I was taught to be modest and humble. Even though my family was well-off, my parents hid their success and often seemed to feel shame around buying expensive things.
I remember when my dad got his first Corvette. It was like a dirty, little secret — even though he worked hard from when he was a teenager to build his own business and was diligent with how he spent his money. In my eyes, he worked for it and he deserved it.
But I was told it wasn’t nice to flaunt what you had because those who were less fortunate would be offended. In general, guilt and shame were common themes in my upbringing.
Looking back, I see that we were valuing guilt and shame! This overall habit was for all the wrong reasons. It kept me playing small for most of my life. It kept me hiding.
My gifts and talents were never to be celebrated. Proud moments were rare. I held onto this for so long, and still catch myself in moments of victimhood. But I remind myself daily of my intentions and can easily step back into the role of being my best self.
I discovered that not having a plan made it easy to slip back into old ways, old habits and old beliefs — all of which allowed me to keep sabotaging my ability to flaunt my talents.
So be on the look out! Here are seven daily habits that are probably keeping you underestimating yourself and playing small …
1. You don’t have a daily practice of any kind.
Having a daily practice, a routine that gets you in sync with yourself — your mind and/or your body — and aligns you with your intentions, is key for tapping into your power and strength. It reminds you why you are here and sets the stage for calm in the midst of daily chaos.
My daily practice consists of guided meditation and gratitude. Yours can include things such as yoga, reading, EFT or prayer. Whatever works to get you feeling good and centered can be made into a habit. Why not start your day with a positive outlook?
2. You constantly compare yourself to others.
With social media, we now basically have instant access into everyone else’s lives. As a result, it’s hard not to compare yourself to others — constantly. But the important thing to remember is that you are never seeing the whole story: no one is on Facebook flaunting their problems, their bad days and their fears. All you see is the good.
So what to do? Focus on your story and your journey. Never ever compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. We all have something to offer. No matter how many people do what you do, only you can do it like you.
3. You over-prioritize the opinions of your parents (and your need to please).
So many colleagues, friends and clients struggle with this need to please their parents. I came from a loving home. I had everything I wanted, except freedom of expression. My thoughts and beliefs were not my own. And I felt immense guilt every time I didn’t agree with my parents. I put so much weight on their opinions and expectations that I abandoned my own.
Yes, your parents gave you life and raised you, and did the best they could, but you are an adult now. It’s time to start thinking for yourself. It’s time to start putting your needs first. The only person that has to live your life is you. You ought to be happy with it.
4. You stick around with the wrong crowd.
It is crucial to surround yourself with people of value, who lift you up and support you. No one can to spend all their time with negative people and have a positive life. Find people who get you, create a tribe, and immerse yourself in their love and excitement.
Not sure where to start? Check out your local meetup groups or Facebook groups, join a club or a church. Don’t be fooled into thinking you have to keep certain people in your life because of your history or out of guilt. You have the right to choose who is taking up your time and energy.
5. You don’t properly fuel your body.
When everything else in my life began to align, this was a major thing that kept me stuck. I made every excuse for why I couldn’t eat right or take an hour to exercise. I ended up feeling like crap most days and hating the way I looked.
This was self-sabotaging. I was growing and so was my business. If I didn’t like the way I looked or felt uncomfortable in my skin, then I wouldn’t put myself out there. It was all one big, fat lie. Getting healthy and feeling good from the inside out are the keys to expansion and growth. Stop making excuses. Get out there and move.
6. You forget about all sorts of self-care.
We often forget to care for ourselves. We’re taught to treat others nicely and with respect, but we don’t do it for ourselves. How can we ever expect anyone to treat us well if we can’t? Self-care can include a range of things, including exercise and health, a digital detox, scheduling “you” time to do absolutely nothing, bubble baths and grooming. Putting yourself first is not a crime. It’s a necessity. Take care of yourself so you can take care of those around you. (P.S. Don’t forget to schedule it.)
7. You don’t believe in yourself.
There are few people who will love you unconditionally. You should always strive to be one of them. You heard that right: love yourself unconditionally. You are the compass for how everyone around you views you and treats you.
If you don’t think you are worthy, why would anyone else? Set the standard for how you want to show up, how you want to feel and how you want to live. Know it. Believe it with every fiber of your being. Believe in you and the amazing gifts you have to share with the world. Let your light shine and don’t ever be ashamed of it.
Originally published at MindBodyGreen.
Written by – Jenn Scalia
Featured image credit: Tiago Ribeiro