The Power of Self Esteem

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!

Peace xo

The Life of a Single Mom is Kind of Like a Show…

Let me preface this by saying that I’m not a huge watcher of television. Yes, there are the odd couple of shows that I’m addicted to, but that’s honestly just a couple. My attention span is too short to be paying attention to it for much longer.

At The Joy of Ex, I spend a fair amount of time fielding questions that land in my inbox, from single moms trying to find the best way to maintain some semblance of sanity, and I tell them exactly what I do.

Since my divorce, I’ve been known to compare my own life to a TV show.

As the ‘boss’ of my now four person, one parent household (or “the cast” as we’re affectionately known), I’m the Producer and the Principle, or main character. Not to sound ‘big headed’, but everything revolves around me (single mom), because as you mom’s well know, that’s how we roll in real life. If mom decides that she actually wants to do something for herself, the whole damn thing falls apart.

My show is about this crazy life after divorce, that most single mothers can relate to. It includes my three (sometimes insane) children, also known as my co-stars, who test my friggin patience on an hourly basis. Their friends are character actors and guest stars, as are my own friends, family, and dating potentials. There are a couple of things that I’d probably add, but this show is essentially the way that I want it to look.

Single mom…your life is like a show. This is your show. As in life, there’s a camera on you practically at all times, and all of the say as to who you ‘cast’ in that show belongs to you. If you’re dating someone who is proving terrible for ‘ratings’ (ie; the jerk who treats you badly, that your ‘viewers’ and co-stars can’t stand), you simply dump his ass, and easy peasy, you write his ass out of future episodes.

Boom. Done. Next.

Easy, right? Isn’t this fun? 😉

The so-called “best friend” who professes to be your ‘rock’ to your face, but takes any and every opportunity to slag you behind your back? You get to cut that bitch from future episodes too! How you choose to do that is entirely up to you, but you know that the power is yours.

The neighbour who’s constantly needing a favour, never offering to return it; If you were watching this show on TV, would you be yelling at your on-screen self to “just say no!”? This is where you get to take your own advice.

In your show, is your ‘character’ a strong, self-assured woman, or is she that spineless woman who lets others walk all over her? What kind of woman do you see yourself as, in your show?

You create, allow or control everything that goes on in your show. If the person that you’d be in your show, isn’t the person that you are now, what’s holding you back?

Peace xo