Self esteem derived from other people's opinions of you isn't self esteem...it's other people's esteem...
Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by it's capacity to climb a tree, rather than it's ability to swim, it will spend it's whole life believing it is stupid...
Re-building your sense of self-esteem might feel like a daunting hill to climb right now, and it's true, change is hard, it requires commitment and dedication, a willingness to explore oneself and be vulnerable, it involves learning to love yourself in ways you may never have before, and it might be a journey of a thousand steps, but the greatest view always follows the most difficult climb.
Here are a few steps to get you on your way...
Observing Your Self Talk
“Become fully aware of your inner dialogue. The key to true healing occurs in between those conversations you have with yourself”
Sylvester Mcnutt III
We all have an internal voice in our head that narrates everything we do and provides feedback to us on our behaviours. Sometimes we are kind and celebrate ourselves, other times we cringe at ourselves and beat ourselves down at 3 am at night over something we did 4 years ago.
Your head can become a very warm, comfortable place for you to rest in if you take yourself on a journey of becoming your own best friend.
Bringing more consciousness into your everyday life can be as simple as bringing only 5% more awareness into your everyday affairs and making sure you notice things as they are happening.
Next time you feel negative, try to catch the voice before it goes full swing and jumps into the labyrinth of negativity that would usually last hours.
The mindful approach to observing self-talk is really the process of becoming silent and still and noticing your own thought’s, Eckhart Tolle calls this ‘watching the thinker’.
Holding Self Compassion
"Talk to yourself as you would someone you love"
Holding yourself in compassion isn’t easy if you’ve spent your whole life feeling guilty and ashamed but learning the art of self-compassion is a game changer on your way to healing. It is choosing to be your own support system; it is choosing not to undermine yourself anymore.
You get to say to yourself: I am on my team. I got my own back.
One step on the journey to developing compassion for yourself is by listening to our own self-talk and trying to ‘catch ourselves in the act’ of looping off into negative self-diatribe.
Only when we notice what we do to ourselves through our thinking patterns can we then start to hold space and compassion for the reason we do it in the first place, and you will find most of the time, that negative self-shaming voice is really the voice of someone else or a group of other people.
Through holding self-compassion and creating space to identify negative patterns of thinking, especially when they are critical of yourself, we can then start reframing the way we talk to ourselves ‘inside’ and start to rebuild our self-esteem little by little. One useful technique is to use positive affirmations