The Best Way to Overcome Low Self-Esteem

Good morning! May you each have a lovely and profitable day. Today’s term that caught my eye deals with overcoming a low self-esteem. There are a couple of things you can do to increase your self-esteem.

The first thing to do to overcome a low self-esteem is to consider what you are telling yourself about yourself. When you identify these things, consider where they came from, i.e., who told you that you were these things? Consider, point-by-point, if what you were told about yourself is true. Usually, what you were told were lies, told by someone who was unhealed or insecure themselves.

Once you recognize these things you were told that were not true, begin to tell yourself the truth, and when the negative self-talk reappears, gently talk yourself past the negativity by reminding yourself that the person who said those things was wrong.

The next thing you can do to overcome low self-esteem is to make a list f all of your positive points. Fill two standard-sized pages of paper, 8 1/2 x 11. Be creative. If you are having difficulty coming up with positive attributes, google positive character traits and see the lists that come up. See which apply to you and write them down on your list.

When you have compiled your list, simply “be” with the positivity of who you are for three days. Then, make a list of all the things you did for others in the past three days that were kind, generous, and loving. Once that list is completed, “be” with it for three days. The point is, you are trying to imbed in your heart, your soul, that you are a good person with merit.

The final thing you can do to raise your self-esteem is to do esteem-able acts. Be of service to another. Get out of yourself for even a short period of time and do something nice for another. Help them out. Talk to them. Volunteer. The point is, be of service to another, in whatever manner feels comfortable for you.

Once you do all of these things, your self-esteem will begin to improve. When it slips, as it will do, remind yourself of your positive points and attributes, and do something for someone else. You will find that your self-esteem improves.

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Self-Acceptance Leads to Confidence and Esteem

Acceptance of Self

Now that we have learned to forgive others and ourselves, we are ready to accept ourselves, which boots our self-confidence and self-esteem. We are traveling on the path of acceptance of self.

We have completed our performance appraisal, our self-appraisal, and we are now ready to make right any wrongs we have done. We want to do this so we can feel self-confidence, self-esteem. This will help us stay sober and get to emotional peace.

Along the path of accepting ourselves so that we may experience self-confidence and esteem, we may reflect upon who we were in our early days, when we had confidence, had a positive esteem. We may have been children then; I was. At least, I glean from my pictures of the era that I was a happy child when I was about three.

And I ask you, “Have we really changed throughout the years, or do we merely hold within our heart and mind and soul the essence of who we are, while our physical form changes? Can we recapture the delightful being we have always been, as we allow and celebrate our strengths, our flaws, and our spirit?”

What if the only change we’ve experienced throughout the years is an assault on our being by others, and then by ourselves, so much so that the self-confidence and esteem we had as a child have eroded away? And what if our being is waiting for us to reclaim who we are, with great self-confidence and self-esteem? 

So, how can we begin to fulfill the wishes of our being, to stop playing small, to step into who we are at our core? We just take action. We look at what is behind our playing small, our lack of confidence and esteem. If it is old messages that denigrate us, we know that those were lies, said by a spiritually sick person. We can think differently now about those disparaging remarks.

Then we practice honesty, and look at all our traits, both positive and negative. In other words, we do a performance appraisal. We apply compassion to the negative traits, and then set them aside, knowing that we have displayed our humanness. We focus on our positive traits, and we become humble, thanking Source for all the gifts which have been bestowed upon us.

And we begin to believe that Source gave us those gifts with the intention that we share them with the world around us. That means playing small no longer will work, and we must step into our full being, with confidence and esteem. We don’t want to flaunt, and practicing humility will counter that tendency.

All we want to do is to celebrate the talents and gifts we have been given and humbly present them to the world around us. When we do this, our self-confidence and esteem will rise. Staying sober will become easier and more desirable. We will become more accepting of ourselves. We will be that much closer to emotional peace and serenity.

Today, practice stepping into all that you are. Accept who you are at your very core. Apply compassion for being human. Identify your special gifts and talents, and celebrate them with your world. Bring back that self-confidence and esteem that have been absent from your life for so long… Accept yourself at a deep level of knowingness…

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Acceptance Leads to Self-Confidence, Self-Esteem

Acceptance of Self

Now that we have learned to forgive others and ourselves, we are ready to accept ourselves, which boots our self-confidence and self-esteem. We are traveling on the path of acceptance of self.

We have completed our performance appraisal, our self-appraisal, and we are now ready to make right any wrongs we have done. We want to do this so we can feel self-confidence, self-esteem. This will help us stay sober and get to emotional peace.

