“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.” – Norman Cousins
I’ve struggled with feeling confident most of my life. Wearing eyeglasses as a young boy along with a pronounced speech impediment set the framework for a fragile self-confidence.
But with each passing year, I’m learning that it’s less important how others see me and more important how I see myself – and I how feel about myself on the inside.
Feeling good on the inside is integral to living a happy, successful and balanced life. But, not all days are easy ones. Some days my self-confidence feels as shaky as it did when I was six years old.
On these days, I rely on the following ways to feel good on the inside so I can begin feeling worthy, valuable and full of passion once again:
Enjoy the moment
Enjoy the good moments. Stay in the good moment, the comfortable moment, and the passionate moment for as long possible. Live them fully and notice how much better you feel on the inside.
Take time to congratulate yourself and pat yourself on the back. Allow others to celebrate with you and be open to their praise. Humans are not robots. We have souls that need nourishing and our batteries sometimes rundown. Allow yourself to feel the pride and joy of your accomplishment.
Always keep moving forward
The day most people give up is the day before they would have found success. Feelings of failure, regret and doubt begin to grow into things far more dangerous. No matter how discouraged you may feel, if the thing you are working to obtain is aligned with your life’s purpose, then you will achieve it. Stay focused on how it will feel to get there. Your spirit and your faith will give you the energy to keep moving forward.
Self-deprivation doesn’t feel good to me. What does feel good is the ability to choose when and how to treat myself. By treating yourself to a special meal, dessert or a concert ticket you are confirming you are worthy to enjoy something a little special.
Strengthen your relationships
Never miss the opportunity to tell someone how much you love them. Time invested in your relationships can result in deeper connections and a better sense of what you are able to give – and what you would like to receive.
Accomplish one item from your “to-do” list each day
All you need sometimes is to take one small step to continue moving in the direction you want to go. Forward progress, and movement, can make you feel that you are well on your way; no matter how long it might take you to get there. Pick one thing, each day, on your to-do list and complete it. Soon, all of these one-day-at-a-time items will grow into something amazing – something you have created and something that belongs to you.
Be responsible for meeting your own needs
No one else is going to do it for you – nobody. Only you know what’s in your head and what lives deep in your heart. If you want to have financial success, work harder; or if you want to have a better marriage, then become the better spouse. Yes, there are people who you can count on for love and support; but if you rely on these people, and only these people, you are missing an incredible opportunity to fill yourself with a level of love, grace and respect that can never be taken away.
Acknowledge your feelings
When you are happy, say you are happy. When you are angry, say you are angry. An important part to feeling good inside is to be in touch with how you are feeling.
Keep your balance
Listen to your inner voice, your inner wisdom, when you are pushing too hard in one area of your life. Live somewhere in between. This middle space often feels better.
Start the day right
Start the day in a way that is right for you. I love the serenity of the early morning to either write or workout. This is my time when no one has any expectations of me. It feels wonderful to do the things I love to do. Both make me feel great on the inside, too.
End the day well
Spend the last moments of your day doing what you enjoy. Allow yourself time to enjoy what you have accomplished and begin planning for the next day. This time for centering will allow you to connect with what’s going on inside your mind and in your heart.
Be a person of integrity
Do what you say you are going to do. Treat others with respect and dignity. Don’t cut corners with the people you love the most. To feel good on the inside means being good on the outside, too.
Test yourself. Push yourself a little. Don’t back down. When you meet challenges head on, you have the opportunity to learn more about you. No matter if you are successful or not, you can feel better for trying.
Show your gratitude
An amazing thing happens when you express your gratitude: More of the things you are grateful for keep coming back to you – that feels great on the inside.
Pick a cause or organization that is important to you and make a donation. Consider giving your time or offering a talent. While the beneficiary receives the expected value, so will you.
Nourish your mind
Learning can be a lifelong process of discovering the unknown. By expanding your knowledge, you are in a better position to try on new things and see how they fit and feel to you. This discovery process will put you in a better position to get in touch with what feels right for you.
Trust your inner wisdom
When you listen to your inner voice, and respond accordingly, you are seldom wrong. The tug you feel that guides you is unusually aligned with truth and reality. Shame, guilt or disappointment can occur when your inner wisdom is ignored. Happiness, peace and confidence are gained when you follow and respect what you know in your gut to be true.
Appreciate what you have
Only this day is guaranteed. Spend each day giving thanks to the people and circumstances in your life that bring you the most happiness. While it’s important to remain optimistic and excited about the future, it can also be humbling to become aware that the people we love the most can be taken away in the blink of an eye. Reach out and express your gratitude. It will be returned. And when it is, you will feel twice as good on the inside.