First Step, a Self-Image Checkup
What does your self-image have to do with kicking down the door to new opportunities? Everything! In society as a whole, and in the working world, your level of self-esteem plays a crucial part in having the kind of career and relationships you truly want. What is self-image? It is 1) how you see yourself, 2) how you believe others see you, and 3) how you allow yourself to be treated. Self-image affects not only your ability to get ahead in the working world, but how you get along with your family and those you come into contact with every day. It is one of the most important ingredients that give you the ability to move forward in life with confidence, knowing you deserve good things (yes, you DO) and that you “count” greatly in this world. It makes you smile and helps you meet the challenges of life head on.
We often limit our success by the way we think, how we interpret ourselves and the world based on our past experiences. If we expect rejection, failure, and discouragement–due to past experiences, previous conditioning from other people and circumstances and self-talk–that is what comes knocking at our door. If we anticipate greater success, satisfying personal and professional relationships, or becoming a successful entrepreneur, guess what? Our energy and focus is like a magnet taking us towards those goals.

Unfortunately, some individuals follow the same format of defeat for a lifetime, unable to still reach their goal because they were not able to in the past. Why? There are any number of reasons, such as a myriad of personal struggles, lack of finances, limited education, their own personality traits, or the people closest to them causing hindrances. Some have faced the additional challenge of feeling like they never fit in, or have only heard discouraging words from parents, teachers, or others that have been a key part of their life. The list of characteristics and circumstances is limitless.

Our perceptions may be correct or may be completely false. However, how many opportunities do we miss because we do not perceive ourselves as good enough, competent enough, educated enough, or dressed nicely enough, for instance. We can fill in the blank with any number of reasons. Let’s show the world that we are smart, experienced, professional, and look the part of a man or woman who knows where he/she is going and how to get there!

Your new Boomer motto: Step aside world, I’m coming through!
This mindset is strengthened by not allowing anything negative from the past to determine your worth or ability to launch out into the best years of your life! If you were told that you could not do something because you were not as smart as a sibling, neighbor, relative, or another student in school, cancel that negative feedback and break the record that keeps playing in your mind. Any self-defeating beliefs can cause you to stop trying for the brass ring and instead, continue circling the merry-go-round of life. Immediately stop that thought and write out or speak the exact opposite. “Stupid” should be changed to “I have a Divinely created mind, therefore, I can create the life I deserve (yes, deserve) with my Divinely created mind. Remember, this is a daily practice until only the positive, constructive thoughts flow automatically.

Do you want to “kick open the door” to a new life, career, or relationship? Do you lack the confidence to try for a new or long-time business or personal goal, the one you may have wanted since way back in junior high? Do you minimize your own skills and abilities by comparing your credentials to others? Instead, nourish and feed all of the wonderful attributes YOU possess. If someone’s years of experience, looks, youth, or bank account intimidate you from trying for that still-unfulfilled goal, focus on all of your attributes like your contagious enthusiasm, healthy humility, passion for excellence and superb people skills that far surpass what he or she has to offer. Remember, even if your present talent or material possessions are not enough to get you to the finish line, you can still take the next step, and the next. The end result? Flourishing in the career you always dreamed of, marrying a quality person like you truly deserve, starting the civic organization that stokes a fire down in your soul, or whatever you love.

For some, it may not be a career or marriage but fulfilling a creative need, like taking art or dance classes, joining a gym, attending interesting seminars, meeting with a group of like-minded individuals who bring more joy into life, mentoring a struggling student, volunteering at a hospital or library, taking some “me” time to soak in a bubble bath or have a pedicure, or any number of little experiences that can make life more enjoyable. Everyone needs and deserves time for themselves.

Always keep in mind, if you allow the same limiting thoughts to be entertained, you cannot expect to produce anything differently from what you have experienced in life up until now. Perhaps it is time to assess what changes can be made in your current life or business plan. How can you increase your knowledge? How can you refine your image and communication skills? What local groups and online social media can you become active in to connect with others passionate about your same dreams and goals? Boomers/Xers need to learn from the younger generation and they also need the camaraderie and support of their own generation.

The secret: It is NEVER too late to reinvent yourself! It is NEVER too late to start over no matter what has happened to you! Determine that your new life starts today! Remember the old saying, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always had.” What holds you back? Are you over committed trying to make everyone else happy? You know what you need! Rehearse your new role in life from this moment forward!

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