It’s a quiet Friday morning at my house. I’ve got my coffee, I’m wrapped up in a blanket, I’m comfortable and I thought I’d take this time to finally put to keyboard, something that’s been on my mind all week; the power of something called ‘self esteem’.
Self-esteem is defined by the dictionary as; “belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities; self-confidence; self-reliance…” It’s something that doesn’t come as naturally to some as it does to others.
I’ve been thinking for a very long time, about how our sense of self-esteem, or lack thereof contributes to everything we do, say, think and feel. How we act and react to others is all about self-esteem. How we think about ourselves is, in the short run, much more important than what others think of us. Think about it; if you have a healthy sense of self esteem, what’s to keep you from doing anything you damn well please? You DO it, or at the very least you attempt it because your sense of self or your level of confidence tells you whether or not you are worthy of trying such a thing (whatever that thing might be), whether others think you’re capable or not. What others think of you, isn’t any of your business, and you shouldn’t care enough to make it your business.
We don’t think about this thing called “self esteem” until someone tries to take it away, lessen it, chip away at it, or otherwise diminish it in some way. Some of us have had experiences with others whose self esteem might not be as intense as our own, and as backward as it sounds, many with a lower sense of self, have a tendency to criticize those who they consider to be “high on themselves”. Those who question their own confidence will belittle or make fun of, or sometimes in a relationship, in addition will ignore or neglect the person with a sense of self that is otherwise ‘healthy’.
Your sense of self touches everything you even think about from the moment you wake up in the morning to the second you fall asleep at night. There is absolutely nothing in your life that this characteristic does not affect. Whether or not you start that business that you’ve wanted to start for the last 3 years, or end the relationship that you’ve been miserable in for the last ten, is largely dependent on whether or not you think you can ‘survive’ on your own. Self-esteem is that ‘thing’ that either moves you forward, or keeps you stuck right where you are.
That book that you’ve wanted to write won’t get written if you don’t have the confidence to get it started. Don’t give me that song and dance about how you ‘don’t have the time’. We’re all busy. Some just push ahead, regardless of the excuses because they think past “the beast”. “The beast” is what I call that negative self-talk that we like to occupy ourselves with when we fear that we actually do not have the confidence to do what it takes to get exactly what we want.
I’ve found in my business, that women are more prone to low self-esteem than men are, and divorced, or divorcing women much more so than your ‘average Jane’. Divorce has a serious tendency to completely rob you of whatever self-esteem you had before it.
A healthy sense of self-esteem is the key to happiness and success.
So, you ask, “How do I get or improve this thing called self-esteem?”
Well, the good news is, it can be done! Here are some tips!
1. For one week, look at yourself in the mirror, and observe your inner / outer beauty and speak positively about yourself. This includes traits and attributes that make you feel beautiful, strong and confident. Write down these affirmations and keep this chart wherever you find yourself thinking negatively. When you repeat these affirmations, you are speaking them into existence and within yourself.
2. Think about who you are and what makes you unique. Keep a journal containing any feelings that you have about yourself, negative and positive. For the negative feelings, ask yourself why you have this view, and what action you can take to understand it and build confidence. For the positive, make a mental note of why these positives make you unique, beautiful and strong.
3. Take stock of your environment. Is a friend, family member or co-worker criticizing you? Put some distance between yourself and this person, or resolve not to let his or her opinion get to you.
4. Carry yourself with confidence. Head up, shoulders back. People will respond positively to you, strengthening your image and self-image all at once.
The key to positive self-esteem is to remember that you have control over your situation. When you’re feeling down about what you perceive as a character flaw, remind yourself that only you can take action to change it.
Work like the devil not to base your opinion of yourself on the perceptions of others.
Happy weekend all!