DON’T LOOK BACK, DON’T LOOK AHEAD, JUST LOOK OUT!!
…..or Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift.
So how much are your dragging along with you? The BIG one usually has to do with relationships. A sub-category or three might involve parental/societal expectations, lost loves, and dear friends who have passed away.
Parental/societal expectation? I bought the whole schmear. Right up till I had to choose to stay in the cold, drab town in which I was born, work at the local factory, find a woman, buy a house, settle down and retire in thirty years, or take the road less traveled and grab the opportunity facing me, and move to the west coast to “who knows what” kinds of adventures. I chose the latter and have never regretted it.
Ah….lost loves. Yes, I left my heart in San Francisco. Three years after arriving there, I returned to my hometown to recuperate from a love found and lost. Three years later the girl I left behind contacted me, we reconnected and I moved back to the coast to be with her. Three years after that it was over again. But instead of licking my wounds in the city of my birth, which I’d now left twice, I toughed it out, stayed, and unfortunately carried that scar with me until recently when I took a course at The Human Potential Center which cleared a few things up for me and I was able to let go and open my heart and mind to new possibilities. If I’d only known then what I know now…a phrase that goes through my mind when thinking about past mistakes. Regrets? I have a few. Nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there. (more…)
Over the past few months, I’ve been on a healing and personal journey that taught me a lot about myself and human nature in general. And it has indeed been eye-opening.
This past Wednesday evening, I started a class at the Human Potential Center on Building Healthy Self-Esteem, and I’m everso excited. As someone who started looking deeply inward when I was about 25, seventeen years ago, it is no news to me that the foundation of many of my issues and shortcomings and fears (especially fears) are based in my lack of healthy self-esteem.
Ridiculous, really. I’ve written and published seven books, several of which have won awards and were Amazon bestsellers; produced and directed two documentaries, one of which premiered theatrically in Paris; and have two degrees in English Literature. Some would say I was well accomplished, but my self-esteem is lower than nearly anyone I know. In fact, it’s at a really crippling low level…
What’s up with that?
Self-esteem is something that is gifted to a person in childhood. Or, in far too many cases, isn’t. After one hits puberty without it, they’re pretty much on their own.
Healthy self-esteem can be the difference between success and failure. Seriously. Especially in one’s own mind, which is really where it counts. Even if the world sees you as a success, one word from a critic can cause you to crumble. That’s low self-esteem.
But what many people don’t understand (it wasn’t clear to me until very recently), people who are arrogant also have low self-esteem. Arrogance does not equal confidence. Quite the opposite. (more…)
The Personal Value of Healthy Self-Esteem
Feeling the value of healthy self-esteem is like realizing the value of having health insurance.
Having access to good health insurance can comfort your worries about finding help when feeling ill, give you access to trained professionals that can offer you sound advice as how to best handle health issues, and offer a sense of security that can help make health-related decisions easier.
Like health insurance, healthy self-esteem can keep you protected from people and circumstances that trigger your self-doubt, or self-criticism.and prompt you to seek help or advice from others, including trained professionals, when an event in your life conflicts with your self-image.
Healthy or high self-esteem has, in the past, been described as a way to reach great material success or have the ‘perfect’ life, or in terms of a way to approach life to get the relationships or achievements you desire. Self-esteem isn’t a lot of times talked about in a light that makes self-esteem a personally fufilling trait to have and to nuture or maintain.
Healthy Self-Esteem Protects You
Having a healthy sense of self-esteem can keep you from continuing or forming un-healthy relationships in your personal life or taking on too many responsibilites or stressful situations at work by forming a giving you an emotional presence that will prompt you to end or get out of a situation that someone says or does something that is emotionally disturbing or if you are in a physically taxing or stressful situation because that high self-esteem can’t exist in personally disresepctful situations. (more…)
What is self-esteem? There are a few different theories.
A woman at the Video Discussion the other night, said that when she feels her passion, her self-esteem goes up. I asked her if that was the only time her self-esteem was high. She couldn’t tell me.
Self-esteem is not one of those things that come and go with an accomplishment, a win, or with passion. Self-esteem is more of a foundation upon which we build our self-image and our confidence.
We may have more confidence in one thing more than another; i.e., relationships vs. business transactions. When one gets a rush of confidence, it can be like a sugar rush. Up and down. Up and down. Up and down. When we have a success, our confidence goes up, which may then increase our self-esteem, making the foundation stronger.
Self-esteem lasts all of the time, 24 hours a day. That would be my preferred definition, and it is not always easy to make the 24 hour self-esteem a reality. It takes work.
Let’s look at what self-esteem can be: (more…)
Eleanor Roosevelt. What a gal! Not just the wife of Franklin D., but a great thinker and wise woman in her own right. What follows are a few of her gems.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.”
Well, that pretty well sums it up. A healthy sense of self-respect or self-esteem will serve as a sounding board for others’ perceptions of you. If they’re treating you with respect, then you are in agreement and can offer the same in return. If they are not, there are a few options:
- A) Say, “Thank you for your opinion,” and walk away.
- B) Say “If I have said or done something that is causing you to “diss” me, I apologize. However I feel obligated to advise you that unless or until you are able to alter either your perception or attitude, I feel any further discussion on the subject would be fruitless.”
I prefer A myself.
“You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realize how seldom they do”
In other words, “Don’t worry, be happy.” A wonderful song by Bobby McFerrin. I like to listen to it once in a while just to remind myself that in this swirling miasma of daily life, when someone perceives you in a less than positive light due to circumstances or the context in which you both find yourselves, it works to “consider the source.” They could be having a bad day or life and are using you as a shipping post for their personal frustrations. Then consider whether there might be some truth in their perspective, which offers ‘grist for the mill” of personal growth should you choose to use it. First empathy, then introspection. (more…)
The health and vitality and the level of emotional reward felt from our relationships a lot of times can be based upon the level of esteem or respect a person has for themselves. A person’s self-esteem can affect not only the harmony or health of a relationship but also the types of people a person would choose to relate to.
Trusting your Instincts
The dynamic of person-to-person relationships often times is a result of instinctual reactions a person may have about someone, the level of trust in that instinctual reaction and the behavior that results from that reaction.
The factor of poor or low self-esteem can cause a person who has an instinct to stay away from certain types of people because of a felt sense of a potential imbalance in a relationship or not being able to meet the expectations of the other person to undercut their natural instincts and engage in a relationship that is based on catering to another person’s needs or desires in order to maintain a false sense of peace. (more…)
Healthy self-esteem or healthy self-regard is a very sought-after quality. On some level we are aware of our innate and unique gifts in varying fields or relationships and wish we could better realize our potential or improve the level of happiness felt in our relationships. At times, our efforts to have productive careers or have affirming relationships are compromised by the attitudes about ourselves or life in general that we carry with us throughout the experiences of our day. Often, these self-sabotaging attitudes are the total of the emotional effects of pivotal events that have taken place previously in our lives. Some of these events left profound imprints on our personalities and behaviors, others had more slight impacts on us, but the sum of all of those events, both affirmations and slights, form a very firm sense of us, our limitations, but also our potential in some ways.
Hopefully, this entry will illustrate some not-so-common beliefs about the notion of healthy self-esteem and the deep-seated positive effects it can have both for your self as an individual and the person you are in your relationships and the affirming qualities they can have. (more…)