Along the path of accepting ourselves so that we may experience self-confidence and esteem, we may reflect upon who we were in our early days, when we had confidence, had a positive esteem. We may have been children then; I was. At least, I glean from my pictures of the era that I was a happy child when I was about three.

And I ask you, “Have we really changed throughout the years, or do we merely hold within our heart and mind and soul the essence of who we are, while our physical form changes? Can we recapture the delightful being we have always been, as we allow and celebrate our strengths, our flaws, and our spirit?”

What if the only change we’ve experienced throughout the years is an assault on our being by others, and then by ourselves, so much so that the self-confidence and esteem we had as a child have eroded away? And what if our being is waiting for us to reclaim who we are, with great self-confidence and self-esteem? 

So, how can we begin to fulfill the wishes of our being, to stop playing small, to step into who we are at our core? We just take action. We look at what is behind our playing small, our lack of confidence and esteem. If it is old messages that denigrate us, we know that those were lies, said by a spiritually sick person. We can think differently now about those disparaging remarks.

Then we practice honesty, and look at all our traits, both positive and negative. In other words, we do a performance appraisal. We apply compassion to the negative traits, and then set them aside, knowing that we have displayed our humanness. We focus on our positive traits, and we become humble, thanking Source for all the gifts which have been bestowed upon us.

And we begin to believe that Source gave us those gifts with the intention that we share them with the world around us. That means playing small no longer will work, and we must step into our full being, with confidence and esteem. We don’t want to flaunt, and practicing humility will counter that tendency.

All we want to do is to celebrate the talents and gifts we have been given and humbly present them to the world around us. When we do this, our self-confidence and esteem will rise. Staying sober will become easier and more desirable. We will become more accepting of ourselves. We will be that much closer to emotional peace and serenity.

Today, practice stepping into all that you are. Accept who you are at your very core. Apply compassion for being human. Identify your special gifts and talents, and celebrate them with your world. Bring back that self-confidence and esteem that have been absent from your life for so long… Accept yourself at a deep level of knowingness…

 

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Definition of Tolerance

We are brought to the next topic in my book, Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing, and I will provide a definition of tolerance. First, the verse.

Practice of Tolerance

Practice of Tolerance

“I have the most difficulty being tolerant of others when I am feeling inadequate, insecure, and uncomfortable with myself.

Yet, when I am able to look beyond the imperfections of others, I discover great beauty and worth in them.

And, I discover that another’s value does not diminish my own.” 

The definition of tolerance is allowing, bearing, permitting, or not interfering with another’s beliefs and practices.

This is a wonderful habit to practice… tolerating others, as it results in peace for the one tolerating another.

I think it bears repeating why we may be intolerant. For me, I find that I am intolerant of another’s ideas or beliefs when I am feeling inadequate and unsure of myself.

In that situation, I compare myself to another and fall short of them. That makes me uncomfortable and it intensifies my low self-esteem. I struggle with allowing another’s beliefs or practices because they threaten who I believe myself to be… or at least, that’s what I think in the moment.

On the other hand, when I am feeling comfortable about who I am and hold myself in good esteem, another’s different ideas or beliefs do not shake that self-confidence I have.

I think the biggest thing to realize is that just because another has value in who and what they are, that does not diminish my own value. Just because they have a valid point, for example, does not make my point any less valid or valuable.

We spend a lot of time comparing ourselves to others… too much time, perhaps. Rather, if we can tolerate the differences in another, it enriches our lives, instead of detracting from it.

So, perhaps the real message here is to work on developing our self-esteem, feeling comfortable with who and what we are. Then, perhaps we can more effortlessly tolerate others. It sounds like an opportunity for practice.

We can also practice being more tolerant of ourselves and our quirks. If we see something we do not like, we can take action and change it, instead of being negative and intolerant of ourselves.

What is your definition of tolerance and how do you practice it? Do you find it is easier to be tolerant when you are feeling good about yourself? I invite you to leave a comment and let us know how you practice tolerance.

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How Do We Respect Others and Ourselves?

Respect of Individuality

“We ask of others to follow our dreams, to be like us. Why?” This is the inspirational quote about life that begins the verse for this image in my book, Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing. It is a question I have asked myself for years, having always been compared to others and expected to be like them. My dreams were thwarted in favor of another’s. This, along with the denigration of who I was, gnawed away at my very soul. It degraded my self-esteem and my self-image. It set the stage for a very difficult life and it was one of the reasons for my heavy drinking, as I tried to numb out feelings of inadequacy.

One of the most important things we can do in life is to respect and celebrate one’s individuality. This type of recognition helps that person flourish and grow to their intended heights. To respect another’s uniqueness is to acknowledges a Creator’s handiwork.  It recognizes another as a Being in this world, just like you or me.

