The time has come to get started on the biggest work you will create in your life, the most important house you will ever own, the home of your soul. Let’s rebuild your life with strong materials of confidence, self-esteem, and courage. I want you to be a free and confident person, and to achieve that, we need to work hard.
Begin by getting to know yourself. You have no idea what you are like or what you are capable of achieving. During the most vulnerable years of your life, people made you believe that you weren’t capable, that you couldn’t do things, that you didn’t know how to, and that you were worthless. They ignored you, overlooked your achievements, and punished you, and all that has wreaked havoc on your self-image. Look for silence and try to reconnect with your essence. Discover yourself, and explore yourself. It’s no easy task, I know, but that’s no reason to avoid it. Observe yourself without judgment, and get to know yourself a little better each day, the same way you would with a new friend, car, or house.
Start analyzing. Stop being afraid, stop worrying, and stop running away without looking back. Forget about fear, stop reacting, and start analyzing. That is the key: to analyze instead of reacting. Life is a dynamic process, which is good news because you can grow, learn, change, and above all gain confidence.
Contextualize what happens to you without rushing in your appraisals. Now you are capable of identifying when you are carrying out partial appraisals based on fear or a negative self-image that do nothing but activate your alarm systems and generate anxiety for you. The first step toward gaining confidence is understanding, the second is detection, and the third is management. Engage in rational thinking to avoid the tunnel vision effect that a closed and imperceptive mind has tried to contaminate your soul with. Simplify reality, and eliminate the fear factor. I propose an exercise of imagination. Imagine you are at a meeting expounding your point of view on a project, and that suddenly your boss takes out a piece of paper and starts taking notes. You don’t actually know what they are writing, but if you feel afraid, you will believe they are taking notes on the things they didn’t like, when you don’t really know. Perhaps they loved it. Or perhaps they have simply remembered a task they still have to do. So when you don’t know something for sure, don’t rule out any of the options, either negative or positive. This, precisely, is what tunnel vision consists of.
You have many more virtues than the ones you imagine, and you are capable of many more things than you may believe.
Learn more about this powerful practice of healing trauma in Kintsugi: The Japanese Art of Embracing the Imperfect and Loving Your Flaws by Tomás Navarro.
Tomás Navarro is a psychologist who loves people and what they feel, think, and do. He is the founder of a consultancy practice and center for emotional well-being. He currently splits his time between technical writing, training, consultancy, conferences and advisory processes, and personal and professional coaching. He lives in Gerona and Barcelona, Spain.