How to Develop a Healthy Sense of Self Worth.
Lifes Journey can Help or Hinder Self Worth
Self-Worth another name for self esteem defined is : 'confidence in ones own worth or abilities; self respect' Navigating our way through life can have a damaging effect on self esteem for some as we journey through life making our way at times in fear and trepidation often feeling like we just might not be quite good enough.
Early Impact on Self-Worth We start life being told that we are either good or bad according to the way we react and respond to others about us and whether or not we develop according to standard norms. The comparison rate continues to rise as we begin the competition of life with others right from preschool; when we are rewarded for sharing with and playing nice with others to kindergarten; when we have an advantage over other kids if we know our ABC's, and right through our formative years where learning almost accelerates at the speed of light and we learn that bullying is frequent but not an acceptable way to get what we want in life. And where we learn that a competitive spirit is almost shunned but secretly applauded by classroom teachers; through to our teenage years where it is worked out who are the Einsteins among us and who has academic ability and will go on further to tertiary education. For many these types of challenges can crush and bruise our self worth and we head on over to adulthood with our self esteem a little or a lot worse for wear.
But it's what we do with who/what we are and how we feel that counts. How we think about ourselves helps to determine our sense of self worth. How we see our self matters. If our self worth has suffered on life's journey and our thoughts about ourselves are mostly negative we can change what we think about ourselves by applying some of the following.
- Develop a healthy realistic perspective of your strengths and weaknesses - then focus on what you can do rather than beat yourself up about what you can't do. Most of us have watched painful and embarrassing images of hopeful idol contestants attempting to sing when they clearly can't; and thought hasn't anyone been kind enough to them to tell them that they are just not going to make it as a singer. Doing an honest assessment of your strengths and weaknesses is invaluable and can help to give you the right kind of direction in life. Learning to identify the disparity of thinking about ourselves of what we think is right compared to what actually is right is something that takes time skill and effort. However you do it; whether making a list of your strengths and weaknesses by yourself or with the help of the right kind of friend or family member, one who won't tell you what you want to hear but who will be honest with you, or with the help of a professional, can be life changing.
- Know and understand yourself well - understanding yourself psychologically, is the key to freedom, particularly in relationships. For example knowing what makes you strive harder, what motivates and demotivates you; knowing your intellectual capabilities in life and how you learn; what is it that pushes you over the edge and makes life that bit harder.
- Develop strong positive self talk - what we say to ourselves about ourselves either makes us or breaks us. Challenging the negative thoughts that we think about ourselves and the quiet often distorted perspectives we hold is a continual challenge and not one to be take lightly as more often than not we are willing to convince ourselves about something negative rather than believe something positive about ourselves. It can take time, effort and practice to develop positive self talk and is a key factor and vital for healthy self esteem and worth. So to is the practice of saying thank you when receiving a compliment.
- Be kind to yourself and others - the old adage of treating others how you want to be treated yourself works in the process of building up your own self esteem and kindness is beneficial for health and well being. The Karma of what goes around comes around applies here.
- Stand up for yourself - sometimes we don't like how we are spoken to or treated by family, friends or colleagues and hesitate to speak up for ourselves. But it's not that hard to say a few simple words like 'I don't like it when you speak to me like that' It might mean that you have to practice saying it many times until you feel confident before you say it but the benefits can make a difference long term and let's people know that you are not a push over and teaches others to show you some respect.
- Don't compare yourself to others, there will always be someone stronger,smarter more good looking; Accept who you are, learn to like who you are and what you see in the reflection Each individual is unique, similar at times but different, made in different moulds. You own your blueprint, your difference matters and contributes to the world around you. You are valuable to God, your family and your friends, don't let negative self talk convince you otherwise.