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Consider that you have certain fixed ideas about your abilities that reside in your subconscious. These ideas may originally have had survival value, but now they cause you to lose confidence and question your own abilities.
To make things worse, we tend to exaggerate our perceived failings. For instance, let's say you have always had trouble with spelling. (Note that "always" is a loaded word, throwing up a barrier to change.) What do you say about it? "I'm a lousy speller." "I never could spell, even with a dictionary." Or you may even say, "I'm the world's worst speller."
Such remarks, even if you are exaggerating deliberately, do not show an attitude that is conducive to improvement. Here are a few other examples. Can you think of any on your own?
"I keep to myself and avoid social situations, because I'm not smart and no one will be interested in what I have to say."
"Dance? Are you kidding? I have two left feet."
"I wouldn't apply for that promotion. I couldn't learn the new program."
"That aerobics class looks like fun, but I won't join because everyone will laugh at me because I am so fat and clumsy." (By the way, nobody in a beginning aerobics class will laugh at you because they are all worried about themselves.)
Make a list of negative feelings you have about yourself that may keep you from doing things you really want to do. You will probably find that you are really hard on yourself. Would you be as critical of someone else?
|Sheri Ann Richerson|