The path to true self-esteem includes self-honesty. Do not suppress your inner self-doubt or self-hatred
Positive self-esteem is a foundation for true success and personal satisfaction. Yet few of us have learned to cultivate good self-esteem. In fact, we have learned to foster a negative self-view!
Look closely at what you say to yourself in your thoughts. Are you critical? Are there negative, judgmental statements you make about yourself? Become aware of ways you berate or demean yourself. The extent of your inner self-betrayal may shock you.
Funny enough, few of us would you ever talk to another human being in the way we talk to ourselves. So if you would not lash out at those in your life the way you do at yourself, maybe it is time for change.
This week I offer you a vital reminder, one that is a foundation to actualising your potential:
You are valuable. You are a worthy being—right here, right now and always. You arrived here on Earth endowed by our Creator with inestimable worth. You ARE a precious living gem (and so is everyone else!). You were born for greatness.
If you lived these truths, who might you allow yourself to be? What success might you achieve the remainder of 2012?
Use these 7 ideas to awaken to your potential.
- Do the 5-minute challenge. Right now, as you are reading this article, stop. Get a piece of paper and a pen. Jot down everything good you see in yourself. Include special attributes (loyalty, honesty, humor), talents (cooking, singing, or playing ball) and achievements (growing up in difficult circumstances, getting a business launched or raising a happy child). Go all out for five full minutes. You are the only one who will see this paper.
You can use single words or sentences. You can write the same things over and over if you want to emphasize them. Spelling or grammar is not important. Your ideas do not have to be organized. Write down whatever comes to mind. And do not yield to the temptation to include any negatives. Stick to the positives.
Once you are finished, read the paper over several times. Put it in a convenient place – your pocket, purse, wallet or the table beside your bed. Read it over to yourself several times a day to remind yourself of how valuable you are.
2. Question your negative perceptions. The path to true self-esteem includes self-honesty. Do not suppress your inner self-doubt or self-hatred. Instead, when a negative thought comes up, inquire, “When did this start? How did I get this idea about myself?” For example, if you tell yourself, “I am a poor student.” Did it start in primary school when your parent compared your grades to your siblings’? Or was it when a teacher made fun of you in class for not knowing an answer? Much of the way you currently see yourself is a result of what others told you about who you are. Do not allow the opinions of others to determine your perception of yourself. As an adult, you have the power to define yourself as you choose. Remember, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” (Eleanor Roosevelt).
3. Look at your face in the mirror as if you are studying a portrait. You are wonderfully made. Compliment yourself on your best feature. Find beauty in your eyes; admire the shape of your face. Give yourself a smile. Then, look deeply into your eyes. Do you see the sparkle? Remember, you are more than your body. Your spirit is brilliant and it wants to shine through. Honor yourself so that it does.
4. Affirm yourself throughout the day. Break the habit of self-degradation. When a destructive thought arises, catch it. Take a deep breath. Re-focus yourself on the good. Practice being gentle with yourself. Find a few positive affirmations to repeat: “I am worthy and valuable. I focus on the good in myself and others. I do my best each day. I am pure, positive potential. I learn to love myself.”
5. Aim for growth not perfection. No one is perfect or ever will be. Strive for personal progress rather than perfection. You have a personality and perspective on the world that is unique and valuable! Focus on your strengths. Keep growing and maturing as a person. Give yourself credit for every small step of progress you take.
6. Create a network of positive-thinking, supportive friends, relatives and co-workers. Surround yourself with people who provide loving feedback and challenge you to be your best. Limit your time with those in your life who criticize or belittle you. Be open to letting unhealthy relationship go if it is needed.
7. See mistakes as learning opportunities. Guess what? You are going to make errors along the way. All of us do! Blunders are part of learning. To describe something as a failure is unnecessarily negative. Each person’s talents are constantly developing. Everyone excels at different things. Your errors lead you to growth and discovery. Go for success and have fun giving your all.