Ingredients of SELF-ESTEEM
It is all too easy to focus on what's wrong with our lives, and decrease our self-esteem in the process. Our self-image is formed from our successes, our failures, our humiliations, and our triumphs. From these we mentally construct a picture of ourselves. Once an idea or belief goes into this picture, we act upon it as if it were true.
How We Maintain Low Self-Esteem
- Depending on others for a sense of importance.
- Not accepting responsibility for our lives.
- Depending upon others to do what we need to do.
- Seeking other people's permission before being able to act.
- Not differentiating between who we are and what we do.
- Comparing ourselves to others.
- Failing to recognize and make choices.
- Not allowing ourselves freedom to make mistakes.
- Being fearful and anxious about things we can do nothing about.
- Having an excessive need for attention and approval.
Accepting Who We Are
Although others may influence us, we are the ones who determine our self-esteem. We do that by how we live our lives, by how we treat others, and by how closely we adhere to our personal value system. If self-esteem is high, it serves as a secure foundation from which we can move optimistically through life. If low, it can cause increasing pessimism and self-doubt.
Self-confidence begins with your own attitude. Who says you're not tougher, smarter, harder working, and more able than other people suggest? It doesn't matter if they say you can't do it. What matters is what you say you can do.
Rising Above Circumstance
People with high self-esteem are spontaneous in their responses and willing to admit when they are wrong. They show humanness through the use of humor and willingness to laugh at themselves and with each other when appropriate. When you develop a positive sense of yourself, you will discover new sources of excitement and challenge. Figure out what kind of life you would like to have, and then create it. Try something unlike anything you've ever done. It will enrich your life with new ideas, information and feelings.
Don't worry about the whole world. If you do, it will overwhelm you! You can't change the world, but you can change yourself. Nothing is more rewarding than exploring your true potential by leading a creative and purposeful life.
Ten Essentials of Self-Esteem
- Social Activity (meaningful encounters with others)
- Creativity (something of which we can feel proud)
- Privacy (daily time to think things through)
- Adventure (moments of risk and excitement)
- Purpose (a sense of value or passion)
- Intellectual Stimulus (a challenge to the mind)
- Spirituality (connection with a higher power)
- Independence (self-responsibility and reliability)
- Achievement (a sense of accomplishment)
- Hope (anticipation of something better to come)
Feeling Good About Ourselves
What special strengths and qualities do you have? Most of us are better, wiser, stronger, and more competent than we realize. People with positive self-esteem feel good about themselves and are more effective and productive. And, they are proud of their accomplishments. People who feel good about themselves assume responsibility easily, tolerate frustration well and approach new challenges with confidence and enthusiasm. A good sense of self helps to keep us on an even keel, despite the ups and downs of life. It gives us the resilience to bounce back after suffering disappointment.
Postures for High Self-Esteem
- Believe in yourself and respect your own uniqueness.
- Act for what you believe is right and don't be afraid to make mistakes.
- Care about other people and treat them the way you want to be treated.
- Stay open-mined about new ideas and don't fight change.
- Be spontaneous and don't take yourself too seriously.
- Don't worry so much about what other people think of you.
- Don't compare yourself to other people or question your worth as a person.
- Be yourself and do not attempt to be all things to all people.
- Maintain regard for others and reverence for life.
- Set your own standards and remain decisive under stress.