a dark time in my life. I was broke – financially, personally, socially – even spiritually. In describing it to someone once, I said, “I had the self esteem of a dead skunk.” That might have been overstating it a bit but not much!
My life – and my confidence – is much better today, MUCH better.
So what’s changed? Was it outward circumstances? Did my environment change and with it my inner experience? No.
Somehow I knew that any changes would have to be from me. It would be an inner transformation that would eventually alter the outward experience.
Some of the things I did unconsciously. Others were done with deliberation and coaching.
First and foremost, I removed myself from people who had been particularly critical. By distancing myself from this criticism, I was able to gain a better perspective. I was perfectly capable of taking my own inventory and didn’t need someone else pointing out my errors and keeping me focused on my shortcomings.
I immersed myself in good books – books of inspiration, books that increased my belief and books that gave me hope. And hope was severely lacking.
I made a conscious effort to focus on my strengths: my talents, my experience and my knowledge. I didn’t allow myself to indulge in negative thoughts. When I found myself musing about something less than “uplifting”, I would redirect myself to something else. I gave myself no permission to have “pity parties.”
Thomas Carlyle wrote, “Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what clearly lies at hand.” I kept busy. I did what appeared to me as needing doing. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do or how I was going to do it. The future was uncertain and for the first time in my life I didn’t have a plan. Like the AA program, I took one day at a time.
And each day I did what I could to clean up my messes, make things better, keep my focus forward instead of backward and keep the faith.
One of the biggest awareness’ I had during these dark times was that I WAS NOT my feelings. I HAD feelings, but they were not me. I also realized that I had cared too much about the opinions of others. I still care; I just don’t let it run me like it used to.
Some people believe that if you feel good about yourself, you’ll do great things. That may be true, but I also believe that if you do great things, you’ll feel good about yourself – and then do even greater things.
Taking these steps consistently over a period of months has enabled me to rebuild my finances, establish a career I’m excited about, develop a loving and nurturing relationship with my family and, most importantly, restore and improve upon my self esteem. I’m grateful for the process.
Self-esteem is an upward or downward spiral. What you do affects the way you feel. How you feel affects the things you do. The things you do affect what you and others think of you, which in turn, affect how you feel about yourself.
You’re either building yourself up or tearing yourself down. There is no status quo when it comes to your self-image.
Let’s recollect some Winnie the Pooh characters … Eeyore has no self esteem, he expects things to go wrong and they usually do. Tigger, on the other hand, bounces through life, always hopeful, always on an adventure, even when his friends try to pull him down; he just sees the bouncy side of things. He exasperates those who need total order, or control. Tigger is truly, just Tigger. He loves his friends just as they are and even the busy but important old Rabbit can’t dampen his spirits. I love Tigger, though I certainly have had my Eeyore moments! If you get a chance, read some of the Pooh books.
See who you identify with and who irritates you … This week try and be aware of the times you feel uncomfortable, depressed, discouraged, irritated, frustrated, out of control, or the flip side, very independent, self sufficient, (don’t need any one else, I will do it myself, no one else can do it right), opinionated, critical, positional … and ask yourself, where am I not valuing myself?
Start a journal. Keep track, start to be responsible for your life and yourself, find creative intuitive ways to make changes, your inner self knows what it needs. Read a book on self improvement – get this FREE e-Book now, take a class, find a support group, get a Coach!!
Surya M Ganduri, PhD. PMP. is the founder and president of eMBC, Inc., an international firm specializing in strategic and executive leadership development processes that Help People Succeed in an Evolving World. His company is dedicated to helping organizations and individuals manage strategic change, innovation, cultural transition, and goal achievement. Surya has over 26 years of business experience in management consulting, leadership development, executive coaching, process improvements, organizational development and youth leadership. Contact Surya at s6ganduri@eMBCinc.com. For more information, visit www.eMBCinc.com or contact eMBC, Inc., directly at (630) 445-1321.
Dr Surya M Ganduri, PhD. PMP. is the Founder & President of eMBC, Inc., an international firm specializing in strategic and executive leadership development processes that Help People Succeed in an Evolving World. Dr Surya has over 28 years of business experience in management consulting, leadership development, executive coaching, process improvements, organizational development and youth leadership. For more information visit www.eMBCinc.com or contact eMBC, Inc., directly at (630) 445-1321.