I was recently communicating with an up-and-coming musician that found himself "blocked" in achieving his next stage of success by doubts, fears and low self-esteem he blamed on his past.
Having been raised in an abusive situation, suffering years of low self-esteem, being wrapped up in addiction he had now finally come out the other end having beaten the addiction and able to gain some newfound focus in his life.
Yet, doubt and fear was still holding him back. He doubted his ability to be competitive, to be socially accepted by his peers, to take his art to the next level…all doubts that many of us would have as we persue our own goals and dreams.
But this person has something even HE did not realize was SO powerful!
Instead of looking at the negatives of the past, looking at himself as the victim, dumping excuse after excuse onto the past situation we made a change that nearly blew his mind!
We switched to looking at what he had been through as something SPECIAL Of course having to live through something like this is a tragedy and we are not justifying this in any way…but isn't it true that living through negative experiences and having overcome such obstacles says something about your character?
By the end of our conversations, he finally understood that any future challenges that come up pale in comparison to what he had already PROVEN he could live through.
For many of us, we create images of "what if" that overestimate the challenges that may face us and ultimately, we doubt our own ability to deal with the future (or at least the future as we have created it in our head).
But for those who have experienced challenges in their past, draw from those to boost your self esteem. Know that you have faced adversity unlike most others in the past and that NOW anything else will seem like small potatoes!
Absolutely, it sucks that anyone must live through negative experiences – but having lived through those experiences took inner strength. That same inner strength can now be the foundation upon which self-confidence can be increased, self-assuredness built and achievement can be the outcome.