The Self Improvement Toolshop

tools to make you a better you

“Self Esteem”

scan001322.jpg  Be careful what you wish for or ask for, you may get it.  Well I asked for comments and I got one that is a doozie. 

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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May 22, 2007 Posted by | change, choice, competence, confidence, decision, self esteem, self improvement, shortcomings, success | 7 Comments

Say Hi to Your Inner Child

scan001324.jpg   I am very excited that I was offered an experience to participate in a blog tag.  I had to do some extra work but it was worth it.  I got to see some exciting, new blogs to expand my mind.  I hope you had the same experience.

I am also a little giddy about this.  It may seem childish but what is wrong with being childish?

Which leads me to today’s post.

A while back there was a movement about your inner child.  I think we should review that. 

How often are you in touch with your inner child?  We all want to avoid our inner child when we may feel the need to whine, tantrum, vent.  This is the part of our inner child we fight and try to ignore. 

Yet it is with us and what exactly is wrong with feeling and doing this once in a while?  Can you be childish and admit it?  I am not talking about taking out all of your drama on others.  I am talking about admitting and recognizing that sometimes this is who you are and where you are at.  So why not be imperfect and enjoy it? 

Just be careful to let everyone around you know that your inner, cranky, child is emerging so they can take cover. 

There is also the other side of your inner child where you feel excited, happy, vital.  This can happen when you are in love, got a pleasant surprise, did something for someone else etc.

So say hi to your inner child and enjoy your inner child whether they are being playful or cranky.  Being playful gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling. 

Being cranky lets you know you are imperfect.  This is a great relief in being imperfect.  The weight of the world is off your shoulders. 

So this week end spend some time with your inner child.  Remember to be thoughtful of those around you if your inner child acts out.  Actually you can sound the warning either way that your inner child is here and see what happens.

Marcia, Your Confidence Coach

April 28, 2007 Posted by | self improvement, shortcomings | 2 Comments

Procrastination

scan00136.jpg   Do you put things off?  Do you think you have all the time in the world to get things done?  Do you get distracted when you have a project to complete?  If you answered yes to even one of these questions then you know you procrastinate.

Procrastinating is a habit.  It is something you learned to do to avoid things.  It is something you learned to do to ineffectively to deal with certain feelings you have about yourself. 

Procrastinators can be perfectionists.  Perfectionists are people that judge themselves in the most unfavorable light. 

Procrastinators can be self doubters.  You believe you lack the ability to get the job done.

Procrastinators can be victims of stress, anxiety, frustration, anger and low self caring.

Take care of yourself and overcome your procrastination now.  Learn how now.

Marcia, Your Confidence Coach 

April 12, 2007 Posted by | how to succeed, procrastination, self improvement, shortcomings | Leave a comment

Surprise!!

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Surprise.  Have you ever surprised yourself?  Have you ever sized up someone or a situation and found out you were so off target that you were surprised or maybe even shocked?

I have a little story to share with you about this.  My cousin, Ron, whom I adore shared a little story with me about when this happened to him.

Ron was in graduate school.  He was pre med with the intention of becoming a psychiatrist (which is his today).   Ron had a roommate.  Ron did not enjoy life with this roommate.  The roomie was messy.  Ron and the roommate did not click.  Ron is a guy that likes fun.  He is not a stick in the mud.  Ron also enjoys parties.  Despite this Ron did not have a high regard for his roomie.  He thought his roomie was a slacker, a dreamer, a coaster.   Ron also thoughthis roomie had no focus, and perhaps was not particularly “on the ball.”

Ron and his roomie parted company.  Ron was happy to be away from his roomie.  Here comes the shocking, surprising part.  A few years after Ron and his roomie parted Ron went to see a show, Rent.  Ron loved Rent.  he thought it was fresh and entertaining.  Guess who wrote Rent?  Ron’s roomie – the slacker, the coaster. 

For whatever reason Ron, a perceptive guy who is an occupation that requires a deep understanding of people goofed.  He misjudged someone.  Not a big deal, it probably happens all the time.  

