Chances are you are more critical of yourself than you are of others. This exercise is designed to see that other people have flaws too, and you don’t like them or admire them any less. Look at your best friend, parent – someone you like – and look for flaws. Do they make you think any less of the person? No… and the same holds true for you.
Start the exercise with a pen and paper and a nice place for reflection. Jot down the things about yourself that you don’t admire. Make a list of the attributes, behaviors, and flaws that you feel you have. Make a notation next to the item on your list about what that flaw means to you:
- How do you perceive that this robs your confidence?
- What is holding you back from embracing or changing the flaw?
- How does the flaw make you feel?
- Is this flaw a big concern in the great scheme of things?
- Is this a flaw you are ready to change?
What did you write? Is the list big or small?
Now, let’s shift focus to the people in your life. Chances are, it won’t take much to think of someone you know who has the same flaw. Next to your list, jot down the names of people you know who have the same flaw.
As you thnk about these people who have the very same flaw as you, what is the difference between your thoughts about them and your thoughts about yourself? Is there a difference?
Chances are, you have more compassion – or lack of judgement – for them than you do for yourself. Am I right?
Now that you’ve exposed your mis-wired thinking, it’s time to see yourself through the same filter you view those you admire. Start to see the flaws that you have in common with someone else as a way to be kinder and more accepting. Confidence is many things, least of which is self-acceptance and love. If you can see the beauty and value in someone else, despite their flaws, then being confident means seeing the beauty and value you have as well.
Go over your list again and try to reframe your comments. Rephrase your judgments into graceful statements that allow you to coexist with your flaws, or make a plan to change them if the time has come.