Building your own self-esteem
On a journey of self-discovery, you can discover what it is that you need to replenish your esteem, re-charge your depleted batteries, and become more resilient and buoyant in life. We all have needs, and those needs differ from one person to another. I'm not talking about food, water, and shelter. What I am talking about is the key ingredient to what communicates to you that you are worthy, that you can achieve, and that you are capable of.
Sometimes you need to start with small steps, as taking on changing your life or yourself may seem too big a challenge, or just too overwhelming. The first step is to make the decision to take back control of your life, your feelings and invest in yourself.
Four ways to take charge of your life
1. A well-known tool is the coaching wheel of life. It's important to understand the way we talk to ourselves and how to change it to a more encouraging, supportive, and positive conversation. Identifying one or two areas of your life that you are least satisfied with and creating a plan to change this will rapidly increase your sense of self-esteem and worth.
2. We each communicate what our definition of love is in different ways, and the easiest way that I have found to explain this is using the five languages of love. They are;
- physical touch
- words of affirmation
- quality time
- acts of service
We code these behaviours as a demonstration of love for ourselves as well as others. For example...
- If your language of love is primarily 'words of affirmation', and your internal dialogue is constantly berating, criticising, and putting yourself down, then this will quickly deplete your self-esteem and confidence, leaving you feeling very unhappy. You can change this by creating new healthy habits using the daily practice of journaling all of the things that you are proud of what you have achieved, what you did really well at, everything that made you happy.
- If your language of love is primarily 'physical touch', you are single (not through choice) and fairly isolated, then this will deplete not only your self-esteem, as you will feel bereft, but also drain your internal batteries. You can take steps to change this through a number of ways, which can include human physical touches such as a massage or reflexology, animal touch such as having a pet to show physical affection to by stroking or petting, or kinesthetic (touch) such as fluffy, comfortable blankets to snuggle under. These are just a few suggestions - be guided by what brings you a sense of happiness or joy.
3. Knowing what recharges your internal batteries - is it being around other people in social situations, time spent alone doing something you enjoy, or a mixture of both? Make a note of when you feel more buoyant, energised, relaxed, and calm, and notice what you were doing beforehand. Were you out having fun with friends, or had you been on a walk with a furry friend? These are opposite ends of the spectrum - of which we all have our place somewhere - that can also be variable depending on how recharged we feel and how good our self-esteem is. If these are plentiful, then we are usually more tolerant of situations that deplete us.
4. Remember that we all need a little help at some point. We were designed to be a part of a tribe, and within that tribe, we could embrace our differences and, together, we could provide extensive and varied perspectives to a vast range of situations. You invest in servicing your car, and you probably invest in others more than you do yourself. You cannot pour from an empty cup, and the next time you fly you will notice that the cabin crew will tell you to put your own oxygen mask first before assisting others.
If not now... then when? If not this... then what?