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Choices and Our Self Esteem - Why We Take on Too Much

Updated on July 5, 2011

The Effects On Our Self Esteem When We Take on Too Much

Our self esteem is affected by every decision we make. Taking on too much is detrimental to our health, energy and psychological well being. When we take on too much, we are stressing ourselves. We can sometimes become forgetful, lose sleep, and our thoughts can become scattered. With too many balls in the air, it is easy to have a lot of unfinished business, which can cause stress. Burning our candles at both ends, will only achieve a faster burnout for ourselves. This usually results because we don’t say no. We trap ourselves into agreeing to things that may not be in our own best interest because we don’t want to appear selfish. We don’t want to feel guilty. We compromise our self confidence and our self esteem.

When We Take On Too Much
When We Take On Too Much

Taking on too much can make us feel angry deep within ourselves. This can lead to depression. We start to feel burned out, which drains our energy and saps joy from our lives. Our lives become filled with more tension than we need to. With greater tension and anxiety in our lives, we are prone to more exhaustion and adapting poor habits, even to the extent of alcohol, and substance abuse, cigarette smoking, and overeating.

We take on too much and disregard ourselves and our own needs. We feel distressed and take away joy from our lives. Taking on too much is self defeating behavior. Our egos and self esteem are lowered and we let ourselves become more prone to pleasing others. When we understand why we do these things, we can begin to break the pattern and learn to do what is good for ourselves.

Self Esteem and Wanting to Be Accepted

Taking on too much is part of wanting to be accepted. We are trying to get approval by doing a lot. We want to feel like we have done enough. Having a lowered self esteem makes us respond to social pressures. We are trying to feel competent. When we do things, we are looking for a reward... good or bad. We might be reinforcing our self doubt and our self worth. When we were children, we felt weak. We wanted to please and get approval, to seek love. But often, feelings of being unimportant may have prevailed We did what we were told, and probably got positive rewards for doing more.

Should We Base Our Self Esteem on Our Efforts?

When we disregard our own needs, we reinforce the negative messages we believed when we were younger. Our self esteem has been compromised since we were little. We allow our these thoughts to become self fulfilling prophecies about ourselves. We run our lives with this focus. We take on too much to compensate for our own insecuritites, inferiorities, feelings of unimportance, and unworthiness. Being busy by taking on too much, takes our mind off of these things. We carry with us, the thoughts we formed from our childhood. These thoughts may be incorrect, or correct. But we rarely challenge the things we believe from our childhood. We take on too much trying to prove ourselves and to others that we are not what our neative thoughts tell us.

We seduce ourselves into taking on too much. We believe we are worthy when we are busy. We delude ourselves into thinking this will raise our self esteem and we will feel better about ourselves We fill our time, attempting to be productive and we base our self worth on our efforts. We sacrifice our own need, deny our pleasures, and attempt to be selfless.

Constructive Ways to Raise Your Self Esteem

There are more constructive ways to raise your self esteem and help yourself feel better about who you are. Take some time to appreciate yourself. Believe that you are an important person, you are enough, you special. Take a moment each day to thank yourself for the gifts you have in your life. Take time each day to look at what you are working towards and have accomplished. The people you touch know these things about you. Give yourself credit for what you do. Look at your special skills and turn them into life affirming statements. Value your uniqueness. Conserve your energy for the things you choose to spend your time on. Protect yourself from taking on too much.

The best thing you can do is liberate yourself. Stop being a slave to your thoughts. Your overcompensation and overburdening yourself is weighing you down. Start appreciatig you are. Take care of your own needs first. Conserve your energy for the things that really matter to you. When you take on too much, you are holding yourself back and stopping yourself from your true potential, and actually harming your self eseem.

  • Love who you are

  • Praise your positive traits

  • Take the compliments of others and let them be a part of you

  • Use guided imagery to help you say no to people who try to put more things on you

  • Practice saying no

  • Feel good about what you do

  • Listen to that little voice inside of you. If it doesn’t feel right, make a different choice

  • Hold a high view of yourself by taking appropriate care of yourself

  • Make your decisions for you. If you want to help someone, it is okay, as long as it doesn’t hurt you by doing so.

