In my first post I introduced myself to you and I asked for comments about who you are, but how many of you I wonder will find it hard to quantify yourself in a few words and dread that question when you’re in a new group working situation? A lot of you I would imagine and I feel for you.
Explaining who you are in a few words is the province of people with a clear life focus, for people who don’t describe themselves as work first it can be really difficult. People who have ‘done something’ with their lives have things to say, people who live what they may call an ordinary life may feel too mundane to have anything interesting to say.
People full of self-confidence can rattle away about themselves, or find an amusing but self-deprecating way to mutter a few words that slip off the tongue with the ease of soft ice cream. People lacking that magical gift go bright red and stutter something incomprehensible from somewhere under their chair or with their face in a hanky or head in their handbag.
People lacking confidence often envy those with confidence, yet it’s almost always the case that those oozing confidence from every pore of their skin have had to work on becoming a person who does think enough of themselves to say who they are. That’s certainly true of me, but even though I’m sufficiently confident to have become a stage speaker in front of large audiences, I still feel like a rabbit caught in the headlights if you ask me who I am. In fact normally I start by being “Erm…what…me?”
Don’t worry about any of this. Lack of self-confidence isn’t a crime and you might feel like you’re in a personal prison but you don’t have to go to prison for it. Acceptance of who you are is key to success in life, especially in your personal attitude towards yourself.
There’s a social ‘thing’ that says if you lack confidence there’s something wrong with you, absolute rubbish. If you lack confidence then be that person. Accept that person. Live as that person. The more you fight it the worse it will feel, the more you accept who you are the more you can work with it.
Confidence is a fake it until you make it scenario. Start by writing a page about yourself, make it a story, say everything you can think of about you and your life. Then pick up a highlight and pick out the highlights, the important points, the interesting ones. Make sure when you write that you write in a lively way, for example, am I a married woman with 6 cats or am I a dippy cat lady with an equally soft husband?
Are you the mother of two teenagers or a domestic referee with the patience of a saint? Are you the father of a two-year old or just getting used to be wrong all the time? Are you overweight or under-tall, or a victim of scales that have it in for you? Do you have a boring job or believe that work is an interruption of the holiday season? You don’t have to admit to a job you dislike, you find a term to describe it that glosses over the subject.
If you think of yourself in boring terms and speak about yourself in those terms then you will psychologically convince yourself that this is who you are. If you don’t work on a sense of humour and find your niche you won’t have one, but if you work on finding life funny you’ll find it easier to find you funny. Watch comedians and get a sense of whose humour you really love, it’s likely you’ll find that style easy to copy because it resonates with you. Then…
Start rewording yourself and see the difference it makes to the way you feel about yourself. The less seriously you take yourself the less seriously you’ll see yourself and the less serious the things that worry you will matter. Plus – you’ll have something to say when people ask you who you are.
Wishing you happy days and peaceful nights OR wishing you daydreams at work and parties all night!