When you hear the word “greatness,” who do you associate it with? A famous athlete? An Oscar winning actor? A parent or spouse? This word is often associated with other people, but never ourselves. Why is that? Professor Maja Jovanovic has a PhD. in Sociology and dedicated the past four years of her life to researching the reasons behind why we, specifically women, lack confidence and focus our attention on our personal faults as opposed to focusing on our strengths and abilities.
Remind Yourself of Your Greatness Think back on your life come up with a list of 10 things you have done that you are proud of. As you ponder on this, these moments should come quick. You should know what you have done and what you are proud of. However, women struggle to compose this list. They tend to think, “Is this ‘thing’ good enough? Of course it is! When we think of things we have accomplished that we are proud of we always tend to think too big. It is important to recognize the smaller things we achieve each day while on our journey to achieving the great things. Constantly be reminding yourself of these little victories.
Far too often we tend to break down what we do into two categories: Total success or utter failure. For example: it is your child’s birthday party and she has asked for an ice cream cake. You go to the store and you buy what you believe is an ice cream cake. The birthday party has been a total success and she has had a great time with her friends. As you cut the cake you realize it is not ice cream, but chocolate inside. Your daughter does not notice but you do. Now in your mind, as opposed to focusing on the overall success of the birthday party, you chose to focus on the one mess up.
Any number of simple example like the one above can cause us to feel bad and lose confidence in our self. Why is it that we focus so much on negative experiences as opposed to glory in the positive experiences? One way we can build confidence and focus on the good we have done as opposed to ruminating in the bad is to schedule a small amount of time for conduct a Worry Dump. A worry dump is a time set aside throughout your week where you allow yourself to focus on the negative. Think about the mistakes you have made, the bad things that you have done, or the moments where you were unsuccessful. Schedule one hour sometime throughout the week to give attention to these things and then don’t think about them again until your next worry dump.
When you cease to focus on the negative aspects on your life and begin to give yourself credit for all of the amazing things you are doing, you will become a more confident person and begin to understand your incredible value and self-worth. It’s ok to remind yourself that you are great!
Stop Saying Sorry and Using Minimizing Phrases Have you ever received a text that you did not respond to immediately? When you finally did reply you more than likely responded with something like this: “Sorry, I was at work and was unable to respond to your message, but I am good, how are you doing?” Why did you apologize for being at work and giving focus to your job? You do not need to apologize for these things. So many apologies are unnecessary. When we apologize, we believe we are being perceived as kind or polite; however, when the apology is not necessary, it has the opposite effect. This is not to say that we stop saying sorry all the time. When an apology is needed and is used correctly, then it becomes empowering. Real apologies should make you feel good afterwards. But, if we find ourselves constantly apologizing for mundane things that require no apology, then it can become exhausting and deflating.
While some apologies are superfluous, so are many minimizing phrases that we use on a daily basis. Imagine you are in a meeting at work and you have something to say to the group. How often have you found yourself usi