How much do you love yourself? Do you tell yourself “I love you” often? Have you actually looked in the mirror and said those 3 words even once?…. What do you do every day to show the love you have for yourself?
These are the questions I have been asking myself recently, after some conversations with my coach. Precisely because, considering myself a happy person and always feeling content with my life, I had never reflected on the image I have of myself. And that is why today I want to share some ideas to help you make some of these reflections yourself. I have discovered many things and I am sure that you too could benefit.
When we talk about low self-esteem, we immediately think of people with lots of problems, toxic relationships, and even extremes such as alcoholism or drug addiction. However, by definition according to wikipedia:
Self-esteem is an individual’s subjective evaluation of their own worth. Self-esteem encompasses beliefs about oneself (for example, “I am unloved”, “I am worthy”) as well as emotional states, such as triumph, despair, pride, and shame. Smith and Mackie (2007) defined it by saying “The self-concept is what we think about the self; self-esteem, is the positive or negative evaluations of the self, as in how we feel about it.”
It is particularly interesting to me that it is a set of things, and not just one… that is, if we direct our attention to each of these elements: our perception, beliefs, thoughts, evaluations, feelings and behaviors, we can identify something like a puzzle, which defines the image we have of ourselves.
Doing a quick search for meaning of the word self-esteem, I come across some interesting phrases:
Self-esteem is related to self-image, which is the concept that one has of one’s own, and with self-acceptance, which is about self-recognition of qualities and defects.
It is used in everyday speech to refer, in a general way, to the value that a person places on himself.
And is this word “value or self-worth” which particularly strikes me … how much do you value yourself? What is the internal dialogue that you are tending towards your being? Internal dialogue is what you tell yourself every day, and that is what becomes your reality.
Good news is that self-esteem can be changed, and just as it can be negatively affected or influenced by external factors; It can also be cultivated and cared for internally. And just as we create a relationship with another person, we can create that relationship of appreciation and value with ourselves, and learn how to love ourselves more and better, through self-knowledge and self-acceptance.
And what are those? You may be wondering … Or maybe you are thinking that you already know yourself enough, you accept yourself as you are, and that is why you have no choice but to live “your fate.”
Well, I’m going to give you an example: while I was writing this post, I paused and thought that it was fine up to where it was, but that before finishing it, I should read a new book; to learn more about the topic of self-esteem, study it more, and then finish writing… Although I really like learning, I realised that at that moment what I was doing was mistrusting myself. Thinking (unconsciously) that my experience and the path that I have been through so far was not enough to bring up this topic on my blog… see?
I had not realised this before, and although it would surely be worth reading a book to share knowledge, what I wanted is to share here is my experience and through it inspire you to ask yourself these questions … To self-observe, so that you can “catch yourself” in thoughts that diminish you, limit you and stop you. Did I need to read another book for that?
According to Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs (Theory of Human Motivation):
The need for self-esteem is the need for balance in the human being, since it constitutes the fundamental pillar for the individual to become the successful person they have always dreamed of or a human being doomed towards failure, who can not accomplish anything on their own.
In my opinion, these are the two extremes – the state of complete balance and success, and failure. But what is in the middle spectrum of these two extremes? Where perhaps we have become used to living? … I would say that there is opportunity.
Opportunity to improve, to work on feeling better, on being better not for other people, but for yourself. To become that person you dream of being, so that you can create what you want for yourself.
And maybe you wonder, and why be better if I’m ok like that?…. And so I ask you: are you okay? … Not about other people, but about who you want to be.