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…)
Identifying how you feel and what your want can be surprisingly difficult, especially if you (like me) have spent years listening to other’s needs and ignoring your own. So here are some hints to make this process easier:
In trying to identify how I feel, it has been very helpful for me to spend time looking at and listening to my actual physical sensations and where they are located in my body. For example, though I may not be well enough acquainted with my emotions to be able to say “I feel angry/happy/resentful,” I can often sense that my fists are clenched, or that I feel a lightness in my heart or a knot in my stomach.
I’ve also found that one easy way to determine what I want is to ask myself the question, “If someone tried to give me this, would I take it?” If I would, I can be pretty sure I want it, and vice versa. Unfortunately, the ability to see our wants clearly can still be clouded by guilt as well as by thoughts and feelings of inadequacy, which often show up in words like should, ought, and can’t. Whenever I hear myself saying words like that to myself, I find that it’s helpful to ask myself another question: “If I could do anything right now, without feelings of guilt or inadequacy, what would I do?”