I know a brilliant and talented man whose whole life has just fallen apart. He was about to enter into a new phase of life … his dream life … with a woman who loved and cherished him. After lifelong struggle, he was finally entering into a time of financial security and comfort, travel, ease and fun. But, just as his dream life was on the threshold of unfolding, he made some inexplicably bad choices, resisted change in his life, and suddenly it all fell apart. He lost everything
Which begs the question …. Does life happen TO us, or FROM us? Why do wonderful things happen to some and not to others? Do we manifest our circumstances by how we feel about ourselves, and whether we feel we deserve happiness?
I am inclined to think so, because every choice, decision, and action you take or do not take, is based on how you feel. How you feel about what you are doing. But, more importantly how you feel about yourself and what you unconsciously believe you deserve
The definition of Self Esteem is comprised of 2 distinct ideas or concepts. Self…The recognition of one’s own identity and character as distinct from all others. Esteem…a favourable opinion. To respect or value highly
In other words, SELF esteem is the valuing of self…It is not about how others’ value you. It is about how YOU value yourself
That is an interesting concept, considering that most people look for approval from others in order to prove their self-worth. They mistakenly believe that when they are successful, or popular, or rich they will begin to feel good about themselves. Or that when someone loves them it will prove they are lovable
Why is it so important to have healthy self esteem? It is simple. Those things we value highly or respect, we treat with deference and care and attention. Those things we do not value are neglected, abused and wasted
Self-perception is subjective, based on your feelings, experiences and judgments. Is that strictly a result of your experiences in childhood? Or is there something more? Where is self esteem born?
Humans are social animals. That means we learn behaviour and adopt beliefs from one another
Your parents are your first role models, followed by peers, teachers, mentors, and society at large. You learn to some degree by how you are treated and what you experience in your interactions with others. But, you also learn by watching others, and by example. You observe how role models such as your parents treat themselves and how others treat them
We also have our own innate self-awareness. We are born with our own instinctive sense of who we are. It expresses itself as personality. That's why two people in a family can react quite differently in the same situation
Self awareness doesn’t just express itself through your actions and interactions. Self-awareness permeates your entire energy field. Everything you think and feel and your individual ‘beingness' is stored within your atoms and radiates through and around you. Your energy field projects outward from your body 45’-60’ and interacts continually with other people’s energy fields
So, that means how others treat you is more a result of how you unconsciously expect or believe they should treat you, which is communicated through what they ‘read’ from your chemical and energetic signals, as well as the visual and auditory messages you provide through how you dress, how you carry yourself, your facial expressions and body language, your actions, what you say, and the tone of your voice
Your personal belongings and self care make a statement to the world about how you perceive yourself and how you want the world to perceive you….whether you are choosing to be valued and respected, or neglected, abused and wasted. To see the evidence of whether you value yourself, look around you at your environment…your home, your car, your workspace, your clothing. Now describe what you see
Your living space reflects what’s going on inside your subconscious mind. Is your living space cluttered and messy, or clear and spacious? Is it filled with beautiful things you love and treasure, or things you do not value or want? Is it comfortable, welcoming and inspiring? Or merely practical and functional. Does it feed your soul? Do the windows let in light and fresh air? Or are your thoughts and perceptions being clouded and distorted by dirty windows, dinginess and lack of air circulation?
Your automobile is also an extension of you. Your mode of transportation is reflective of how you choose to travel through life. Is your car filled with clutter, garbage, rust and dirt, or is it clean and well-cared-for and treated as something valuable to you? Are you making travel easy and effortless, or full of struggle and discomfort and shame?
Your clothing tells people about the image you wish to project. Your attire states “This is who I am”. Do you try to be invisible and neutral? Are your clothes flamboyant or designed to draw attention? Do you appear conservative and confident? Or artsy and original? Or, does it look like you just don’t care at all? What image do you believe you project?