Often, it seems, people are not recognized for their individuality. Like the first line of this verse, people are asked to be like us. This may be because we fear those who are different than us. It could also be a reflection of our own inadequacy or feelings of low esteem. We tend to negate others when we are not feeling very good about ourselves, in an effort to build ourselves up. Of course, this is done at the expense of another. If we are having difficulty respecting others, perhaps it is time for a self-appraisal, a time to honestly look at why we are unable to respect that person.

Having performed my own inventory as a part of my sobriety and having grown and healed some as a result, I have realized it is not necessary for me to be like others. I have learned it is important for me to be the individual I am, to let what is inside shine for the world to see. In fact, I now realize it is my job, if you will, to follow my dreams.  It is my responsibility to be the individual that I am, to do what I need to do to increase my own self-respect.

Ah, being responsible for my own esteem, my own individuality…  What does this mean? It means I need to focus my efforts on learning to respect myself in my actions toward myself, as well as the way in which I talk to myself. If I do not respect myself, how can I think that others will respect me? And if I am respecting myself, I will give off that energy, people will feel it, and I will attract respect.

Does that mean that if we run across someone who does not respect themselves then that is a reason to disrespect them also? Actually, it means we need to extend even more understanding, love, and compassion to that wounded person. It means we show them respect until they can find it for themselves.

How is your level of respect for yourself? Have you found it, or are you still searching for it? As you assess how you treat others, do you treat them with respect for who they are, regardless of how different from you they may be, regardless of whether you approve of what they’re doing? That gets into judgment, which is our next topic…

Let’s celebrate the talents and skills and differences of each other, encouraging others and ourselves to greatness, daring to stand out, to be unique, to be individual!

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Inspirational Sayings About Overcoming Insecurity and Low Self-Esteem

Overcoming insecurity and low-self esteem is a process. It takes conscious, focused, and consistent attention, especially if we have an extra-low esteem or very high insecurity. I believe the answer lies in learning to accept ourselves, just as we are. Hence, the title of the photo on the right, which is Acceptance of Self.

First, we need to be aware of how we currently see ourselves. We can ask ourselves questions about our esteem, our confidence. If we think of ourselves as “less than” others, then we are dealing with a low self-esteem and insecurity. We accept that and give compassion and soothing to ourselves. We treat ourselves with gentleness as we explore these feelings.

We understand that we are human and we embrace that. Not as an excuse for poor behavior, actions, or thoughts, but, instead, to allow ourselves to make mistakes, to be human, to have failings.

When we have erred, we can examine the situation and our part in it. Then we can apologize to the other, or ourselves, and we change our behavior. This action is our responsibility and, when performed, helps us feel better about ourselves, merely because we are being responsible for things we did that we didn’t like.

Another way to boost our esteem and lessen our insecurities is to do things for others. Sometimes, that’s as simple as smiling at someone as we pass, saying hello. It could be offering help to one in need, whether a stranger or someone we know. We take responsibility for being useful to others. This works well to increase esteem. It is said that if you want esteem, do esteem-able acts.

These are the things I have done that have allowed me to better my self-image and esteem, both of which were shattered when I came to sobriety. It has taken years, and I committed to the process which I have outlined. The result was tested last week in Allen, Texas, while at a signing event for my book Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing.

I was well-received and people were giving me compliments right and left. In days before I felt comfortable with myself and who I am, I would have pushed away those words, discounted them, with sarcastic or humorous responses to another’s compliment. Now that I feel positive regard for myself, I was able to humbly accept what was coming my way, taking it in with gratitude and joy, knowiing that my message of hope had been heard. That made me feel good about myself, which, in turn, lowered my insecurity.

If you are dealing with overcoming insecurity and low self-esteem, try what I have described. You may find it helpful. Just remember that it is a process, one which takes time and persistence. I wish you well.

 

 

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How to Deal With Self-Doubt

Shadows of Doubt

I am mired again in the shadows of my dount, my fear.

I circle and circle and circle around the stones of my heart, caged, unable to pass through to the place where my heart is bathed in light.

When we doubt ourselves, our actions, and our beliefs about who we are, we erode our self-esteem, our self-confidence, and our very soul. If we know that doubting ourselves leads to these things, why do we do it?

Perhaps it is a reflection, an indicator, of our state of self-worth, our value to self and to the world. With low esteem and confidence levels, we are not stable enough, not strong enough, in who we are to ward off self-doubt. It erodes our very being even further. We question everything we do, perhaps always looking to others for validation rather than to ourselves, or to a power greater than ourselves.

