I got a question, “What is self esteem?”
What a question. There have been times I have had discussions with my friends. Eventually there would be a comment by one of them (never me) that “They do not have self esteem.” I have learned when to keep my mouth shut so I never asked what they meant by the comment, “They do not have self esteem or they have low self esteem.” The reason I kept my mouth shut was because I did not think they actually knew what that meant.
It seems to be one of those phrases that people like to say and that sounds good.
So what do I think self esteem is? For me it means accepting yourself. So what does accepting yourself mean?
Accepting yourself means you are in contact with yourself. Here is a simple example. I was taking a quiz with my daughter. One of the questions was, “Do you touch people?” I answered no. My daughter said that was not true. My answer to hear to her was to tap her and say, “No I don’t.”
Then we laughed because I realized what she said was true and my answer was false. But I really, truly did not know that. I did not argue with her nor resist the truth. I do touch people and I accepted that easily about myself.
To me that is an example of self esteem. Finding out about yourself and accepting what is true.
Now just because something is true does not mean you can not change it if you choose. However, I think if you want to pursue that path you will find your self esteem dwindling. Why? Because you are taking on a challenge you may or may not be able to accomplish.
Why not accept the fact that you will not be perfect? Why not consider the idea that you have your assets and that is where you can excel? Instead of changing what you are dissatisfied with why not review this? You can get some insight and see if you can tame these traits. Maybe make a slight adjustment. Maybe just recognize that you do have these traits that you are not enthralled with.
Instead of changing what you don’t like why not focus on what assets you have and develop them? For me that would be a way to increase your self esteem. Once you have an asset you can expand on it.
I like the expression, “Good, better, best. Make the good your better and make the better your best.”
To me self esteem means know what you have. Work it to your advantage. Appreciate it.
Self esteem also means you know you have a choice how to act and behave. You know you can always chose to be your personal best. You know you can always choose the high road. You also know that sometimes you will stumble. Know yourself and accept that and pick yourself up and get back on your path.
Review what you are displeased with. Give it some thought. Even if you feel it is taking over your life you can still focus on what you have and let that take over your life instead. Why not take the path of least resistance? Why not be a better you not a new revamped you?
You do not have to believe me. Think back to when you tried to correct and change what you considered a defect or flaw. How did that go? How did it make you feel? And how long did the correction last, if you actually got that far?
Now think about when you started from a point of strength with an asset that you worked on. The best example is to consider athletes. They improve their performance. They work on what they are strong at. Of course they attempt to get past their weaknesses but any coach will tell you that the effort goes in where they are strong. You put your effort where you will get the maximum results.
The second part to self esteem is to accept others. If you can not transform yourself why would you think you could transform someone else? See people for what they are. Imperfect just like you. That creates a connection. Look at people’s strengths instead of their weaknesses. Connect with people on a level of acceptance not judgement.
Self esteem also includes going with your instincts. This is the intuitive way you connect with yourself and others. If something does not feel right accept that.
Self esteem and confidence seem to be intertwined. They both come from the same place. Know yourself, accept yourself, appreciate yourself, and focus on your assets. Use the same definition when you are interacting with other people.
Make a connection with yourself and others. Respect what is true. Keep an open mind. Act responsibly. If you can live your life in this fashion you will experience self esteem. Also remember you are imperfect so at times you will not be in this state of grace. That is fine as long as you are aware of this and get back to striving for this.
This is what “self esteem” means to me. I would love to hear what you think.
Marcia, Your Confidence Coach
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