‘Don’t take yourself seriously’ is often given as staple advice to a lot of people. However, have you ever wondered if it is the smart thing to do? Isn’t it detrimental to one’s success and personal growth? While it is obviously wise to not fret about every slip-up or missed opportunity, we cannot thrive if we live by this old adage.
So what exactly does taking yourself seriously mean? Does it entail being grave, uptight, boring? Nope. It means being in touch with—and paying attention to—your thoughts, feelings, and actions.
It means respecting yourself enough to let in what you want and will put up with – and what you won’t. Be it a job or a relationship, you have your boundaries well in place – and you care enough about yourself to protect them fiercely. Basically, it is a form of pure unadulterated self-love.
And what if you don’t give yourself due regard? Well, here’s a teaser of some of the many repercussions:
Dreams come true only when you believe in them – and more importantly, yourself
You have a dream and a vision for say, starting your own business. However, you are afraid to make the leap because well, the chances of failure are very high. And with that fear on your mind, you never even begin, thus converting your formerly imaginary fears to reality.
Delhi-based HR Professional Seema Tiwari*, 27 shares her views as a former serial self-doubter. “I think that everyone has moments of doubt and self-deprecation. But when you believe in yourself, you are eventually able to move past them. As opposed to letting fear stop you from chasing your passions when you don’t have ample self-confidence.”
When you believe that you are worthy of the life you envision, you can give your best to actually making it happen for real. Your hobby or passion can become a fulfilling career when you are in the healthy ‘I am good enough’ headspace. Of course, many self-doubters are high achievers, but they do not give themselves due credit and face evils like depression and anxiety.
If you are casual about the way others treat you, they will take you for granted
Each day, as we interact with people, there are interactions that leave us feeling good and not so good. For the latter, there are a number of reasons, many of which will be a direct effect of someone being rude, obnoxious, entitled, etc. How we react to our mistreatment will impact further interactions with said person. If we let someone get away with anything over and over because “we don’t want to create a scene” or “they were probably having a bad day”, they will continue to treat us poorly.
Nagpur Student Apurv Das*, 21 reinforces this with a personal anecdote. “A friend in college is bullied by everyone. No one takes him seriously because he never fights back. He is a punching bag for a few guys and they use him to vent their frustration.”
You need to respect yourself to be able to stand up for yourself. To command respect, you have to project a ‘no bullshit accepted’ aura and a clear ‘this is absolutely unacceptable’ speech if need be.
What you think of yourself impacts what other people think of you
When you accept and value yourself, you have a mostly positive internal dialogue with the voice in your head. This results in positive body language, and without you even saying a word, people see you as a confident individual.
If you have ever wanted to improve your image—particularly when it comes to those tricky first impressions—simply working on cutting out your self-deprecation will do most of the trick. It will also work wonders for your online personal brand.
So you see, no good comes from a chronically casual approach to yourself. If you don’t want your less deserving but self-assured competition to walk away with the accolades you deserve, wise up to all that you are – so that you can live up to your potential. Don’t be afraid to be the “crazy” person who takes themselves seriously.