Do you depend upon yourself? This morning was a big morning for me. I got a personal best weight at my single rep max weight of 170kg, and I did it twice. You regular readers may recall that I wrote an article back in April following the last testing day at the gym (Quick Clip of My Weight Lifting Progress This Year) and I PB’ed 145kg then. To have added 25kg so far, and I hope to add more to that on the upcoming testing in just under two weeks, is great progress for me. The coaches at the gym watched both reps and gave them the green light, so they got chalked up on the board in the gym, and I proudly took a photo:
One of the things I always loved about running was getting to test my physical endurance and ultimately advance it by applying my mind. With the weight lifting, I get to test and advance my strength with my mind too. However, the one mental element that weight lifting really exposes, which serves as a great metaphor for life in general, is just how much you rely and depend upon yourself in that crucial moment. You get the guidance on technique from coaches, you get the programme to train to throughout the months, but when you are at the bottom of a back squat, are pushing back up with all your might and you don’t seem to be moving back upwards, in that moment, you, your mind and your body are alone, self-reliant and the ability to keep drawing deeper upon your strength to finally get back upright is something that has stood out as an important part of the learning for me in recent months.
Back in 2015, I wrote an article entitled, My Top Ten Motivational Quotes, And Why.
In that article, the notion of ‘depend upon yourself’ got touched upon as I included this beauty: “No one is coming.” – Nathaniel Branden.
I wrote this about that quote:
When I first read this, I was shaken. It gave me a major kick up the backside. It really did. In my life, no-one else is responsible for who and how I am. The same is true for you. No-one is coming to save us, no-one is coming to make things better for us, no-one else can do it. This is about taking responsibility, ceasing the day and has so many levels to it that I’ll allow you to interpret for yourself just as I have.
And boy, heavy weight lifting highlights this point massively (as does running a marathon, setting up your own business, writing a book etc). It creates a sense of self-reliance and a confidence to believe and depend upon oneself that has proved incredibly beneficial for me in recent months when so many changes have been happening in my life and in my business. It is that which I am writing about today, the fact that “no one is coming” and how to go about accepting that you are enough, and that you can learn to depend upon yourself.
So many of us are convinced that we need to put on a show for others to have them like us. In society, there are multiple criteria in which people feel the need that they need to conform to be accepted. This perception has us so blinded that we forget who we really are. Is it possible to have everyone like us? Does it really matter that everyone has to like us? Sure it reassures us that we have a certain degree of validation, a following of some kind perhaps, and acceptance from others, but all in all we should have the confidence within ourselves that no matter what we do for ourselves really shouldn’t depend on what others think or like. That we do not need exclusively external validation for who and how we are.
When you learn to accept yourself, you will be able to enjoy a more fulfilling life. Accepting you for who you are, learning to depend upon yourself and knowing you can achieve what you set your mind to and be whoever you want to, is one of the first steps on the journey to achieving success on your own terms. You will have different circumstances, hopes, dreams and visions than those of your friends and peers. You may differ in background, life circumstances, demographic and all sorts of other variables as far as others are concerned, but the one thing that binds us all is that capacity for depending upon oneself, having drive, belief, and “power of purpose and determination” to succeed.
Action For Happiness is an organisation, based in the U.K., who discovered and demonstrated that self-acceptance is one of the top ten habits that contribute to happiness and well-being. However, their research also revealed that self-acceptance was the habit that people tended to practice the least. Self-acceptance is also a key contributing factor in becoming self-dependent.
If you struggle with accepting who you are, you will struggle with accepting others and getting along with them too. Even people with the highest levels of confidence in this world struggle with accepting themselves from time to time. No one is perfect. There is potential in everyone to become successful.
We all know this quote that Napoleon Hill, in his book: Think and Grow Rich, puts very well –
“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve”.
It is not fun when you don’t like yourself. Heck, it happens, right? Just don’t let it become a habit. Every person, without exception, in this world has different talents and weaknesses too. The distinction about people who succeed at being themselves is that they are kind to themselves and know their own worth. A life lived based on what others think of you is not a healthy way of living. The following points are all ways of contributing to a sense of self-acceptance and ultimately looking to build a sense of being able to depend on yourself.
Don’t talk negative about yourself:
If you engage in negative self-talk, it will make your life complicated and potentially toxic. Constantly telling yourself things like these: “I’ll never accomplish this or that,” “I am not good enough,” “I can’t do anything right,” “I am not smart,” or “I always fail” puts you in a situation where you start to believe those things about yourself. You become what you believe and think about yourself if you are not careful.
Do say good things about yourself:
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love & affection” ~Buddha
Start saying good things to yourself by embracing positive self-talk, make it a habit and say these type of things to yourself: “I love myself,” “I am talented,” “I am beautiful,” “I am important,” “I am grateful,” “I am a good person,” “I am okay, I am breathing, I am alive,” and so on. Practice while you’re driving to work or when you are taking a shower. You can say these things aloud or quietly, it all depends on where you are. Here are a few great articles to help you with these first two points:
1. How To Stop Rumination and Overthinking Being Your Downfall.
2. 11 Ways to Be More Optimistic and Increase Optimism.
3. Have Increased Optimism: Using Self-Hypnosis To Be More Optimistic.
4. Positive Thinking: Being Positive in the Face of Negativity.
5. Using Self-Hypnosis To Tame That Inner Critic.
Don’t compare yourself to others:
“Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes” ~Carl Gustav Jung
Every person in the world is different. To succeed at being yourself, stop trying to be like someone else. It is good to admire other people because they can be a good example to you. Comparing to others can be detrimental to you because more times than not you tend to compare to others who you think and believe are at a better place than you are. Many times it’s all about appearances, not reality. Keep this in mind.
Do acknowledge your talents:
“Believing in our hearts that who we are is enough is the key to a more satisfying and balanced life” ~Ellen Sue Stern
Believe in yourself and celebrate your talents. Acknowledge your talents and use them to create a productive and successful life, and to also enrich the lives of others. Your talents come from within so no one can take them away from you. They are yours forever. Focus on the things that are going well in your life now. Realize that the way you use your talents highly influences the way you think.
Don’t allow people to define your worth:
“We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light” ~Mary Dunbar
Know your value. You have talents, ideas, values, intelligence, and so on. Embrace who you are. You are unique. If you don’t know your own worth, you will most likely allow other people to treat you badly. In many ways, you allow people to take advantage of you and define your own worth, which may be completely distorted from the reality of who you really are. Don’t let others make you feel insignificant.
Do have the courage to be believe in yourself:
This will lead you to have more personal satisfaction. When you stop going along with the crowd and start reflecting about what people ask of you and expect to you to be, you start to see things from a fresh perspective. Most importantly, things become clearer to you about who you are and what your worth is. When you dare to be courageous and believe in yourself, you are more likely to stop others from defining your worth. Here are a couple of great articles to help you with your self-belief:
Becoming self-aware is not easy. If you’re lucky you have a coach, mentor, or spouse who helps. But in every life transition you face, if you just think about who you are and how you can bring your own unique strengths, perspectives, and skills to the table, you’ll be way ahead. And over time, with the help of others, you’ll achieve things you may not have thought were possible.
Finally then, I’d say the way to gain greater self-dependence, in addition to all I have written here today, is to challenge yourself and engage in activities that require you to have to fight alone, to some extent at least. Challenge yourself to run a certain distance, or lift weights, or write a book, or set up your own business, or complete a project of any kind where ultimately it will come down to you having to depend upon yourself and discover the strength needed to do so.