Embrace the Reality of Yourself
At the end of my first therapy session 30 years ago, during which I had spilled my innermost feelings, I asked the therapist, “What do you think my problem is?”
“You’re looking for permission,” he said.
“Permission for what?”
“To be yourself.”
His insight cut clear to my soul. I spent the next decade of my life trying to figure out why being yourself can be both the easiest thing to do and the hardest thing to do. I realized that it’s easy to be yourself when your self-esteem is high and difficult to be yourself when your self-esteem is low.
Why Self-Esteem Matters
Self-esteem can be defined as your attitude toward yourself. It is a combination of self-confidence and self-respect, according to Nathaniel Branden, author of How to Raise Your Self-Esteem. Your self-esteem affects your decisions and behavior.
People with low self-esteem place more value on other people’s opinions than on their own judgment. If you are afraid that others will laugh at you or reject you if you let them see the real you, then you are living with the belief that other people know better what is good for you than you do. In reality, only you know what’s best for you. When you stop being afraid of abandonment and stop seeking other people’s approval, it will get easier for you to trust your own opinions and intuition.
How Our Self-Esteem Gets Diminished
As we’re growing up, ironically, very little of our self-esteem originates with ourselves. As children and teenagers, we pick up messages from our parents, siblings, teachers, ministers, peers, the media, and cultural traditions that imply, if not directly dictate, that we are not inherently as worthy as other people, either because we don’t look a certain way, haven’t achieved enough, or simply live in the wrong part of town.
“Our self-esteem is damaged by our wounds,” explains Psychic Larkin ext. 5707. “As our self-esteem diminishes… we become hungrier than ever for love and acceptance.”
How to Raise Your Self-Esteem
Psychic Yemaya ext. 5143 believes that “If we work to heal ourselves, we set a wonderful example for any and all others we come into contact with.” She suggests doing some weeding in your garden of thoughts.
Whenever you hear yourself thinking negative thoughts about yourself, such as “I’m not good enough,” stop and ask yourself where that thought originated. You might discover an old wound that needs healing. Or you might realize that it’s just habit thinking, not the truth. Pull such thoughts from your inner dialog the way you would pull weeds from a garden. Nurture only positive thoughts that heal your lack of self-esteem.
The ancient philosopher Aristotle once said: “Care more for the truth than for what people think.” More recently, Terry Cole-Whittaker wrote a book titled What You Think of Me Is None of My Business. She explains that the only way to change our mistaken belief system is by “developing a heightened consciousness, an acute self-awareness.”
Make time each day to focus on your inner guidance and pray for courage to be self-confident. Recite affirmations that raise your belief in your ability to think for yourself. If you are inclined to carry crystals, try some rose quartz to enhance self-respect.
And be patient with yourself. It has taken a lifetime for you to develop your current level of self-esteem. It could take years to turn things around. Whenever doubt creeps in, give yourself permission to be yourself. After all, who else can do you better than you?
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