Spending time in the natural world does more than just relax and rejuvenate you; it can also boost your confidence.
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The next time you’re feeling low, spend some time out in nature so you can learn more about why you should respect and value yourself. You are as precious a part of nature as the trees, animals, and rivers you’re enjoying.
Accept Your Unique Qualities
There is nothing in nature that can do everything perfectly. Eels can’t fly, trees can’t swim, and birds can’t make oxygen.
Earthworms aren’t beautiful, and peacocks don’t enrich the soil. Does that mean that each of these things is useless? Hardly!
Maybe you feel frustrated because there’s something you don’t do as well as a friend, or maybe you’ve always wished that you looked different or were more athletic.
It’s okay to feel that way, but take a deep breath and remind yourself to nurture the talents you already have.
If a songbird stopped singing because it was too busy trying to purr like a cat, all our lives would be poorer for the lack of music.
The same is true for you. Reach for the stars and try new things, but don’t forget that part of what makes you who you are is that thing you already do perfectly.
Be Creative And Take Risks
Next time you’re out in nature, watch a squirrel trying to break into a bird feeder or get some food out of a tree.
It will try just about anything – approaching the feeder from a hundred different angles, shaking it to knock food loose, or even leaping at it like some kind of circus performer.
If it just sat around and hoped to get into the feeder, it might get some seeds that the birds left behind, but chances are that it would go home hungry.
The same is true for you. When a problem has you stymied and is draining your confidence, try new approaches just like that squirrel.
It won’t do to just sit around and wish that you had wings like a bird; that isn’t appreciating your unique qualities and how they help you get the job done. Instead, come at the problem from different angles.
You might fail at first; that’s okay. The squirrel did, too.
You might even take a flying leap and land face-first on the ground, but then you’ll know one more way that won’t work, and you can pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try again.
Keep Yourself Rooted In Life
A tree with shallow roots will blow over and die. Growing deep roots to nourish yourself, just like a tree, will help you to maintain stores of confidence in the midst of life’s most powerful storms.
Find the thing that makes you feel rooted and sustained, whether it’s your family, your friends, your faith, a hobby, or a cause.
Take root in it and let yourself grow. If you find that you’re feeling adrift and rootless, take stock of your life and surround yourself with that nourishing soil again.
Marvel At How We’re All Connected
When you go out in nature, take a moment to observe the way that every living thing depends on every other living thing – even the ones that don’t seem glamorous.
You might flinch away when you hear a bee buzzing nearby, but the next time you’re enjoying a beautiful garden or a flowering tree, remind yourself that those lovely flowers need those slightly scary bees in order to live.
If you’re an avid birdwatcher, you probably don’t get nearly as big a kick out of watching insects crawl around on the soil, but without insects to eat, those birds you love so much would starve.
Even creatures as forgettable as earthworms or as stomach-turning as buzzards perform an important role in the ecology, fortifying the soil to make it rich and fertile or clearing away the dead to keep the planet clean.
Just like the bees, the bugs, or even the earthworms, you serve a purpose.
It might not be as glamorous a purpose as you like, but others depend on you as surely as the flowers depend on the bees, the birds depend on the insects, and the soil depends on the earthworms.
And who knows; even though you might feel like an insect right now, others might see you as that beautiful songbird.
Understand That Nature Doesn’t Doubt Itself
Peacocks have a reputation for being vain, but have you ever seen a peacock studying itself in the mirror and preening?
Have you ever seen a chipmunk climb a tree and then preen over how proud it is?
On the flip side, have you ever seen a robin looking dejected because it doesn’t have the peacock’s tail feathers or a duck staring enviously at a swan’s long neck? Of course not!
Plants and animals don’t need to boast about themselves, nor do they need to fret about whether or not they’re good enough.
They simply exist, doing what they do best without any care for what others think. They might seek the approval of potential mates, but that’s it.
If you want to learn a lesson from nature, try to excel without dwelling excessively on your successes or failures.
They’ll just make you feel either overly proud or overly anxious.
Adapt To The Trials Of Life
Nature is adaptable. When a storm comes, a tree will stand and endure it, or else bend gracefully with the wind until it passes.
If a fox comes and raids a bird’s nest, the bird will make a new one somewhere else.
If the weather becomes too cold in one part of the world, geese will migrate to a warmer climate until spring.
The tree doesn’t rail against the storm or take it personally; the bird doesn’t obstinately dig in and keep its nest in the same place; the geese don’t wail about how they’re too tired to migrate this year and it’s unfair to expect them to pack up and move every single winter.
They simply do what they have to do.
Taking a hard time personally or refusing to adapt to new circumstances can leave you feeling battered and bruised.
Instead, take a lesson from nature and try to be flexible, changing your attitude or circumstances until the storm passes.
Remember That Everything Starts Small
An oak begins as an acorn. A pine begins as a pine cone. An eagle begins as an egg.
Everything in life starts out looking insignificant and helpless, but with care and attention, it can grow into something majestic and beautiful.
Don’t be discouraged because you have to start small or because you want to start something new but know that it will take years to come to full fruition.
Take baby steps and nurture whatever passion or project you hold close in your life.
In time, it can grow into something as huge and beautiful and long-lasting as the tallest trees.