Self-Esteem Repair Kit
To ESTEEM something is to value it highly. Self-esteem refers to how you value your life. The more you value it, the more you will take care of your needs for health, fulfillment and happiness. When a woman doesn’t value her life, we say she has low self-esteem. When a woman values her life highly, we say she has high self-esteem. When a woman tries to impress another person with exaggerated claims, we say she is conceited or arrogant. Some people think this means the woman values her own life “too much.” But when a woman tries to impress others, it usually means she has low self-esteem.
Confusion About Self- Esteem
The dictionary has two definitions of self-esteem:
- Belief or pride in oneself; Self-respect
- Undue pride in oneself; Conceit
Right off the bat, these two definitions present a problem. They leave you confused about what self-esteem actually IS. They leave you confused over how to determine how much pride is good to have and how much pride is “too much.” And it leaves you confused over whether self-esteem is a good thing or a bad thing to have. In fact, some people think that anyone who fits the first definition is conceited and arrogant. That makes self-esteem a bad thing. Let’s take a closer look:
- The first definition refers to your own private view of yourself as capable and worthy to live. It comes from a healthy, realistic view of yourself as a human being and motivates you toward achieving your values.
- The second definition refers to trying to impress others by exaggerated tales of your greatness. It comes from an unhealthy, unrealistic view of yourself as a human being and motivates you to “fake” your way through life to please others, rather than to make your own way through life.
To make things even more confusing, we are taught to value “humility.” But arrogance and humility come from the same lack of self-esteem. The Arrogant Person tries to impress everybody with his importance, and the Humble Person tries to impress everybody with his unworthiness.
A woman with genuine (high) self-esteem doesn’t try to impress anyone with her capabilities or worthiness. Her self-esteem is a matter of her own relationship with herself and the world. She simply honors the fact that, as a human being, she is both capable and worthy of living her life. And she knows that if she does not value her life, she will not be motivated to do what it takes to sustain her life or strive for her goals.
What Is The State Of YOUR Self-Esteem?
Answering the following questions can help you gauge your level of self-esteem:
- Do you like to look at yourself in the mirror?
- Do you feel embarrassed by a compliment?
- Do you value yourself as a person in your own right?
- Do you think you have to “justify” or fulfill your life by forgetting yourself and living for others?
- Do have one standard for yourself and another standard for others?
- Do you have one standard for everyone, including yourself?
- Do you consider yourself capable of living your own life?
- Do you consider yourself incapable of living your own life?
- Are you willing to take responsibility for your own life?
- Do you consider yourself unworthy of living?
- Do you consider yourself worthy of living?
If you said YES to Questions 1, 3, 6, 7, 9, and 11 (and NO to all the other questions), you have genuine self-esteem. If the reverse is true, your self-esteem is in need of repair.
Building Your Self-Esteem Repair Kit
Good news: self-esteem is not mystical, unattainable quality that you have no control over. You are not “born with it.” It is not a matter of “some people have it and some people don’t.” Self-esteem is not a feeling that you have no control over. It is something that you can CHOOSE.
- So the first thing to do is to stand back and consider all the human beings who have lived their lives through out history, and all the human beings who are living their lives today. Then recognize that you are a human being, too. Human beings have been living their lives for centuries, and that means YOU can, too!
- Next, consider people you know who are living a healthy, fulfilling, happy lives and people you know who are unhealthy, bored, or “down in the dumps.” Ask yourself, “What is the difference between them? You will discover that the happy people value themselves and their lives highly, and that the unhappy people belittle themselves and their lives. People have a choice over how much they will value themselves and their lives, and that means YOU do, too!
Your Self-Esteem Repair Kit Tools
1. CHOOSE TO VALUE YOUR LIFE. This does not meant that you re choosing to “feel” a certain way (you have no direct control over your feelings). It means you are choosing to ACT a certain way. You are choosing to THINK and to STRIVE for a healthy, fulfilling life rather than choosing to neglect your health and happy fulfillment.
2. TREAT YOURSELF WITH RESPECT, even though you may have been brought up to treat OTHERS with respect but to forget yourself, or put yourself down. See yourself as a person in your own right.
3. GET RID OF YOUR DOUBLE STANDARDS. You can stop thinking that “it’s okay for others to go after their goals, but not for me to go after my goals.” Recognize that every person has the right to pursue his or her own goals, so long as it isn’t at other people’s expense.
4. JUDGE YOURSELF FAIRLY. To do that you have to distinguish between being selfless, being selfish, and being brutish. A selfless woman turns her back on herself and her dreams for her life. A selfish woman is true to herself and strives through her own efforts to make her dreams come true. A brutish woman walks all over other people to get what she wants. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you are brutish when you are being selfishly true to your values and your life.
5. CHALLENGE YOUR SELF-IMAGE. We don’t realize it but we have a running tape of self-talk going through their heads every hour of every day. Whenever you feel afraid or reluctant to take the next step toward your dreams, focus in on what you are saying to yourself. Toss the “I can’t do that” and the “I’ve never done that” in the trash can. And while you’re at it, toss the “I’m not pretty enough,” “I’m not courageous enough,” and the “I’m not good enough” in the trash can as well. Tell your your worries and fears to step aside and go for your values.
A New Relationship With Yourself
When you use these tools to repair your self-esteem, you will be able to look yourself straight in the eye when you go to your mirror, and smile one huge smile. Your eyes will twinkle, because your are building a great relationship with the most important person in your life — YOUR OWN SELF. I salute you!