Do I really believe in Me?
One of the biggest struggles I see in clients is self-esteem. Self-esteem, the ability to be happy with who I am, leads to healthy self-acceptance. Without a good sense of self, I cannot hope to manage what life throws at me. I'll be sensitive, take things personally, or doubt and second guess myself over and over again.
What are the signs of self-acceptance? Here are the five I've seen:
Ability to let others have their opinions. If I have a good sense of myself, I am not threatened by a differing opinion. I will instead encourage discussion, want to learn why the other person believes this way, and engage in dialogue.
Not worrying about what other think of me, knowing that what others think is more about who they are and less about who I am. When told of an opinion or words that come from another and are not flattering, I will leave those words and judgements to the other person, knowing that what they think doesn't change who I am.
Doesn't need to prove or justify myself. This is a natural flow from the above. If I let others have an opinion, I won't feel the need to defend myself in an agressive way. If I don't worry about what others think, I won't need to prove myself.
Able to take criticism from trusted friends, because it affords me the opportunity to grow, and because I am secure in my inner strength and conviction of goodness. I see criticism, not as a put down, but as an opportunity to learn more about myself from another's point of view.
Has the ability to receive love, be it through compliments, gestures, or gifts. If I can't love myself (the true meaning of self-esteem) then I can't receive love from another. I can be showered with love, but I won't let it enter into my heart and soul.
The greatest enemy of self-esteem is failure to accept myself. This leads to many things, such as perfectionism, super-sensitivity, critical opinions of others, and depression. We will discuss this in a later blog.
In the meantime, I encourage you to work on self-acceptance. Don't know how? Drop me a line!