Throughout my life, I've had an internal dialog of thoughts that offers commentary on my daily life. Recently I've noticed that some of those thoughts can be negative. The negative thoughts occur when I feel that I've done something wrong. These thoughts could come after driving too aggressively, snapping at a friend, or being lazy. Today, I'd like to talk about how those negative thoughts can be damaging and how to accept negative thoughts with grace and build self-esteem at the same time.
In my last blog post, I spoke about how changing the viewpoint I took on my life, and my accomplishments helped to build my self-esteem. Taking a long-term view of my progress over a 10-year period showed that my trend, like that of the stock market, was upwards and to be celebrated. There's another example of changing my viewpoint that helped my self-esteem get stronger that I will share today.
Life eventually taught me that changing my view could help my self-esteem and let me feel better about myself. My self-esteem suffered for many years because my view was focused firmly on the things I didn't accomplish. There was no way to deny that I didn't finish this thing, and never started that thing, and failed to reach my goal at the other. With my mind's telescope pointed only at my disappointments, I could come to no other conclusion than I was not worthy of respect from myself or others.
The obligations we feel towards our family can influence our journey to build stronger self-esteem. Our families are the first groups we belong to, and our earliest relationships can have an impact on all the relationships we form throughout our lives. As I continue my quest for healthy self-esteem, I find myself evaluating each of my relationships to see if they support my goal, and family obligations were some of the latest to fall under my scrutiny.
There's a well-known saying that goes, "Other people's opinions are none of your business," and when it comes to your journey to build self-esteem, this needs to be taken to heart. Self-esteem issues are often very connected to how much we allow other people's opinions to color our own. Read on to learn how my quest to build stronger self-esteem was affected by other people's opinions.
This Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, I am focusing on my self-esteem. On this holiest day for the Jewish people, we ask for absolution from wrongs we have done against others, but it is granted only if we first ask those people for forgiveness. Only then can we be forgiven on a higher level. Today I will ask myself for forgiveness for the ways I have wronged myself by allowing poor self-esteem to color my days.
Building self-esteem is hard work. When your self-esteem is low, it can be difficult to act on plans that are specifically for your benefit. It may be hard because you don't believe you're worth prioritizing the effort or that you don't deserve the result you're aiming for.
When you are working to build your self-esteem, try setting one intention at a time. Sometimes when we are trying to change things that make us unhappy, we do really well at making a list of grievances but find it difficult to begin the work. We may become stuck feeling negative because of the number of things we wish were different. To avoid becoming overwhelmed, set one intention each day that will help you build self-esteem.
Building strong self-esteem requires us to make sure we're not masking our feelings from ourselves. A natural extension of that is feeling strong enough to express your feelings to others. That doesn't mean we have to act out on negative feelings by doing things that could hurt ourselves or others. It means that we are not wrong to experience the gamut of emotions. We can work on being honest about how we feel to build our self-esteem.
Building healthier self-esteem takes courage. Your courage will help you make the changes you choose to make to your actions and attitudes that will allow you to feel more confident and self-reliant. But where do you find the courage to become the person you wish to be? How do you begin to practice courage to build strong self-esteem?