Would you be ok with someone speaking to your loved ones the way you speak to yourself?
Esteem: (definition) Respect & Admiration.
We discovered last week exactly what those two words mean. By that logic, we should understand the fundamentals of self-esteem yes? Not necessarily so.
This is the disparities between the ‘Self’s’ coming to light. This is where distinctions need to be made. Where self-respect results in a feeling that one is behaving with honour and dignity toward oneself and others, self-esteem speaks more to conviction in one’s own worth and abilities.
Self-esteem, as with all things ‘Self’ – begins with the ability to look into your own tendencies, behaviours and thought patterns. This ability results in the mental capacity to grasp that these things are not all of you, they are merely parts. It is when you reach this understanding that you can see the possibility to manage all of these parts. To manage something however, you must KNOW it first.
To know self-esteem is to know how to welcome the parts of you, the parts that you are proud of…
To have healthy self-esteem you MUST be able to ‘sing your own praises’. For many people this ability is dormant. For many it’s been taught to be so, especially in Australian Culture. Tall Poppy is a syndrome here. To achieve in our culture is to fail in its social aspects. We don’t celebrate each other’s brilliances particularly well. We meet them with sniggers, dissent, jealousy and endeavor to separate ‘them’ from ‘us’.
So… not blowing your own trumpet out loud is fair enough to get by in a society that behaves this way. Anyone can behave any way they choose to though. Just because society demands mediocrity, doesn’t mean you need to feel mediocre WITHIN yourself.
The key question to ask your ‘Self ‘in order to nurture your own esteem is a simple one. The answers are where the complexities lay.
What do you know about yourself that NOBODY EVER TOLD YOU?
This question taps you straight into thinking FOR yourself. And… as we know, this is where we must turn to find the answers we seek.
Self-esteem is not in cockiness or ego, nor is it in the voices that tell you anything negative about yourself. Self-esteem is a personal sense of pride in who you are, how you behave, the relationships you create and a sense of appreciation for your own abilities. It doesn’t need to be anything you ever portray out aloud to the world, although healthy self-esteem is usually fairly evident. It is ‘Self’ it is FOR you.
Self-esteem exists so we have the strength to face each day. It is uniquely requisite to health and happiness. It is a knowing within your whole ‘Self’ that you can trust your own abilities to cope and to get along in the world. Everyday.
What defeats self-esteem?
Not knowing that it’s FOR you, defeats it. Not knowing it is WITHIN you, defeats it. Looking for it in the OUTSIDE world, defeats it. Knowing it through anything you have been TOLD OR TAUGHT ALONE, defeats it. Knowing it by OTHERS, defeats it. Not KNOWING it personally, defeats it.
It is what happens in the world outside of us that ruins self-esteem within us and it is a cruel paradox that it is then us that must repair this damage. However, that is the case. It is incredibly rare for a person to come to a state of debilitated self-esteem by his or her own steam. Pun intended.
Unless triggered, pushed or subjected to negative voices, situations or powerlessness, it does not occur to a healthy mind to dislike itself. That’s not productive in a daily sense or an evolutionary one. How have we survived so long if fundamentally, underneath it all, we don’t like ourselves? We wouldn’t have.
Having low self-esteem is like saying ‘it’s OK’ to the outside influences that helped to degrade your ability to see your own worth. That’s not OK and that’s no self-respect either.
The voices that say the things to your mind that annihilate your self-confidence are they yours, or are you just used to them? Sometimes they become incredibly comfortable and safe. It’s easy to get by if you think you’re nothing and you’re worthless and won’t amount to anything. Where it gets scary is when you refuse to listen to that part and make a new one say just as confidently, that you are perfectly fine thank you very much!
It’s only scary because it’s new. Build a list of the things you know about yourself that you are proud of. Pretend you are talking to somebody else and telling them the wonderful things about him or her, except say them to yourself. We know when we do this for someone we make a difference to them. To be told what is good about you, FEELS GOOD. Why on earth would you not extend that same courtesy to yourself?
Become Self-ISH. The more you do, the more you’ll become Self-FUL!
‘Self-esteem comes from being able to define the world in your own terms and refusing to abide by the judgments of others’ – Oprah Winfrey