“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
We live in a world full of peer pressure to look like this or act like that. There is a constant bombardment of pressure to join the crowd or do what everyone else is doing. It takes genuine courage to stay true to yourself – to stand strong and hold to your values. Psychologists call this trait self-determination, which means acting in accordance with one’s core self and they rank this trait as one of the three basic psychological needs. I call it living with integrity.
Interestingly enough, I have found in my own life that my confidence level is directly tied to my living with integrity. When I stay true to my values that I believe in and when I act in accordance with those values, my self-confidence and self-esteem rises. When I falter from those values or do things in opposition to my core beliefs I find myself feeling a lack of self-worth and my confidence plummets. I start feeling pulled to and fro and my feelings of uncertainty create fear and anxiety. Yet, if I stick to my integrity I have found that no matter what circumstances I find myself in, whether a situation succeeds or fails, my confidence and self-worth stay high. I believe that comes from knowing that despite any circumstances I am living my life true to myself and that creates peace that no other person or circumstance can take away.
I love this poem someone gave me long ago. I wish I knew who wrote it because it is brilliant.
I have to live with myself, and so
I want to be fit for myself to know.
I want to go out with my head erect.
I want to demand all men’s respect.
I never can hide myself from me;
I see what others may never see.
I can never fool myself, and so,
Whatever happens, I want to be
Self-respecting and conscience free!
Here is to having the courage to live your life true to yourself and true to your values. Nothing will give you more confidence then living your life with integrity!
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