When I need a bit of a boost, I find tuning into nature helps to reduce my stress, and builds me up once more. Here are five treasures from trees to help us grow stronger and more confident:
1. Stand tall and accept your whole self.
You are unique, as is everyone and everything else in nature. So stop comparing yourself to others, thinking they're better than you or worrying what others will think of you. Accept that you have strengths and weaknesses — like everyone — and realize that you have your own unique gifts to offer the world. Does a tree wish to be anything other than it is? I doubt it! If it did, it would surely be wasting its precious energies.
Having constant self-critical thoughts will only prevent you from reaching your full potential. So respect yourself, develop deep self-acceptance in all your imperfect glory, and stand tall like a tree!
2. Grow deep, nourishing and sustaining roots.
To keep you strong and grounded, like a tree, you need to put down deep roots. Without them, you'll easily topple over. So find out what nourishes and sustains you, and incorporate more of it into your life. It could be connecting with others, or with nature, or reading something inspiring. Whatever it is, do more of it!
If you're firmly planted and nurtured, you'll grow strong and healthy. You'll develop all the inner resources you need to carry you through life. The more you nourish your confidence, the healthier it will become, and from this rooted position we can then start to grow upward ...
3. Reach for the sky, and go out on a limb sometimes.
Reach for the sky, like a tree! Just remember that confidence isn't about being able to do absolutely anything; it's about having a realistic and balanced approach to life. A tree grows upward and outward but it doesn't imagine that it has wings to fly. That would be a pointless waste of its energy.
So reach up for something achievable — and then work toward it, step by step. Remember too, confidence grows over time. It helps to try out new things and to go out on a limb sometimes. Start small and then attempt trickier challenges. Through this process you'll gain a sense of mastery, which will help you to build trust in your abilities. You will come to learn that you have the ability to face any challenge no matter what life may bring. How empowering!
4. Bend gracefully in the storms of life.
Life can be incredibly hard. Storms can appear from nowhere, and can batter your defenses if you're not careful. Like a tree, it can help to stand firm, deep within your core, while allowing your outer branches to sway and bend with the wind. In this way you don't break; you may lose a few branches, but the core remains intact.
Flexibility is the key to handling such storms: allow yourself to go with the flow more when the situation calls for it. A tree doesn't rail against the storm, it accepts what is happening, while remaining firm yet flexible. It doesn't take things personally or get caught up in the thought that life just isn't fair.
5. Trust in the knowledge that the tallest oak came from a tiny acorn.
It can be easy to become daunted by what lies ahead. At the beginning, a task or project may seem hard to contemplate, let alone see to final completion. Your confidence can falter. It's at times like these when it's good to remember that great oak trees come from tiny acorns. This can give you hope. It can remind you that you need to cultivate patience. Everyone has those tiny seeds of potential within them, so encourage them to flourish!
As a Native American proverb says, "Walk tall as the trees, live strong as the mountains, be gentle as the spring winds, keep the warmth of the summer sun in your heart and the great spirit will always be with you."
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