If you have an inner picture of failure and incapacity, you will never succeed. If you have a poor opinion of yourself, it manifests itself in diffidence, self- pity and inferiority, and consequently you cannot be happy. Your inner picture of yourself is projected into the environment you live in. It influences peoples in many subtle ways of which neither you nor they may be conscious. Let’s face facts. Many of us never really learned to live ourselves. We are conscious of our failures and deficiencies. We have a sneaky feeling that we are not the people we should be or would like to be.
It is a fact that self- approval self
– esteem is essential to mental health. You cannot feel confident and at ease
if you cherish a poor self – image. We often compare ourselves with others
because we need to reassure ourselves of our significance and important.
We try to build ourselves up by
tearing others down, to climb up the social ladder by standing upon someone
else. So we belittle people, we gossip about them, we tell stories which put
them in a bad light. At times we put a construction on their behaviour, play
down their successes, and gloat over their failures, thinking that by comparison, we are superior.
All this is simply a sign of the low
esteem we have of ourselves.
Les Giblin, a famous author says:
“Once a person begins to like himself a little
better, then he is able to like other people a little better. Once he
gets over the painful dissatisfaction he has with himself, he is less critical
or intolerant of others”.
To be on good terms with others you
must be on good terms with yourself. Liking yourself is good social philosophy.
It is the key to liking other people. Christ
summed it up beautifully when he said: “Love your neighbour as
We all play different parts in the
course of a single day. You are one person at home – a parent, a spouse, a
child. You go out and you assume another role
– teacher, pupil, worker etc. Every contact we make has some effect upon
the role we play. Psychology has proved that we can be the person we desire to
be in every situation.
Here are a few simple steps, to raise your essential self –
1. First choose your role:
Have faith in yourself. Determine to
play the role you were really meant to play. Give it your thought and
attention. Some people read biographies of famous men to get a pattern. If we
are conscious of our defects we will be encouraged to notice that they too had their defects. They were
just as human as we are. Just be realistic and decide the role you wish to
2. Concentrate on your role:
Think always of the victorious person you are to be. Forget the common
human failings you remember in an exaggerated way. Allow the past to be past.
Be entirely forward – looking and positive. It is only a matter of constant and
3. Act out your role constantly:
Play your part not only in your thoughts but in your speech, your
attitudes and in your physical movement.
A famous actress was congratulated by an admirer, who said her portrayal
of St. Joan of Are the night before was wonderful. “You did not see me last
night,” replied the star. “You saw St. Joan, I was St. Joan”.
Here is the cardinal point in role playing. Seek to be, at all times, the person you want to
be. This really can be an exciting and absorbing game. Give your role your
entire attention. You will have fun. You will get amazing results.
4. Remember that others want you to succeed:
Everyone knows how we all share in the triumphs of the successful actor.
People react in a similar manner when the role is not simply an act, but a
reality that is lived out.
Disregard small failures and go ahead. Do not demand a flawless
performance, either from yourself or others. No life is perfect, nor is any
Do the very best you can, with what you have, and disregard the rest.
5.Use constant affirmations:
Positive words and ideas will, in
time, change the deeply – held negative pictures you have of yourself. Build
from within, until you are not only playing your chosen role, but you actually
are the person you wish to be.
A man of mature years, presented with
this programme remarked: “It will take
the rest of my life, to change the negative pictures I have held of
myself, and replace them with positive ones”. Then he added thoughtfully: “But
in what better or more constructive way could I spend it?”
Start now! It need
not take a lifetime. Even today you can begin to make the sun shine brighter
for yourself – and for others.