Right Ladies lets talk about self-esteem. Self-esteem is the opinion we have of ourselves. You know you have a healthy self-esteem when you are positive about your self and life regardless of challenges. You flourish on a sunny day and take a rainy one by the chin. Nothing rattles your self-esteem allowing you to deal with the highs and lows in life. Sadly, on the contrary, some of us think we aren’t good enough, making it difficult to face life’s challenges. Such feelings and attitude towards ourselves can be damaging if left untamed. I would have to agree with Chris Williams when he says “Low self-esteem often changes people’s behaviour in ways that act to confirm the person isn’t able to do things or isn’t very good,” You start to behave as if you are not good enough and believe that your negative perceptions about you are true. Just as well, I also recovered from low self-esteem years back. I couldn’t get out of bed or better still feel like doing anything. My world came to a standstill. But how did all this happen?
Walking on the streets of London four years ago with a business plan in my portfolio, a memorised elevator pitch right on point. I had nothing but the confidence that my moment was here. Why wouldn’t it be now? I had worked so hard, had been to so many business events, had done a lot of market research and scouted for customers. I approached investors, philanthropists, banks but each time I got rejected. And yah not also forgetting Lady Rotchilds, one of the richest family investor. As the doors closed, my heart throbbed, and I could literally feel my self-esteem wearing out. I got to the point where I woke up one morning in my usual entrepreneurial spirit and looked into the mirror to psyche myself up. Instead, I felt my knees buckle and with that a loud voice telling me that there was nothing I could do to break a deal. “You are not cut out for this”, the voice quivered repeatedly. All of a sudden my exuberance went flying through the window. I began to doubt my potential, my abilities and capabilities. Self-doubt had just invaded and gotten under my skin. I became enslaved to it, I felt lonely, trapped and helpless. I freaking lost my self-esteem; the only weapon I had; that was my only arsenal; it just felt worse than the funding rejections. I got engulfed, consumed and rejected myself to an extent nothing made sense; I couldn’t try anything even if I wanted to. No-one could tell me I was any better, that I had it in me, that failure was intended for my growth One of my dearest friend send me a text message with this quote;
“When someone tells me “no,” it doesn’t mean I can’t do it, it simply means I can’t do it with them.” ― Karen E. Quinones Miller
There are no difficult questions to be asked when it comes to self-esteem, there are no taboos or conversations not to be had, neither are there any impossibilities but limitless options and choices. It is okay for you to cast doubt on any likely interventions but you will also realise that low self-esteem can be overcome. If you can’t tame this beast directly you ought to engage like an eagle that flies high up before it picks on its prey. This business of feeling unworthy, unlovable, less capable and of no use has no place in your life.
This needs some serious extermination, time for Charli’s angels I reckon. If there is one thing I am more than sure you can change, is the power to change how you view yourself. Only you can do you better than anyone. Who can argue with Maria Robinson when she explicitly says “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending”
I once lived a life where my mind and body were in constant antagonism. The mind would undo what the body wanted and vice versa. It was painful to be engulfed in the constant battle and I know low self-esteem hinders everything. I am shouting out to you and telling you that you are not alone. This beast can be outdone and the time to break the chains is now. These tips continue to help me and I find they resonate with many others.
Watch Your Internal Dialogue; Your internal dialogue can be your worst enemy. We all have had these strangling voices that bash our spirits. Stop letting your inner committee to shout and impose a destructive agenda in your life, and pay attention to the usual crap that comes from it. You hear them say, “you haven’t got what it takes, you aren’t good enough to find a good job, to start a business or be in a relationship”. Imagine the cruelness in a voice that tells you that you ain’t as good looking as your friends or your other colleagues have a better chance of being promoted. There is nothing positive that comes out of this. For what it’s worth, disband this committee with utmost urgency.
Start changing your views today and shield yourself away from this crap. Build yourself a voice that critics and silences your gremlins. As soon as they start pipping, just shout “Not Today”, “Just stop already” because “we are not going there again”, “you had your chance so you can’t take any more of me”. As you begin to drown the voices allow yourself time to re-focus and be more constructive.
Instead of saying things like ‘I’m not good enough’ or ‘I’m a failure’ you can start to turn things around by saying ‘I can beat this’ and ‘I can become more confident by viewing myself in a more positive way.’
It is not unusual for you to feel like falling back but now I know what they mean when they say ‘practice makes more perfect’. In the end, you will feel more confident, stronger and attain your utmost esteem.
Take small steps: As you traverse from low self-esteem, don’t expect an over-night transformation. There is no wisdom in rapidly accelerating your steps but trust and follow those small changes. As you go through this, re-learn yourself and identify when and why you feel certain ways-that is where the power of conquering poor self-esteem comes from. They say keep your friends close and enemies even closer for only a reason. The closer they are the more likely you can understand their tactics, strength and weakness. Likewise, put your gremlins under the microscope and analyse things that set them off. When you understand your weaker points you can at-least take guard and squash the inner voices before their vices get the better of you.
There is power in self-appreciation: It is a nice feeling to sit down at the end of the day and appreciate you, just you. You can start by picking 2 or 3 things you can appreciate about yourself. Why not even collect and put this in a jar.
You can re-visit your jar weeks later and go through all the stuff you have written about you, your achievements and accomplishments. You will be amazed on how this can boost your esteem and change your perspectives on things that could have put you down.
Do the right thing; Each time you set your mind and dig deeper to do the right thing you raise and strengthen your self-esteem. This can be you getting your health back, starting a gym class, establishing financial balance or pursuing your dreams. You need to stop feeling sorry for yourself but pull up your pants and take on opportunities and be grateful for what you have.
Avoid falling into the comparison trap; There is no joy when you compare your life to that of Mary and Jane. Your life is about you. How can you possibly be like another person when your traits, attributes and even character are defined by your unique DNA? There is nothing detrimental to your being, happiness and growth than comparison. Don’t get me wrong, we all learn from others, we pick what works, or what doesn’t through observation and interaction with peers but that’s as far as it goes. Don’t burden yourself by trying to look like the next person because the only price you get is self-destruction – you can never WIN. You need to change that tendency and look at how far you have come. The focus should be on you -on your achievements. Stand tall and declare yourself the winner.
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