A Good Self Esteem is Worth the Work

Build Your Self Esteem
Build Your Self Esteem

Allow for Balance in Your Life

These things are easier said than done. But if you want to make a change, this is a start. One step at a time will help you feel better about who you are, and help your own self esteem. . Get used to the new ways you are handling things. Make changes slowly. Design a comfortable target you would like to see for yourself. Let some balance return to your life. What may seem like insurmountable changes, may start to happen naturally and a good fit for yourself.

How do we gain a sense of balance in our lives. A good start to achieving balance in your life is to list the activities that you need to give attention to. Start with the mundane, from brushing your teeth, to the hobbies and passions that interest you. Include work, time to pay your bills, and the running around you must do for errands. List time to socialize and spending time with important people and pets in your life. Look at your obligations, committments, responsibilities and the time you need to relax and unwind. Look at all these things that fill your day and take your time. How much are each of these things worth to you. Give them a point value.

From This Day Forward ...

Your basic personal needs, your creativity, spirituality, and connection to others are important to your self nourishment. You need to take care of yourself and your family. These are the things that need to come first. Routine tasks and helping others are not on the top of this list. People with a healthy self esteem have a healthy balance in their lives.

In order to gain a sense of balance in your life, it will be helpful for you to look down the road and see what you want for yourself. This will help lead you in a worthwhile direction and make decisions that will help you toward these ideas. When you are poised to make a decision that might take you away from this direction, you will be better equipped to manage your time. You will find yourself making better discretionary decisions. Your choices will be more effective and help you make decisions that are right for you in the long run. The result will give you a better self esteem, more balance in your life, and you will be a happier, more contented person.

From this day forward, look at the direction you want to go for yourself. Lead yourself in that direction and put whatever the rest of the world asks of you secondary. A better sense of who you are will begin to emerge and from this. Help yourself, encourage a better self esteem in yourself. You are about to bloom!


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    • profile image

      KL Adams 6 years ago

      If you are not willing to stand up for yourself and find your place in this thing called life, how can you expect another to put you above them? Fairy tales only happen when several minds are creating one story. But, your story is what you make it. And, if you are not going to be the leading lady/man in your life; then your movie will find it's place on the shelf. It's all a choice.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

      This is great!! I should.... I should follow your advice... but it sure isn't easy!

    • Betty Johansen profile image

      Betty Johansen 6 years ago

      Insightful analysis and wise counsel. Thank you!

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi toknowinfom great hub with some very valuable information .

      Useful and vote up !

      Have a great weekend my friend !

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 6 years ago

      I am going to have my sister read your Hub Toknowinfo, it fits her to a T. I think I've finally learned when to say No. I Loved this fair and factual Hub my friend. A good share.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi Amillar, I like your saying 'the more you do, the less you're thought of'. It is so true. We often put our own self respect last and pay a high price in doing so. Thanks for your compliments and up rating. As usual, I am always glad when you stop by.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi Lene, It is so scary to say no, but I bet you are glad everytime you have said it. Thanks for stopping by and commenting

    • amillar profile image

      amillar 6 years ago from Scotland, UK

      It's worthwhile learning how to say 'no', though some find it very difficult. It often gains respect where we expect resentment. (In my part of the World, we have a saying: 'the more you do, the less you're thought of'.) I suppose it's just another of life's little ironies.

      Another gem - up and useful.

    • profile image

      Lene Lynn 6 years ago

      Good article! I remember the first time I said "NO" to a friend about doing a CHURCH project in 1991. That poor lady almost had a heart attack and she never spoke to me after that! It's a shame because it was nothing personal, I had just learned to practice saying "NO" at that time and it was scary for me! But I did it! :) It feels great to do that, let me tell ya! :)