Today I am asking you to check in on your self-esteem.
How would you describe your self-esteem?
For many self-esteem is a concept rarely given thought to.
High self-esteem is a strange concept; it would be a ‘nice to have’; however, to many it seems reserved for the ‘lucky’, the ‘ridiculously good looking and successful’ or some may even perceive the ‘vain.’
Many people consider a high level of self-esteem, not available to them and therefore not essential; you don’t need high self-esteem to go about daily activities and live life; you are doing just fine with low self-esteem. Besides, we’ve been told those who clearly love themselves are ‘conceited’. Right?
Wrong. According to experts, psychological wellbeing is not achievable unless an individual can provide themselves with love, acceptance, and respect.
This is the fundamental principle of self-esteem.
We expect respect from our family, friends, work colleagues, and even strangers on the street who we expect to respect our personal space.
Take a moment to look inwards. Do you treat yourself that kindly?
Do you accept who you are and admire your positive attributes and the way you handle tasks?
Can you honestly say that you are kind to yourself when you look in the mirror and say wonderful positive things about your appearance?
In my experience with both men and women, this is not the case. We are very hard on ourselves, in my experience as a personal stylist, I witness this all too often as covered in my blog post You Are More Than Just Your Bits.
Why do we command respect from those around us, but not from ourselves?
Why do we respect others and show them compassion and courtesy and yet don’t have the ability to show our own selves the same kindness?
This is why I am asking you to check in on yourself today, I want you to start thinking about self-love, really step back and evaluate how you can make positive changes to your self-talk.
As it is our desire to gain recognition for our success, we tend to measure our value by attaining high flying positions, financial wealth, excelling in sports and hobbies, being ‘skinny’ and looking a certain way.
Who hasn’t been guilty at some point in their lives of engaging in gossip, not challenging opinions we don’t necessarily agree with or wearing the same clothing to fit in? Essentially, these practices are not being congruent with who we truly are. Why do we do this?
Well, sadly we don’t believe we are good enough. One of the most damaging and heart aching scenarios most women are all too familiar with, would be beating themselves up over their appearance, questioning why they don’t look as thin or as fantastic as those around them.
We are all guilty at some point of doing or saying whatever, whenever to others whom we are trying desperately to seek acceptance and respect from; however, no amount of external acceptance, will build one’s self-esteem until they truly accept themselves internally.
Self-esteem allows you to approach the day with confidence, compassion, and positivity. If you believe you can do anything, you most probably will! You can self-actualise your goals and get started on the right foot.
Let’s look at this from the other angle; if you face the day with no confidence, and need to seek your value from others, it could be a long, draining and exhaustive wait…you haven’t even started accomplishing your goals yet. I’m exhausted just thinking about it!
If you truly value and accept yourself, you must know you deserve happiness, and you will strive for it every day.
The flipside of the coin is not loving yourself and feeling undeserving of happiness, and imagine how hard it is striving for something you don’t believe you deserve?
It is clear to see self-esteem is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
“This is all great stuff; positive self-esteem sounds fantastic! Sign me up Cindy!” Well, let’s take a look at the development of self-esteem, how we have arrived at this point and how to make a change.
Our self-esteem is developed from an early age and the principals of the development are quite simple when explained and can be applied to adulthood.
In a child’s early life, parents are the most influential in developing self-esteem.
Unconditional love and stable, respectful parenting are all correlated with individuals with high self-esteem. Parents who are caring, supportive, set clear standards for children and then let them express their opinion are raising adults that have high self-esteem.
Parenting which involves criticism, teasing, unreliable attention or too high expectations is raising adults to have low self-esteem. As a child develops into a teenager, they begin to compare themselves to class mates and test scores and recognise the social and physical differences between themselves and others.
Strong supportive non-critical friendships throughout a teenage to adult life will further improve an individual’s sense of value and acceptance.
You may look at this information and think ‘well that makes sense, seems obvious,’ however, there is a lot to be learned here about helping to identify which friendships, partnerships or work environments are contributing positively to your self-esteem or negativity in your adult life.
Building on your self-esteem as an adult ensures you have the confidence and strength to know that you deserve wonderful and fulfilling supportive people in your life and you will be able to create a positive environment to thrive in!
Here are my tips so start increasing your self-esteem.
- No more negative self-talk!
You must stop thinking in extremes and only focusing on the negative. When you find yourself heading down the path of self-destruction turn it around!
- Reality check – Hold up! What is the evidence here? Is this fact or my critical thinking?
- Alternate Explanation – Would anyone else really say this about me or my situation? What is an alternate reality? If I was thinking positively what would the thoughts be?
- Perspective Check- Is this really so bad? Is this really so catastrophic? What will time do to change the perspective? In the big scheme of things does it need to have such a large negative impact?
- Remember your goals – Is this way of thinking really helping me move forward? Am I going to achieve anything by ruminating on this negativity? How do I reach my goal?
Journaling is a fabulous way to put down all the negative thoughts onto paper and free your mind for positivity. Write a list of all your negative thoughts, and then list the positive next to them.
- Fill your life with positivity
Seek relationships that are supportive and invest in them! You can do so by releasing the draining and unsupportive people in your life to allow time to focus on those that are nurturing. Visual cues and positive affirmations are fabulous.
Perhaps a calendar with an inspiring quote, or follow a Facebook page with a daily inspirational quote or download an app. Kikki K has a fantastic range of inspirational quote cards and gratitude journals that I just love.
Photos, fresh flowers, gemstones, colours anything that inspires light in your life, make sure you have them placed around you.
Another great way to feel more positive and lift your mood is with colour! Whether you bring colour into your home or your outfit, colour has a proven psychological impact on our mood that is very powerful.
- Seek Your life Passion
Start by writing down the things you love, positive attributes you have and what you are great at. Spend time researching and exploring passions that align with your list.
Even the act of investigating the many opportunities is fabulous, and when you discover your passions, it is incredibly rewarding and fulfilling.
Your passion may be as a hobbyist or professional, like myself I developed my love of fashion into a rewarding career. You never know where your passion could take you!
- Care about your appearance
When you look better, you feel better. If you feel confident in your appearance and take pride in your personal presentation, this can be a very powerful way to approach your day.
You will find yourself standing up straighter, smiling more and looking forward to planning social events and putting yourself out there.
The importance of self-esteem is closely linked with our appearance, as discussed on my blog.
A personal styling session where a personal stylist can help you define your style and dress you correctly according to your body shape, age and personality is a fantastic investment in self-development.
- Redefine failure
Fear of failure can be the single most thing stopping you from achieving your goals and living a happy, rewarding life.
Everyone makes mistakes; failure is unavoidable and necessary to learn and move forward. Failure is the price of success, as we learn a lot from our mistakes, and they need to be treated as valuable life lessons.
Stop comparing yourself to others and be sure not to set ‘rules’ or benchmarks on how things should be done. Set yourself small achievable goals! You can write these down and you will be surprised how many you achieve in a years time!
These are all great places to start!
Let me know if this resonates with you, and how you bring positivity into your life, or how you would like to after reading this blog!