In sociology and psychology, self-esteem reflects a person’s overall subjective emotional evaluation of his or her own worth. It is a judgment of oneself as well as an attitude toward the self. Self-esteem encompasses beliefs about oneself, (for example, “I am competent”, “I am worthy”), as well as emotional states, such as triumph, despair, pride, and shame.
I have identified my own self esteem as low, and really looked at that over the last 16 months of therapy. I’ve explored where the aberrant thinking originates, and how subsequent experiences have magnified and reinforced that. I’ve picked over the consequences and tried to learn from my mistakes. I can appreciate that objectively I am a successful kind and worthwhile person who does her best to treat others well… I have recognised that I show significantly more compassion and care to others than I do to myself, and I have reflected on my mistakes and tried to forgive myself.
Now I feel that I’m moving on from a very low place, I catch glimpses of , if not profound happiness, then contentment. The ‘basics’ are in place: home feels safe, my finances are in a better place,
Looking at the above pyramid, the first two are now ok…. it’s a good base.
Looking upwards, I need to work on the self esteem issue. Passively waiting for things to improve is ok, and obviously change does not come overnight, but there are things I can actively do to help things along.
It helps that I am no longer doing anything that I actively “disapprove” of. I’m not drinking, which means I have none of the associated shame of hangovers, wasted time, embarrassment at what I might have said … I’m no longer living with a man I believe to be harming my children. Equally I’m no longer living with a man who actively puts me down , and thus I am much freer to develop positive feelings about myself.
I’ve been looking next at what I am NOT doing that I believe I should be …
First is some kind of regular exercise… I used to run; not fast and not that far, but I did run… I enjoyed it, and more importantly it made me feel good about myself. Running is a good option, because you don’t need expensive equipment, a gym, or to travel anywhere, you just put on your running shoes and go … so my next plan is to start running again. Gently, not pushing myself too hard, but just getting out there will boost my self esteem …
And next week I’m going to get my hair cut and coloured. I’m going to go through my wardrobe and make a charity shop run of the things I no longer wear.
The second thing I’m going to do, in a 6 month project, is look at decluttering… not in a hurry, but methodically … so that by the end, Everything has a “home” and I can find everything I want /need.
And last, but not least, I am going to pay some attention to my diet. It’s pretty hit and miss right now, some days I eat very well, and others I exist on chocolate and biscuits. Again, one step at a time, I’m going to improve my diet …. with the goal of eliminating (or at least reducing) snacking on junk, and increasing my vegetable intake.
I hope these three things, quite simple in themselves, will help me in my project of boosting my self esteem …