It's a seductive game to play into looking for other approval instead of self approval as a healthy way of living.
Where does it stop though?
When did the gift of having an intimate and honest relationship with ourself and with our own instincts get lost?
Through my own experiences of working through co dependency Issues, I have learnt that many problems were stemming from a huge struggle with my own self esteem.
What is self esteem really?
How is it described and what does it contribute to in our lives?
In my mid-twenties I constantly felt like I was on a roller coaster of various emotions. I was getting pulled one way with positivity and hope and the next with toxic negative self talk and self loathing. I understood gradually through working through co dependency that my self esteem was reliant on outside factors, such as financial position, success in my career, appearance and others approval, as well as many others. This became, at the time, a standard way of judging how competent I was as a human being. Through becoming more aware that these are never guaranteed to remain constant or always have a positive effect on my life, I realised that seeking happiness solely on outside conditions wasn't working for me anymore.
Could I find more contentment inside of me?
If one of the Laws of the universe is that the the only constant is change, then I felt compelled to explore the effect that change has on us as humans. I learnt tools such as a gratitude list and also harnessing ways to create a nurturing inner voice. Taking a silent 15 minutes before my day began was another way of appreciating stillness and the benefits of starting the day and connecting with my feelings. Finding a little space to see what was triggering my low self esteem and being gentle in my expectations of myself was very empowering. Below are a few tools that I practice daily to clear some of the thoughts that effect self esteem and focus only on that which I have the power to change.
There is huge evidence to support the power of a gratitude list. Psychologists and behavioural experts have evidence that an attitude of gratitude can bring about many positive improvements in your life. These improvements include stronger relationships, reduction of stress levels and increased happiness.
- Treating yourself and purchasing a notebook that is personal to you and writing ten things that you are grateful for in your life.
- Starting off this way in the morning can bring more focus on the aspects of life that you appreciate and shift your focus from certain negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones. Increasing self esteem and value.
Meditation is proven to have many benefits. It is also reported that five to ten minutes of meditation a day has significant advantages than squeezing in forty minutes once a week.
These benefits include improving stress related conditions, helping with self acceptance and boosting your immune system.
- Take five to ten minutes in the morning in a quiet environment if possible (even if this means a corner space for yourself ) settle in a comfortable position.You can use a guided meditation or just sit quietly to see what thoughts or feeling arise within you.
- As a starting point many start with focusing on the natural rhythm of your breath. This can assist you in placing the focus in one place.
Letting go of trying to control the process and just seeing what comes up in you is a great starting point.
Currently I get days when I feel stronger and more hopeful and other days I feel lost with it and challenged. I do believe though that the quest to rebalance the self esteem is a hard but worthwhile journey with yourself.
I wish you all growth and strength for the great opportunity to reclaim your birthright of healthy esteem.