The Secret to High Self Esteem

Fractal 4 textThe way you perceive your particular worth and value makes up your self esteem. It’s talked about in psychology and sociology as very nearly the holy grail of human development. We are all told to build our self-esteem.

Often, that’s easier said than done.

What’s In Your Walls?

It helps to think of your self-esteem as the framing of your house. A house with a well-designed, well-built, solid framework will provide you with a lifetime of safety and comfort. Perhaps your home builders installed wood with termites, or, if the foundation is weak, rot may set in. Adding new wood without removing the damaged parts first will only result in a wobbly structure.

The most effective way to ensure a solid home is to remove all of the damaged wood first. This will require an extensive inspection and will take some time.

How Do I Do It?

It’s very important to begin with an agreement to

be kind to yourself.

In her book Self-Compassion, Dr. Kristin Neff offers advice on how to develop this important quality.

  1. Notice your own suffering – we so often skip seeing with clear eyes the pain or discomfort we are experiencing.
  2. Acknowledge that everyone experiences difficulty and painful feelings in life.
  3. Allow yourself to be mindful of what your feelings are and be balanced in how you perceive them.

Now, keeping kindness toward yourself in the forefront, take an honest inventory of yourself. The difficulty will most likely be in listing your positive, successful and wonderful attributes.

Spend extra time on that part.

It is helpful to imagine that you are writing about a friend that you care for. What would you say to her? What would she say to you?

Now, with kindness toward yourself and a list of what you’d like to clear out and what you’d like to build upon in your life, take the third step:

Choose one thing.

Choose only one thing that you’d like to decrease or increase in your life and list what steps you can take to make that happen. Choose something manageable at first, like 10 minutes of writing to yourself each day, or 10 minutes of drawing each day. It can be 10 minutes of quiet walking each day. Allow yourself to achieve this step for 1 week.

Remember, the renovation of your house can be done one small piece at a time – give yourself a moment to say thank you – to yourself – for your week’s achievement. Continue on, or choose another thing to work on.

Remember to practice kindness toward yourself each day and you will possess the secret to high self-esteem.


PS – how do you practice kindness toward yourself?



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