Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Day 14 - I am awesome

Self-esteem is kind of an awkward concept. No one wants to feel like they have low self-esteem. It seems like something teenagers would struggle with, not mature adults. But self-esteem is a struggle for many and can be a big hindrance to experiencing a peaceful, anxiety-free life.

How does self-esteem relate to anxiety? Well, when we have a high sense of self, we respect ourselves. We are confident about our decisions and when we make mistakes, we accept the consequences and move on (rather than beating ourselves up over it). Instead of gaining value from our circumstances or from people, we have a belief deep within us that we are valuable based on who we are, not on what we do. So, when the world is chaotic around us, we are able to maintain peace within us.

If you found yourself resonating with any (or all) of the faulty beliefs explained in the previous few posts you may be able to benefit from some of the below tips to increase your self-esteem and decrease worry and anxiety:

1) Focus on your strengths. What can you do? What are you good at? What are your positive personality qualities? I am a firm believer that we should focus on our strengths rather than trying to turn all of our weaknesses into strengths. When we spend the majority of our time mulling over the things we wish we could change about ourselves, we end up becoming either complacent or depressed. No one is good at everything! When we live in our areas of giftedness we will experience great passion and fulfillment in our lives.

2) Speak kindly to yourself. As the famous psychologist, Albert Ellis used to say, "Stop shoulding all over yourself." Don't judge yourself so harshly. Many of us treat others with great respect and kindness and yet we beat ourselves up constantly for every little thing. Be nice to yourself. Approve of yourself.

3) Take risks. I don't necessarily mean the kind of risks the contestants on "The Amazing Race" take. I mean, take risks in relationships. Trust others with glimpses of who you really are, knowing they may or may not approve. That's okay. You don't need everyone in the world to like you. Trust others with your feelings. Don't share everything with everyone but give it a try with a close family member or friend. Speak your mind every once in a while. Others may disagree. That's okay. Make a decision for yourself. Give it a try!

Did you know...

You don't have to be perfect to be loved.

You are lovable simply because you're YOU.

You are capable of achieving great things.

You are unique, special and there is no one else in the world who is exactly like you.

See you tomorrow!

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