Low self esteem is inverted power. Think of yourself as an energy generator. Healthy self esteem will natural express itself as confidence, courage and personal power. That energy radiates outward from self to infuse the world around you with positive, life-affirming energy. This radiant energy uplifts others and, in turn, attracts love, positive experiences and benefits
Low self esteem implodes personal power. It turns your power inward as self-consciousness, ego and pride. Inverted power collapses on itself. The power of that imploding self-conscious energy is expressed negatively as self-pity, self-abuse, anxiety, apathy, absence of courage or ambition, underachieving, inability to receive, shyness, anger, defensiveness, and sometimes depression. This inverted energy is like a vacuum. It draws inward and compels others to push against it
Seen from this perspective, it is understandable that negative self-perceptions and low self esteem often lead to rejection, abuse and being bullied or victimized—whether as a child or as an adult. You don't develop low self-esteem because you are bullied .... you are bullied because you already have low self esteem. An absence of self esteem by its very nature can do nothing else but draw abuse and reject love. It prevents gratitude or feeling blessed and appreciative. It prevents receiving, and therefore ensures your life is much less than it could or should be.
Are you choosing to have low self esteem? As a child, your experiences can lead you to believe that you are worthless or undeserving. But, as an adult, you have the power and ability to change your perceptions and beliefs, to choose different role models, to build a strong character, and to make different choices in your life.
No one gives you self esteem. No one can take it away from you. Self esteem isn’t about how others perceive you. It is about how YOU feel about you
Self esteem, self-love and validation don’t suddenly develop when someone else loves you or tells you that you are wonderful. You can’t feel loved if you don’t believe you are worth loving.
First you have to feel happy with yourself. Then you can accept love from others. When you try to achieve self worth from the flattery and love of others, it is a very fragile and tenuous illusion
Healthy self esteem demands that you be your best self. It draws out your personal power and insists that you become everything you are capable of being
For many people that requires too much work and effort, commitment to self, and responsibility. It is so much easier to coast through life, to just get by, to make excuses, to under-achieve, to remain un-noticed. But, under-achievement and making excuses fosters negative self-judgment and a feeling of worthlessness, and so the same cycle goes round and round.
So, how does one develop self esteem? It begins with the 3 SELFS --Self acceptance, self appreciation, and self respect.
Self acceptance is the absence of judgment. It is an understanding that you possess wonderful qualities and some not so wonderful qualities, with an acceptance that even those not-so-wonderful qualities all contribute in some positive way that you may not as yet understand. Self-acceptance doesn’t rely on the opinions of others to define you. It is the faith and understanding that you already ARE perfect just as you are. A perfect Higher Power created you, so you can be no less than perfect already. In the face of total self-acceptance, other people’s opinions about you do not matter
Self-appreciation is an awareness and understanding of your value to others. Make a list of all the qualities, talents and abilities you have that might be of value to others ... patient, reliable, methodical, funny, playful, honest, intelligent, nurturing, adventurous, creative, sensitive, empathetic, precise, a great cook, neat and tidy, athletic, problem solver ... You get the idea ... See how wonderful you are?
To assist with self-appreciation we recommend the living essence fusions I Am Deserving or Guilt Release or Self Esteem
Self respect is developed, strengthened and re-enforced by making choices from a place of moral and ethical values, strength of character, and clear conscience. What makes you feel good about yourself after the fact? Choose the high road
Actions and responses which are motivated by fear, anger, defensiveness, or avoidance of shame, embarrassment or humiliation, all come from the negative expression of ego and pride. You can be humble, gracious and forgiving when you have self esteem, because you are accepting and tolerant of your own mistakes and shortcomings. But, ego and pride does not know humility. It knows only fear. Therefore, it seeks to deny
There is a great sense of pride and satisfaction earned in overcoming a fear or limitation or bad habit. Self respect is strengthened when you rise above your fears and do it anyway. You learn something valuable and you feel stronger, limitless, and genuinely good about yourself
Try one of these living essence fusions ... I Am Flexible or Adapt to Change or Breaking Bad Habits
Paradoxically, self-respect is also re-enforced when you admit your mistakes and apologize. Humility fosters self-acceptance and promotes strength of character. Ego doesn’t want to admit mistakes as it associates mistakes with shame or humiliation
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