The word ‘esteem’ comes from a Latin word that means ‘to estimate’. So, self-esteem is how you estimate, or regard, yourself.The only way to Discover Your True Self-Worth is by taking the time to understand who you really are.
And how do you estimate, or regard, yourself?
Try asking yourself these questions.
- Do I like myself?
- Do I think I’m a good human being?
- Am I someone deserving of love?
- Do I deserve happiness?
- Do I feel deep down that I’m an OK person?
People with low self-esteem find it hard to answer yes to all or most of the above. Perhaps you are one of them. If so, what can you do?
Some of the classic signs of low self-esteem are: consistent anxiety and emotional turmoil, always accentuating the negative, unable to accept compliments, overly concerned about what others think, don’t trust one’s own opinions, constantly depressed, socially withdraw, self-neglect, eating disorders, unable to take on challenges, always quitting and resigning, controlling, needy, success driven, arrogant, extremely self-defensive (someone who retaliates far worse than what would normally be expected), exaggerated perfectionism, and a constant need for validation and recognition.
Someone may throw a lot of “pity parties” as their unyielding thirst for validation, spotlight, and recognition helps them feel better. A person suffering from low self esteem may feel constantly worthless, and feel completely helpless to do anything to make his or her life better. They often feel defeated to think they can change other people for the better, let alone themselves, hence their personalities are driven inward, rather than outward.
Remember – you’re uniquely special!
The crowd waits. Surely he’s going to die. How can he survive a dive from such a massive height into a tiny pool of water? But he can fly! – Only he doesn’t yet believe it. He’s been shunned all his life as a freak with gigantic ears. He’s lost his ‘magic feather’ and thinks that without it he can’t fly. Timothy mouse desperately, frantically tells him:
“It’s not the feather, it’s you! You can fly. Forget the feather. It’s time to dive.”
He falls. The crowd gasps. But just as he’s about to smash into the shallow water, Timothy’s words come back to him: “It’s you, Dumbo, not the feather!”
At last he flies! He doesn’t need the feather. Finally truly believing in himself, he escapes the captive circus.
How you can disregard ‘magic feathers’ and believe in yourself.
Self-belief is vital. How many things have you not done or tried because you lacked belief in yourself?
Many fail to believe in themselves because others didn’t (take my friend Dumbo). But as Eleanor Roosevelt so deftly put it:
“Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
A good way to start improving your self-esteem is to acknowledge that you are special – because there’s no one else quite like you.
Self-esteem isn’t bragging about how great you are. It’s more like quietly knowing that you’re worth a lot (priceless, in fact!). It’s not about thinking you’re perfect — because nobody is — but knowing that you’re worthy of being loved and accepted.
Do you know that there is nobody who will treat you as badly as the way you treat yourself?
You will not be able to build self respect if you are permanently striving to impress others with outer displays. People who are impressed with material wealth and social standing are probably the kind of people not worth impressing anyway. Be comfortable with what you have, not what you think will impress others.
Because I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with me. By so doing I can love me and be friendly with me in all my parts. I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other aspects that I do not know. But as long as I am friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously and hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles and for ways to find out more about me.
So what is the secret of developing self esteem. Is there something that can be done and how do we reach that point in our lives where we feel good about being ourselves and proud of our accomplishments. For one thing, be aware of what you say when you talk about yourself.
Don’t put yourself down, or talk in a belittling manner. That old adage of “you are what you think” also applies to “you are what you say”. You call yourself a jerk often enough and soon the whole world within earshot of you begins to believe you truly are a jerk. Believe you are just as good as the next person and make that your mantra for every day comings and goings; look at yourself in the mirror every morning and say it out loud…I am just as good as the next person and I can prove it……and believe in what you are saying.
In developing self esteem, the first thing you should undertake is to build confidence in yourself and increase your self worth. Take the plunge, and start making decisions over and over again; and soon you will find that there is a little tingly voice inside of you that lets you know when you are on the right track.
It’s a little feeling that crops up when you are making a decision about something that seconds the vote for you and says silently to you…”this is the right decision, go for it”. And do what feels right for you, not for the rest of the family or the rest of the world….just what is right for you; and stop trying to please everyone.
That is a futile pursuit, and will only help to solidify your negative feelings about yourself when you can’t please everyone; it’s an impossibility. When you do something that turns out to be the right thing, reward yourself for a job well done. You took the first step and you did it correctly, so acknowledge that and pat yourself on the back.
