Self Esteem 101

I’m baacckkk! Sorry for the hiatus – I was getting all my shit together then realized you guys don’t care if I have it together so here I am in all my mess.

I am taking a divorce class and I really like it. It took me a few tries to find one that fit me and how I feel about this process. Too judgy, too conservative, too liberal (like wow, that one was really entertaining though). Ahh, just right.

Last week we discussed our self esteem and how important it was to maintain a good sense of yourself during this process. And so I wanted to share with all of you the 11 steps we discussed because good times or bad, sickness or health, having a friend inside your head is really important.

So here we go…

* NINE STEPS TO GREATER SELF-ESTEEM *

1. You must make a conscious decision to change.

Wait. You mean you don’t expect everyone else to change so you feel better. Crap. That seems so much easier.

Okay, step one. You have to decide you want to change. Got it. Onward.

2. Change the way you look at yourself.

Most people can list twenty things they do not like about themselves without much thought. Women can be downright mean to themselves when it comes to pointing out all of our flaws, physically, mentally and spiritually. Here’s what I want you to do: write down twenty things you LIKE about yourself. You have to write them down - this may sound silly, but the act of writing them down makes you more accepting of them (and it helps you not cheat and only do a few). While you are writing those great things about yourself, also write a few positive notes about yourself and post them around your home. My bathroom mirror works great for me.

3. Say positive things aloud to others about yourself.

Ignore the inner-voice "convincing" you that this is conceited. Take your list and share it with a trusted friend. Find your courage and state these affirmations aloud. Remember - changing your self-worth is not easy. Our inner-critic can be a bitch. The only way to reverse the habit of calling yourself names or being mean is to change how you are doing things.

4. Re-examine your relationships with others and evaluate which are good for you and which may not be good at all.

A lot of the things you tell yourself come from what others have told you. Feedback from others can either raise you up or break you down. Take a hard look at your relationships and determine which ones are constructive and which ones are not. To remain in a comfortable relationship which reinforces poor self-talk and self-image doesn’t do you any good. Choose to invest in positive relationships that help you feel good about being you.

5. Remove the negative self-talk in your head.

Oh that subconscious inner critic. My inner voice sounds remarkably like I sound when I am bullying my family. Its mean and full of negative emotion. It never yells. Its real quiet (the scary quiet). Its time to analyze these messages and question if they are rational and healthy. Be aware of the self-talk and question the validity of the negative thought. Denounce the thought. Replace that thought with a positive affirmation. Carry out the "emotional garbage" from your past.

6. Open yourself up to hearing and accepting positive comments from others.

People tend to hear what they want to hear. If you have low self-worth, you will likely discount a positive comment. You might say "You're just saying that” or “you don't really mean it". Or my favorite one “Oh it was nothing.” When you can hear (and accept) positive comments, you will feel better about yourself.

7. Make a specific change in your behavior.

Take on something that you want to change, and change it. Choose something small like washing your coffee cup every morning or making your bed every day. Make the change easy and attainable. Once you accomplish that one, choose another one. Over time, you will notice your ability to make positive changes which will improve your self-esteem.

8. Give and get more hugs!

I have a friend from South America and they have a saying “35 hugs a day is okay”. In his culture, they believe that every person should have at least 35 hugs every day. A warm and meaningful hug from a friend reinforces far more than spoken words can. A hug helps heal emotional wounds and can help improve self-worth quickly. It frees us, warms us inside and improves our mood. So go hug someone.

9. Therapists rock. Go find one.

Even if you feel like you don’t need one, or it isn’t that bad, really a therapist is a great way to care for yourself. Think about it – this is one person you can tell anything. They CAN’T tell anyone else so your secrets are safe (within reason of course). It’s a hour of focused time on you – you get to talk about whatever you want. My therapists have changed my life for the better so many times it would be hard to count them all.

Go out and try some of these – you are worth it! Sending you a great big hug!


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