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“Discover the Incredible Light Within Yourself” ~Hafiz of Shiraz
Have you ever experienced the overwhelming feeling that you are insignificant? Have you ever allowed that voice in your head to discourage you from pursuing your dreams? If so, you are not alone. I have been in that dark place before, but I managed to find a way out. Let me share my story with you.
The Interview That Tested My Confidence
In my early twenties, fresh out of college, I had my first professional job interview. I was filled with optimism and had the naive belief that the possibilities were endless. Despite my optimism, I was understandably nervous because it was a challenging interview for a beginner.
The interview consisted of the following:
- A panel of eight to ten people questioning me for one to two hours.
- The requirement to answer questions in Spanish because being bilingual was necessary for the job.
I prepared for a week and hoped for the best. The initial moments were nerve-wracking with all eyes on me, analyzing my every move. However, as time went on, I started to feel more comfortable. But just when I began to relax, one of the interviewers asked me a question in Spanish, which happened to be my weakest area.
I lacked confidence in conversational Spanish, so when I answered the question, I stumbled and my Spanish sounded like that of a toddler learning to talk. Suddenly, one of the interviewers burst into laughter, mocking my poor language skills. The humiliation washed over me like a waterfall. In that instant, I felt utterly insignificant.
The rest of the interview became irrelevant because the humiliation shattered my self-worth and crushed my inexperienced ego. Not only did I fail to secure the job, but I also lost all motivation to apply for another one for nearly a year.
It was only when I looked into my daughter’s eyes one day that I realized how I had allowed someone else to control my life like an invisible bully. I knew then that I had to regain my self-worth and break free from the shackles of feeling small.
Seven Vital Reminders When You Feel Insignificant
1. We all share emotional pain points.
No matter how different we may appear on the outside, we all experience the same emotional pain. Some of us hide it with anger, insensitivity, or mean-spiritedness, while a few can express their pain healthily. Ultimately, we all long for acceptance and a sense of belonging. Instead of comparing yourself to others and exacerbating your pain, focus on the emotional connection we all share in our vulnerability. This knowledge will alleviate your sense of isolation.
2. Embrace your “superpower.”
Often, we overlook our innate abilities or take them for granted. Take a moment to reflect on what comes naturally to you. Are you intuitive, artistic, empathetic, a talented dancer or musician, a skilled cook, caring, or organized? These are your superpowers, the gifts you possess. Acknowledge their significance and use them to make a positive impact on the world.
3. Confidence can be learned.
Contrary to popular belief, confidence is not something people are born with. It can be acquired and rebuilt. For me, the pivotal moment was mustering the courage to go for another job interview. Each subsequent interview I faced contributed to the gradual restoration of my confidence. Remember, learning to be confident is a process, and even the most timid individuals can achieve it with persistence.
4. Embrace low points without self-judgment.
Just as we tend to a physical injury, emotional pain requires gentle care and understanding. During your lowest moments, resist the urge to blame or judge yourself. Engaging in self-punishment or perpetuating feelings of worthlessness will hinder your healing process. Instead, be kind to yourself, allow time for recovery, and rebuild your strength. Remember, you will overcome this.
5. Silence your inner critic.
The voice of your inner critic is the loudest and most insidious of all external voices. It constantly demands perfection, sapping the joy from life. Accept that you don’t have to be flawless all the time. Making mistakes, facing challenges, and not knowing everything are part of the journey. The only obligation you have is to be true to yourself. Counteract the inner critic’s influence by speaking to yourself with kindness and encouragement. By doing so, you will experience life’s joys more fully.
6. You can’t please everyone and that’s okay.
Stop fixating on what others think of you. Their thoughts are beyond your control. Free yourself from the burden of constantly seeking validation from others. The greatest creators, dreamers, and innovators faced adversity and were disliked by many. Be your authentic self and nothing more. Do not allow others to determine your worth. All you need to know is that you are doing your best. Throughout life, seek ideas, thoughts, and opinions from others but always stay true to yourself. Don’t let other people’s opinions imprison you.
7. Rejection is not failure; it’s a stepping stone to something better.
Rejection, whether in love or professional opportunities, is not a measure of your failure. It simply means you are on the path to receiving what you truly deserve. Although doors may close in your face, they will lead you to secret blessings that you will appreciate later. Don’t be discouraged by the word “no.” Keep persisting, and soon you will find the door meant only for you. Rejection, despite its negative feelings, shows that you are trying and building momentum. The smallest steps forward, even if they seem insignificant, can lead to significant progress.
Ignite the Radiance Within You
Remember, no matter what life throws at you, your existence truly matters. Even if you feel your self-worth slipping away, hold onto hope. Focus on the things that connect you with others, embracing both your flaws and strengths. Recognize and utilize your superpower instead of dwelling on your weaknesses. Rebuild your confidence one step at a time. Empower yourself to chase your dreams.
Understand that everyone experiences the peaks and valleys of life differently. Soon, you will regain your bounce, and your confidence will illuminate the room. It’s only a matter of time.
Let me know which of these reminders resonates with you today.
Image via Shutterstock.