So what is going on in your head.  Are you judging people?  Are you misjudging people?  Do you jump to conclusions?  Does this interfere in your relationships with people? 

Here is how this works.  You meet someone, you access them and your mind is made up.  That is okay because you need to protect yourself and some people can be toxic. 

But what about when this happens to people you care about?  Here is how that goes.  You care about someone but they do or say things that bother you.  These things they do or say that bother you sit on your mind.  You start to analyze and editorialize these behaviors.  The truth is you do not know what is going on in someone else’s mind unless they tell you or unless you ask them.

Here is a concrete example.  I have a friend Pam.  She and her husband, Wil,  were planning a vacation.  Pam was going to work on this vacation.  She also wanted to take her kids along.  Wil wanted to do some things alone while Pam was working.  Wil did not want to take the kids along.  These are the facts of the story.

Her comes the jumping to conclusions and judgements.  Pam was annoyed at Wil that he did not want to take the kids.  Pam was annoyed at Wil that he wanted to do some things on the vacation while Pam was working. 

Wil was now bad and selfish in Pam’s mind.  I brought up the idea that maybe Wil wanted to leave the kids home so he could be alone with Pam.  Maybe Wil wanted to leave the kids home so he could pursue what he enjoyed while Pam was working.  Pam shut me down immediately.  Wil was selfish.  Wil wants to do what he wants to do.  No one asked Wil why he felt the way he did.  Pam answered for him.  Th end result was Pam was angry with Wil. 

Somewhere along the line Pam took the facts and editorialized them to fit her judgements.  This is where we get in trouble and make life hard for ourselves.  We jump to conclusions and life gets messy. 

Try ot keep an open mind.  Try to understand what someone is saying to you.  Even if you jump to a conclusion check it out with the other person to see if you are off or on track.  Stop making your life hard and combative.   Give in to the possibility that you don’t know everything about another person.  Give in to the possibility that no matter how well you know someone you can always know them better, deeper, closer. 

Marcia, Your Confidence Coach

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March 21, 2007 Posted by | self improvement, shortcomings | 1 Comment

What is Your Addiction

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We all have a mental picture of ourselves.  We have a list of our assets.  We also have a list of our shortcomings.  If you wrote down your list and showed it to someone that knows you fairly well I bet you would be surprised at their reaction to your list.  Possibly they would they would add to your asset list.  They may also add some shortcomings.  But they would probably also subtract some of the short comings you listed. 

You may believe that the shortcomings they subtracted are real.  You may disagree and believe that those shortcomings should remain on your list.  Are you addicted to these shortcomings?  This is the definition of addiction. 

  1. The condition of being habitually or compulsively occupied with or or involved in something.

Are you compulsively and habitually occupied with these shortcomings?  Probably.  Your friend that knows you well is asking you to cross off these shortcomings.  You do not want to.  Sounds like you are attached to these shortcomings.  Why not let them go?  Why not give them up?  Why not get over your addiction to these shortcomings?  Why not increase your asset list by getting rid of these shortcomings?  If you got rid of these shortcomings you could add to your asset list.  You could add “ability to end my addiction to non factual shortcomings.”  Or it could be worded as, “ended my addiction to the following shortcomings.”

If you end your addiction to these shortcomings you will free yourself.  You will free yourself to focus on your asset list.  Once you end your addiction to these non factual shortcomings you will find more assets. 

Shortcomings are okay.  We are not perfect.  It is important to recognize your shortcomings.  Once you recognize your shortcomings a world of solutions open up to you.  Now you can ask for help.  Or you can embark on path way to learn how these shortcomings influence you and get in your way.  You can decide that you will live with these shortcomings because they are not that important in the path you are on.  You can also take a look at these shortcomings and turn them into assets.  For example the short coming ” I am aggressive”  with some work on your part can be turned into “I  am assertive.”  Big difference between being aggressive and being assertive. 

So take your list and end your addiction to those shortcomings that are not yours. 

Sign up for my free newsletter.  It is inthe links section.  Send me your questions and comments.

Marcia, Your Confidence Coach

February 15, 2007 Posted by | addiction, assets, shortcomings | 2 Comments