Behave Your Way into Higher Self-Esteem

How do you feel about who you are? How do you like the way I just put that question RIGHT out there? No sense tip-toeing around it. If self-esteem is the problem, then let’s get to work on it.

I am often asked about how to increase self-esteem; so often, as a matter of fact, I’m considering a little mini-course. Maybe a weekend? Contact me if you’re interested.

But here’s the deal about self-esteem: It’s your gauge of your own worth. It appears to be a function or result of insight (how well you know yourself) and how you live (how well you manage stress, take care of yourself etc.)

Insight development begins in early childhood. Those early messages play a huge role, but take heart if you got some negative ones. You can heal them. Insight is knowing yourself and believing in your own abilities. Do you know yourself well enough to know that you can solve problems, and you don’t have to hide from them? Problems and challenges are a fact of life and learning to face and solve those problems increases self-esteem, while hiding (behind addictions, or weight, or blaming and shaming yourself or others) lowers self-esteem. This is why we know bullies have low self-esteem. Picking on others is a classic symptom of a person masking their own insecurities. Negative attitudes toward others lowers self-esteem. Treating yourself and others with respect raises self-esteem. So there’s that.

Here’s another little hint. Children are naturally egocentric – the world revolves around them. There are many implications here, but the most relevant one to self-esteem is this: your childhood egocentrism may have contributed to the idea that the bad things that happened were your fault. If blame and criticism were part of growing up, then you may have learned to manage it by blaming yourself, and the blame game got encoded. It can be hard to shake, and if you’re not conscious, blame becomes an everyday way of doing business. If you blame yourself or you’re running around confessing other people’s sins for them, you’re perpetuating your low self-esteem. It’s not helping you, and it’s not helping anyone else, so my suggestion is, simply lose the blame. Instead, take responsibility for your SELF, let others take responsibility for their self and you’ll find you can raise your self-esteem, and you will be happier.

Another way to raise it is to take good care of yourself. Literally. Get enough rest, exercise, eat healthy, nutritious food, laugh and have fun, enjoy what you truly love in life. Your worth is not determined by how much you suffer or sacrifice for others. Your worth doesn’t change! Doing nice things for others is great when you have it to give, but doing so trying to prove your worth, at the expense of yourself takes a toll, creates more stress, resentment, and perpetuates low self-esteem. Manage stress so that you’re in eustress, not distress, by taking care of yourself.

Here’s another way to take care of yourself. Learn to speak up for yourself kindly, but assertively. Assertive statements begin with “I” (blame statements begin with “you”). For example, “I’d like to be in a position to do that, but I’ll have to say no this time.” Do you have a hard time saying no? If you do, then you’re probably carrying a pretty heavy burden of taking care of others, but not yourself, which lowers self- esteem. Raise it by learning to speak up for yourself.

See how much control you have, as it turns out?

You’re worth is not determined by how hard you work, how much you suffer, or sacrifice, how much money you make, how you look, what you drive or what others think of you. Your worth doesn’t change. We’re all the same worth. How to raise your self-esteem? Look into your own mirror instead of using projections. Set your own goals and move toward them, live your own values, take responsibility AND care of yourself.

Try these behaviors and call me in a month.

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