Self esteem is an evaluation of our worthiness as individuals. If we have good self esteem we believe ourselves to good and valuable people. This belief needs to come from deep within in order to ensure resilience in times of life stress or negative events or even just to live in an ever changing world.
I think of it like the palm trees that line the shores of tropical beaches. When a cyclone comes in they face it head on sometimes bending but never breaking and stand tall again once the wind stops blowing. They can do this because a palm is unlike other trees that rely on a root system for life. It has a single growing point at the top of its trunk. This point and its surrounding tissues are called the terminal bud – this is the palm trees life system. In life I want to be that palm tree with a life system that comes from within.
But so many of us have learned to find our sense of self worth in other’s view of us, or where we sit in the social scale or whether we have a prestigious job, car, house etc. Subtle (and not so subtle) messages we have received all our lives have given us a false sense of what is valued in a person such as those that succeed at school or work get more respect or those that look like the models in the magazines will have more fun or more friends or more something.
When you take the messages that others give you or the way others treat you as your self esteem you will have a shaky foundation of self.
So how do you internalize the belief that you are a good and valuable person without loosing 5kg’s (11lb’s) getting a new job or buying a more prestigious car? (or whatever you think you need to do to be better)!
- Do loving and nurturing things for yourself – we value the things and people we look after. This includes ourselves. It is hard to value someone you spend no time nurturing.
- Give up comparisons – there are 7 billion people in this world and there will always be some with more and some with less. Instead replace comparisons with gratitude for what you do have. It will be amazing how much better you will feel.
- Create a list of qualities you like about yourself and add to it regularly until you get to at least 100. Pull it out regularly and remember all of them especially if someone tries to tell you otherwise.
- Develop self-compassion – the ability to be kind to oneself when confronting personal inadequacies or situational diﬃculties. Sometimes we all fall short of how we would like to be. That is what makes us human. To maintain our sense of self we need to have enough compassion for ourselves that we can recognize that essentially we are not the mistakes we make. We need to put the wrong right and forgive ourselves.
- Watch how you talk to yourself. Is your inner voice harsh and critical or kind and loving. Cultivate the kind and loving voice. To be valuable you do not need to be perfect or in fact anything more than human.
Until next time
(photo credit on photo)