November 24, 2008

Self Esteem, Are You Healthy?

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:44 pm by Debra

I’ve been working on this post for over a week now, and I finally realized maybe my own unhealthy self esteem was keeping me from writing it!  🙂  I’m doing better now, so here goes…

A very wise person once told me, “you evaluate all you SEE and DO through self-esteemed colored glasses“.  Just as true, others will also evaluate YOU through their own self-esteemed colored glasses.  I’ll give you a second to think about that.

Our self esteem is an ever flowing reflection of what we THINK about on the inside and what we DO on the outside.  And without a HEALTHY self esteem, we will never truly become the person we were intended to be.  

I’m so thankful my husband and I learned the importance of building self-esteem in our children at a young age, which is ideally when it should all start.  We understood that, next to teaching them about God and His perfect love for them, affirming each of them in their unique abilities was first and foremost.  We learned to become acutely aware of the words we used when speaking to them both in conversation and in discipline. 

Parents, we are responsible for modeling healthy self esteem to our children.   We have to show them through our actions, that we have a healthy self esteem too.  As usual, when you endeavor to teach others, you learn more yourself. 

The importance of a healthy self esteem escapes most people. I’m not sure why, exactly.  I think some people seem to have a comfort with their misery, and so they seek to bring others down into their unhealthy comfort zone with them.  Or, maybe they’ve never seen a healthy self esteem modeled, so they wouldn’t know or recognize one if they saw it.

The symptoms are pretty obvious – jealousy, pettiness, arrogance, laziness, harmful anger, critical spirit, blaming others, selfishness, hopelessness, fear of rejection, procrastination, etc.  When I see these in myself, I recognize I need to immediately work on my self esteem because continuing to exhibit these only makes my self esteem worse!  

When I see these symptoms in others, I recognize that it’s not about me, it’s about them and their struggle with self esteem issues too.  

But I have also learned, too much hanging around people with unhealthy self esteem does rub off, and makes my job of staying healthy a lot harder.  On the other hand, hanging out with positive, affirming people, it’s a lot easier keeping my self esteem healthy. It’s a fact. I’m just sayin.

I’ll pass on a quick tip for giving yourself an immediate lift in self-esteem.  It’s only 2 things, if you’re like me, you may need to do them daily (or even hourly!):

1) Forgive yourself, for whatever junk you’ve done, or imagined you’ve done.

2) Forgive others, who’ve done all kinds of rotten things to you.

Forgiveness works.  Trust me.

Affirm yourself with thoughts such as I’m conscientious, I’m a hard worker, I’m a good person, spouse, parent, sibling, or friend.  Decide to have joy and contentment in your life, even in the worst of situations. Allow yourself to be thankful for all that you do have.

Make a decision to stop judging yourself by impossible standards, just do your best, and continue to live your life as the imperfect human being that you are.  You will be replacing weak thoughts with strong, powerful ones.

This is not “pollyanna”, or “pie in the sky” thinking.  This is recognizing that your healthy self esteem is more important than all that other stuff.  Your health, your future, your life depends on it.

And, lastly, the ol’ saying, “never judge someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes” still applies today.  We have no idea what goes on in their lives, and until we do, why go there?

It’s really. Not. Healthy.

Olive U.

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4 Comments »

  1. capribythelake said,

    This is SO good mom, I’m going to link to you. I really loved everything you said!

  2. If people truly had good self esteem it would change their lives. Good self esteem touches every thing in you and everything you touch.

    I need to read this too. A good reminder to make sure I keep my self esteem healthy and to not let it slip and fall. Thanks.

    I love your writing! Keep it up!

  3. John said,

    I think I’ve heard this stuff somewhere before. I think my mom taught me this stuff.., oh wait, you are my mom!

  4. Jen H said,

    I really love this post and reading through the symptoms list (jealousy, pettiness, arrogance, laziness, harmful anger, critical spirit, blaming others, selfishness, hopelessness, fear of rejection, procrastination) it really exposes the harm that low self-esteem can create.

    I think I will list the opposite attributes of these symptoms, like: trustful, broad-minded, humble, disciplined, loving, motivated, hopeful, etc. and place them on my fridge to motivate myself.

    Good reminders to forgive others and yourself. Thank you so much for sharing.


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