By Michael Hineberg, Independent Living Services Coordinator
Many people I know, with disabilities and without, do not have a strong belief in themselves. Perhaps it’s because we know ourselves too well, mistakes and all. I assert that self-confidence is essential for daily life. I don’t mean arrogance or conceit. Instead, I am describing a humble poise that conveys that I accept myself and I am confident I will do the best I can in any situation. In my view, the most attractive attribute anyone can possess is believing in themselves.
I acquired my disability as a teenager, during a phase in life when self-confidence is laid down. Needless to say, believing in yourself is a challenge, but not impossible. Here are a few tips I found useful:
- Do not be careless with your self-talk. Do not use harsh, degrading language when you are angry at yourself.
- Replace negative self-talk with positive, encouraging statements.
- Learn to laugh at yourself. In fact, humor can dispel pressure when you are outraged at your blunders. The beauty of it is, people can laugh with you easier when they see you laughing at yourself. Usually we are far madder at ourselves than the people around us are.
- Learn to be patient with yourself. Most people exert far more patience with other people than they ever do toward themselves.
Learning how to improve your self-esteem is one of the Independent Living Skills we can help with at Independence First. Contact us if you are a person with a disability who wants to explore this area in your life: 414-291-7520 V/Relay.