In my teenage years I spend a lot of time alone. I was convinced that people did not like me and that they never would like me. The odd combination of low self-esteem and a very high level of self-confidence made me seem extremely arrogant, bitter and negative. In the end it made me very lonely. I never spoke to anyone because I knew they would hate me. My isolation did not harmonise with my personality that is outgoing and talkative.
In my early twenties I realised this and I started to think about my own attitude. In general I had a very negative attitude towards everything. Even my humour was negative and sarcastic (well it still is sarcastic, but people seem to like it in small doses). I never smiled at anything and would only laugh if something bad happened to other people. I found that I did not even like myself very much, but I could not escape myself and even though I tried, I could not hide behind my flair and skills.
I started to adopt a more positive attitude. It was very difficult for me because of my profound negative attitude. The first task I gave myself was to write a journal everyday about whom I had talked to and what I said. My goal was to say something to someone every day. At first the journal only contained various sales assistant’s have-a-nice-day remarks. But this journal made me realise how important my own attitude was and how important it was to acknowledge and appreciate myself.
It took me about ten years to develop I fairly high self-esteem and today it is not a major problem to me. I get better every day and sometimes events from the past pops up and sometimes my former negative attitude comes out to say hallo, but in general my positive attitude has changed my life.
I will spare you a lot of work and reveal a small secret: For every negative situation you experience you have a wish for something better. Put focus on what you want instead of what you do not want. Ask yourself what you can do to get what you want instead of complaining about what other people did not do.
Task no. 13: Think about your general attitude towards yourself and the world around you. Spot negative thoughts and adopt a positive focus. Be careful and take small steps because this is a long process.