dance like nobodys watchingI’ve always loved the Satchel Paige quote to work like you don’t need the money, love like you’ve never been hurt and dance like no one is watching. It seems even more appropriate somehow during the holiday season. As I was always the most self conscious person in the room (Ugg! See, ego’s still saying you’re the only one!), it took quite a lot of gumption for me to get into the groove of what Paige was preaching.  But, here’s four things that helped me finally gain my authentic self confidence:

1.) Realize you can never protect yourself from every worst-case scenario, so you might as well go all in. What do I mean by that? Well, there comes a point in life when you’ve lost your good paying job, tripped over your own feet while doing a cool move on the dance floor, been dumped by the guy you thought hung the moon and had your health take a nasty  turn for the worst. And, you realize you can and will live over these things. Bad things do happen to good people. We can’t protect ourselves from every risk, so we might as well do what our heart truly desires, be vulnerable, and have a blast whenever possible. Life is short!

2.) Don’t compare yourself to others. Gosh, let me count how many decades I fell for this one! This is another dark-side of the ego that can only be cured by self awareness and mindfulness. Put simply, we must watch our thoughts and consciously change or at least curb the habit of comparing to others. It’s heart breaking to me to watch commercials and sit coms filled with messages of how you have to be the hippest, snarkiest, richest and best looking in the room. It’s all garbage that needs to be ignored. It promotes separateness.  We are all unique facets of the same tapestry.  And, your unique design, your true authentic self, is the perfect pattern for this tapestry –  exactly as you are, period.

3.) Change mindset from judging to communing. For as long as you judge others, your mind will also assume that you are being judged. When you are doing it, it breeds a paranoia that everyone else is also doing it. It breeds insecurity, self consciousness and a feeling of separateness. All are a mild form of fear — fear that you are not good enough, lovable enough, special enough. As we drop the judging mindset and adopt one of communion, the feelings of being judged diminish. As we try to serve and be present for others, we feel better about ourselves. So, even when we feel we are being judged, it doesn’t matter anymore, because we know it is the judge that is dealing with personal issues. It’s not about us at all.

4.) Cultivate gratitude for who you are. Self-love and self-acceptance are the cornerstones to having the ability to love and accept others. How do you cultivate this for a better life? Start noticing the variety of gifts and talents you’ve been given. Take a moment to appreciate them whenever you notice them. Feel thankfulness for what you’ve been given. Notice when you do good things for people. And, feel good about it. Know you are a good person, worthy of love and all the abundance the universe has to offer.

Remember, at the subatomic level, we are all just swirling vortices of energy. We are all made of exactly the same stuff. Yet, you have come together like no other ever will. Knowing this, hold yourself and move in this world as only you can – brilliantly! Blessings!
Sandra M Bell
Author of “Lunchtime Joy Magnet”

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