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There Is More In You than you know
by Steve Goodier
Not many people realize that President Calvin Coolidge did not always live in the White House. As Vice-President, he became President upon the death of Warren G. Harding. Mrs. Harding continued to live in the White House for a time, so the Coolidges remained where they had been living – in the third-floor suite of the nearby Willard Hotel.
Once in the middle of the night, the new President awoke to see an intruder going through his clothes. He watched as the thief first removed a wallet, then unhooked a watch chain. Coolidge calmly spoke up from the darkness: “About that watch, I wish you wouldn’t take that.”
The startled man, gaining his voice, asked, “Why?
Coolidge answered, “I don’t mean the watch and chain, only the charm. I’m very fond of that charm. It means a great deal to me. Take it near the window and read what is engraved on the back of it.”
The burglar read: “Presented to Calvin Coolidge, Speaker of the House, by the Massachusetts General Court.” And now he was more surprised!
“Are you President Coolidge?” he asked. He evidently did not think he’d find the President sleeping in a hotel!
“Yes, I am, and I don’t want you to take that charm,” he said. Then he asked, “Why, Son, are you doing this?”
The young man explained that he and a friend traveled to Washington during their college break. They spent all of their money and had no money to pay the hotel bill or pay for train passage back to school. “If you don’t mind,” he said, “I’ll just take the wallet.”
Coolidge did mind. He knew he had about $80 in his wallet. So he said, “How much will it take to pay your hotel bill and get you and your friend back to the campus? Sit down and let’s talk this over.”
Coolidge added up the room rate and two rail tickets. It came to $32. That may not sound like much now, but it was a considerable sum then. “I’ll give you the $32 as a loan,” the President said, “and I expect you to pay me back.”
The youth thanked him. Coolidge then advised him to leave by the same window he used to enter the room, as secret service agents were sure to be patrolling the hallway.
As the young man climbed out, Coolidge left him with this admonition: “Son, you’re a nice boy. You are better than you are acting. You are starting down the wrong road. Just remember who you are.”
It wasn’t until after the death of Mrs. Coolidge in 1957 that this story was allowed to come out. It was first published in the “Los Angeles Times.” And most interesting of all is that the President’s notes show that the young man was indeed better than he was acting. He repaid the $32 loan in full.
Kurt Hahn, the founder of Outward Bound, said this: “There is more in us than we know. If we can be made to see it, perhaps, for the rest of our lives, we will be unwilling to settle for less.”
The importance of high self esteem is one thing that we cannot ignore because it is very crucial as a cornerstone to a happy living. Having a high level of this aspect of yourself will make you highly motivated to work at achieving your goals will give you the right attitude to be successful in whatever endeavor one chooses to take.
In fact in a CNN interview with Robert Wagner by the legend Larry King, he was quoted as saying that “I would tell them the most important thing is to work on your self esteem, that is the best advice I can give.” Take it from someone who knows what he is talking about and to one who walked the talk. So for those who have low self esteem, look within yourselves and discover that there is so much about you that you can be proud of.
Here are my Top Tips To Boost Your Self Esteem:
Start a positive relationship with yourself.
Get to know more about who you are and make friends with yourself.
Treat yourself like you are your own best friend.
Scared of looking silly? You and everyone else. It’s no biggie so don’t let it stop you. Say it with me – “It just doesn’t matter.”
Being confident is an ongoing process. It isn’t a goal or an end-point that you reach and then stop. Keep playing to the best of your ability and your confidence will always be there to support you.
Make a plan to do something, then make deliberate choices to follow through. Seeing progress gives you important self-reinforcement.
Trust your instincts. They know what they’re talking about.
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Using any one of these steps will make a difference to your Self Esteem!
For those who are lucky enough to already be working on building high self esteem, keep up with your good work and hopefully nothing will ever crush you should something very challenging come your way.
You are unique. We all have something special to contribute. It’s okay if you don’t win, as long as you try your best.
Improving self-esteem does not happen in a wink of an eye. It would take a while before you notice some changes happening. The process will go beyond tips and pointers that you read in books or internet. It requires constant practice to see some improvements.
A List of positive affirmations you can use to BOOST YOUR SELF ESTEEM
- I deserve to be happy and successful
- I have the power to change myself
- I can forgive and understand others and their motives
- I can make my own choices and decisions
- I am free to choose to live as I wish and to give priority to my desires
- I can choose happiness whenever I wish no matter what my circumstances
- I am flexible and open to change in every aspect of my life
- I act with confidence having a general plan and accept plans are open to alteration
- It is enough to have done my best
- I deserve to be loved
In the end you will realize that an improved self-esteem will benefit you in all aspects of your life. You will experience change in your relationships with your family, dealings with friends, and more importantly, improvement of yourself.
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