Success requires a steady focus on the positive.
This clip is of Al’s practical, humorous and delightfully encouraging keynote Disable Disability Myths. The many practical applications are sprinkled with hopeful and funny stories about his rehabilitation journey. One useful aspect of Al’s presentations is clear when it is realized that, in one shape or another, we have all had motorcycle crashes.
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Believe in and Appreciate Yourself!
“You’ll see it when you believe it.” - Wayne Dyer
Every now and then I receive a dose of encouragement…
The family my fiancee’ had lived with was always supportive. The husband had suffered a head injury years before.
“You’ve done so well, Al. Your parents must be awfully proud of you,” Betty the wife would say. She was always saying positive things to me.
I shrugged. “Yeah. They’re proud. Who can blame ‘em?” I laughed.
Making jokes whenever people complimented me was easier than acknowledging the compliment. Since I didn’t believe the positive things people said about me, it was hard for me to accept compliments. I didn’t feel good about myself, so I didn’t really believe anyone else did either.
I thought people said nice things to me because they felt sorry for me.
During the initial years after my accident, people complimented me and frequently told me they admired all the hard work I was doing. This would have boosted my self-esteem, if only I had believed them.
How Could I Believe Them?
I saw myself as pathetic, someone to be pitied, not someone who deserved respect or admiration. As I mentioned, during this time if I received a positive compliment, I’d laugh and shrug it off.
What was unfortunate about this time is that when someone said something negative or derogatory about me, I latched onto it and made it part of my self-belief. This was something I could identify with because it was what I already believed about myself.
In other words, all my accomplishments, all the goals I reached, and limits I overcame did not fill my self-esteem bucket because of the negative way I thought and spoke about myself.
Speaking positively, to myself and others, is the most important thing I can do to raise my self-esteem.
8 Powerful Steps I Use to Fill My Self-Esteem Bucket:
- Appreciate Myself - I appreciate myself for the goals I’ve achieved. And if I can’t achieve an entire goal, I celebrate the part I did achieve.
- For example, one of my goals was to run again. Am I running? No. But at least I no longer have to use a wheelchair or a walker.
- Another goal was to sing. Am I singing? No, at least not well enough for people to enjoy it. But do I have to point out letters on an alphabet board? No I don’t.
- It was also my goal to be a good driver. Am I a good driver? Not as good as I could be, but at least I have a license saying I’m legal. And at least I don’t have to take the bus or rely on others to shuttle me around.
The point is that the harder I try to reach a goal, the more my self-esteem bucket is filled, even if I don’t reach the goal completely. If I reach every goal the first time I try, my goals are too easy. I add the most to my self-esteem bucket by trying and failing and trying again, until I either succeed or prove a particular goal is either out of reach or not worth pursuing.
When I succeed, I take a little time to celebrate my victories.
This is the first in a 2 part article…in our next article we’ll discuss the other 7 of my 8 steps.
Keynote and Motivational Speaker Al Foxx provides thoughtful and inspiring messages that include plenty of humor.
Contact him the next time you need a speaker