As someone who has dealt with self-doubts in the past, I can share my experience, the lessons learned and how you can apply them to your own life to increase your influence and productivity.
Simply put, self-reservation is the act of being skeptical, hesitant, or doubtful of one’s abilities or potentials to cause or effect a change.
From a very young age, I grew up with the attitude and mentality of a victor, and therefore, everywhere I found myself, I was always at the fore of making critical decisions that affected the larger groups that I was a part of. This unique ability of mine earned me several leadership positions all through my elementary and high school education, and even through college.
I was always the confident one; the first person to voice out my opinions on matters of relevance, that impacted a greater community of people. However, this attitude and approach of mine suddenly changed, after I immigrated to the United States.
I soon found that I was no longer the brave and confident one, that always stole the show at gatherings. Although I spoke and communicated in fluent and articulate English language, I became very aware of the fact that I didn’t sound like the majority of people around me, and thus soon gradually found myself withdrawing into my own shell.
I became mute at meetings, and never wanted to say anything because I was afraid of ‘those looks’, and how I would be perceived by others. And even when I had the solution to a problem at work, I would still remain mute, because I never wanted my opinions to be disparaged by people who could have been turned off, by the way I sounded.With time, I found that I was becoming less confident, happy and even motivated, and that bothered me a lot, because I saw my productivity diminishing. And because I never wanted to remain caught up in that web, I decided to do something about it. I decided to step out of the cage of self-reservation and self-doubt, and today, I moderate team meetings and discussions with the attitude and confidence of my ‘childhood girl’, and I want to share the tips that worked for me with you.
- I began the routine of appreciating and celebrating my self and my unique skills and potentials, because I knew that if I didn’t like or appreciate myself for who I am, no one would ever appreciate me too.
- I constantly spoke to myself in front of the mirror (I really mean a literal mirror), and repeated those things I wanted to be known and associated with into my own ears. I told myself that I could never impact someone else, if I didn’t master the art of impacting my own self, and that included hearing the things I wanted to be known for from my own mouth.
- I addressed all my fears head on-fear of what people would say, fear of ‘those eyes’ rolling my way, fear of my own self-reservations about others etc. And this had to be accompanied by me changing my perceptions about everything around me. For example, telling myself that ‘those eyes’ rolling my way when I spoke may actually represent an admiration of the sonorous, comprehensible and audible way with which I spoke, and not necessarily a sign of disdain or contempt.
- I also made sure I continued to invest in myself and perfect my skills, so that I could confidently share my views on issues unabashedly. And this involved engaging in professional improvement activities etc. I didn’t want to be ignorant about issues I knew I had to bring in my A game on.
- I mastered the art of speaking confidently again. I watched several online videos about the topic, and read several articles, and perfected my public speaking with the use of my mirror again (do not underestimate the power of your bedroom mirror!). I watched my own gesticulations and body language, and sharpened my skills, until I became better, which has gotten me to where I am today.
In wrapping this up, I wanted to reiterate that self-reservation or doubt, may be standing in the way of the awesome potentials you possess, to make this world a better place. No one was ever born empty. We all have been gifted with immense abilities, that we can put to good use to better the whole of humanity. Never allow the fear of yourself, others or your perceptions about anything, hold you back. You need to make that decision to step out of your comfort zone, and be determined to let your light shine wherever you are. Remember, even if your actions make a positive impact in the life of just one person, your sojourn here has been put to good use. Therefore, never wallow in self pity or doubt, but step out and unleash those priceless potentials!
To your continued success. Cheers!!!