How do we conquer this, this insidious doubt?  Perhaps it begins with a self-appraisal in which we identity the ways in which we doubt ourselves. If we can identify that, we then have a change to correct or change it. In doing the self-searching, it is necessary to be really honest with ourselves, to admit that the way we fell about ourselves is not honest. For if we were honest, we would see that we are delightful beings, fine just the way we are. We are enough as we are.

If, however, we see that we are doubting ourselves inappropriately, we can make the choice to change our beliefs. How do we do this? By recognizing and admitting each time we doubt, and examining if it is true. When we admit the doubt is false, then we consciously make the choice to change that doubt into a positive statement or affirmation about ourselves. Over time, with diligence, we begin to see our doubts diminish and our esteem and confidence rise. We begin to accept ourselves as we are, making changes when we feel it’s necessary. In this process, it is important to be kind, gentle, and compassionate with ourselves.

How do you deal with doubt when it arises? Do you see this method as being useful?

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How to Manage Feeling Worthless

Corner of Worthlessness

I try and try to climb to the light of my being, yet, I cannot scale the wall of my worthlessness. So I collapse, again, in the shadows…

a heap of broken debris in the corner.

Feeling worthless. One of low self-esteem, loss of self-respect. The feeling that no one appreciates your efforts, that you do not matter to anyone, or to very few. Nothing you do is good enough, so why bother? Just writing about it brings an energy-draining feeling.

From there, feeling worthless often leads to self-pity, which can generate shame for having those feelings. Many numb these feelings with the use of drugs, alcohol, shopping, eating… In the most drastic cases, these feelings lead to suicidal thoughts and, sometimes, actions.

Where does it originate? Some say it stems from the early, formative years, if one repeatedly hears they are defective, not good enough. Yet, one can develop feelings of worthlessness if in a bad relationship, for example, where one endures continual put-downs, degradations. The words heard become adopted as our own and we continue to degrade ourselves; we don’t need others.

How would one manage feeling worthless? It is said that doing esteem-able acts is a way to increase one’s self-esteem, and thus, decrease or resolve those feelings. One might also discover their calling, whereby their actions are geared toward fulfilling an identified purpose. Often, one’s purpose is useful to others, which raises one’s self-esteem and self-respect.

Counseling of some sort to resolve those underlying feelings can be very useful and yield a positive self-esteem and self-confidence, thus, minimizing feelings of worthlessness.

Doing an honest inventory of yourself and your skills can lead to the realization that what was told to you was not true, that you do have many assets and many positive attributes.

Feeling worthless is so damaging to our spirit. It leads us to dangerous places in our mind and heart. The degrading things we were told or that we tell ourselves is not who we are. We are all delightful beings, each with specific skills and strengths. Learn those about yourself. Above all, be gentle with yourself as you heal.

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What Choices Do You Make in Your Life?

Celebration of Choices

“I see a little man with his top hat, arm raised above his shoulder in salute. He celebrates his recent discovery… he has choices in his life. It is freeing to learn one can choose at any point. Ah, cause for celebration!”

The fact that we have a choice about everything we do is a thought process that I could not get my head around for many years into sobriety. As I healed, old “stuff” came up and I was reacting to it. I couldn’t control those reactions, and in that sense, felt I had no choice.

I did not realize that the choice I could make was in my attitude. Still, I was not able to make that choice until I had done some serious healing. That took a few years.

One day, I realized I had a choice over how I responded to thoughts and experiences. I had a choice over how I saw things. I could choose to look at challenges, both current and past, as learning experiences, intended for my growth as a spiritual being. That was an “ah, ha!” moment. I saw in an instant what people meant when they said we always have a choice.

From that point forward, I have chosen to look at experiences as nothing more than a chance to learn and grow. It has made a world of difference in my ability to act, rather than react to any given challenge. It has also led to a more positive attitude generally, and feelings of joy and inner peace specifically.

Not only, I learned, did I have a choice over my attitude. I had a choice over staying in situations that were detrimental to my spirit. I had to ask myself what I was gaining by staying, or keeping a negative attitude. I often didn’t like what I saw and it was frequently tied to fear and my low self esteem, sense of self worth. As my feelings of esteem and worth rose, the fear decreased and I became able to act in my best interest, even if it meant leaving my current situation that had its comfort in familiarity.

It comes down to an issue of considering the consequences of any choice. Am I willing to accept the  consequences of a decision? Can I make a decision based on what is best for my highest good, for my soul, independent of guilt? Even there, I have a choice. If I choose, for example, to stay in a relationship because it would hurt the other to leave, I must be willing to accept bouts of emotion that likely might occur when my soul cannot sing, when my soul’s purpose is squashed.

May you see choices in your life and may you reap the benefit of joy and peace from their consequences.

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