Self-deprecation is like a cancer that starts with one thought and soon infects every thought thereafter. It is defined as belittling and tending to undervalue oneself and one's abilities.
Everyone has bouts of self-deprecation, but you don’t have to succumb to your depreciating assessment of yourself.
Life is a journey filled with twists, turns, delays and roadblocks, but that’s what makes it life. We are a collective of every experience we encounter and we are doomed to repeat our experiences if we don’t take the lessons we need the first time around.
John Lennon said, “Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears." Stop thinking about your age and release the expectations you set for yourself by this time in life; you are very much right where you are supposed to be, so enjoy it.
Your time will come and your moment will be had, and then it will be gone, forever sealed and engraved in the fabric that is the quilt of life.
Here are seven steps to live by to purge moments of self-deprecation:
1. Stop comparing yourself
You are no one else but you, and you have no one else’s life but your own, so stop putting yourself in the same category as everyone else. Own it and make it a direct reflection of whom you choose to be.
Also, stop comparing everyone else’s frontstage to your behind-the-scenes; everyone with a Twitter or Instagram account has a game plan on how he or she will present his or herself to the world.
Think about it: If you are putting out a product into the world, you wouldn’t tell people why it doesn’t work, you’d tell them why it does.
People aren't going to tell you about their worst days; they will only show you their best.
2. Release expectation
Stop focusing on the details and start focusing on the bigger picture. What I truly want in life is to be successful, happy and loved.
Those are my needs in life, but instead of focusing on how I’m going to achieve these things, I redirect my attention to embodying these things daily.
Every day that I successfully execute my daily tasks or goals is a day I have been successful in my life. Every day I decide to wake up and be happy is a day in my life that I am happy; I emit love in everything I do, and in turn, love finds me and fills me.
If you operate within the things you want, they come to fruition in your life. If you release the how of what you desire and the when or deadline you set for what you desire, you release the anxiety of expectation.
3. Make a conscious decision to be positive
Like everything in life, positivity is a choice. You have to choose to be positive and to only see the good in everything, everyone and every situation.
Looking at the glass half full is a must; we are doomed to the perils and the pitfalls of life but you don’t have to allow that to change your disposition.
The sucky parts of life are bound to happen, but don’t be reduced by it. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. If you can grasp this concept and condition your thoughts proactively, you put yourself ahead of the game. Don’t waste your energy on fighting; focus on adapting with grace and ease.
4. Say what you mean; mean what you say
If you say you are going to do something, do it by any means. That goes for promises to yourself and to others. Even if you say it to yourself in your head and you don’t do it, that feeling of guilt for not holding yourself to your word will eat you up inside.
Stop creating unnecessary anxieties for yourself. Just put in the work and you’ll feel better about it in the long run. Besides, if you started that thing you said you wanted to a year ago, you’d be closer to accomplishing it by now.
If you know your shortcomings and areas of improvement, no one can use them against you or belittle you for them. Own your flaws; flawed pieces have the most character.
In the same breath, if you know your worth and where your beauty lies, no compliment, praise nor discouragement can touch you. Get to know yourself fully because you are the best and most rewarding project you will ever take on in this life.
6. PUT IN THE WORK
Nothing banishes thoughts of self-deprecation like knowing you paid your dues and you deserve your seat at the table of success.
7. Detach yourself
You are more than your position in life. Wake up, show up, do your work and leave it there. Your job is to create something and to create it well. Once it’s done, you can’t dwell on what it was or what it will be; you can only control today and what is right now.
Own it, give 100 percent and then detach yourself. If you do that with every endeavor, you will succeed. Find your reward in a job well done and in giving 100 percent. If you have done that, you have succeeded because that is what life is about.
Photo Courtesy: Stephen J Edwards