2014 has truly been a year of growth for me personally. As you may know, in the midst of seeing a counselor for anxiety, I was also diagnosed with ADD. I have always felt different, but never knew why. Growing up with this undiagnosed disorder made life very challenging as both a child and an adult. In effect, lowering much of my self-confidence and self-esteem.
Now that I have answers to many of the struggles I have dealt with my entire life, I have started learning healthy ways to combat some of my many challenges. Since establishing some new skills to cope with anxiety and ADD, my life is starting to look not so out-of-control as it once had. The process of getting my life more organized has lead to building self esteem within me. It is still quite low, but I am a never-ending work in progress.
Just to clarify things a little bit before I go on, Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence are two different things.
Self-Esteem is your thoughts on your overall self-worth. In other words, being comfortable in your strengths and weaknesses. It is feeling content in your own skin.
On the other hand, Self-Confidence is how you view your abilities to do something. It’s overcoming obstacles and believing in your strengths.
Building Self Esteem
I have been aware of a low self-esteem issue with me for a while now, but how do you measure your self-esteem? Here are some basics for you to decide whether or not you have healthy self-esteem.
Acceptance of Self
Self-acceptance is loving yourself just the way you are. A person with health self-esteem will accept their flaws, change what they can, and accept what cannot. Accepting myself as is has been one of my biggest challenges. I’ve always felt that my weaknesses are so vast. However, I am looking at my weaknesses as my strengths these days. I believe that the weaknesses I have, are in place for me to learn and grow from them, and, if possible help others along the way.
Acceptance of Others
When someone has a healthy self-esteem, they will be able to accept others. Accepting others doesn’t mean putting up wrong treatment, but it mean overlooking minor faults and being forgiving of them. Acceptance of others also involves not being in competition with them. When you have a healthy self-esteem, you will not feel the need to compete with others, or to put others down. Being accepting of others is one category where I demonstrate the most self-esteem. I am well aware of the fact that I have many faults, so who am I to judge anyone else? I’m not a very competitive person, so I rarely feel the need to go head-to-head with anyone!
Acceptance of Life Situation
For a person to be truly happy, they need to learn to go along with whatever direction life takes them. A healthy self-esteem is evident when even though something may go wrong; the individual can go with the flow and make the situation work. When someone’s self-esteem is weak, this is very difficult and sometimes impossible to do. It takes a strong sense of self-esteem to be able to overcome the many rapid changes life throws at us, and to do so with grace. I do have problems with change. I am trying to be more adaptable, but it does throw me off kilter!
An individual with healthy self-esteem will view the world as a place where they can learn and grow in a positive way. When someone lacks self-acceptance, they will not see life this way. To a person with low self-esteem, the world can seem dangerous and cold. You can determine a lot about your self-esteem by how you think about almost everything around you. Is your glass half empty or half full? Your answer will likely give you your answer as to your level of self-esteem. More often than not, my glass is frequently half full!
When your self-esteem is healthy, you will be more likely to put yourself into situations that require confidence, and less likely to back out of things due to fear. Someone who has self-esteem and the confidence that comes with it will be comfortable trying new things, even if it means making a mistake. Healthy self-esteem allows you to understand that making mistakes is a normal part of life and that you can move on without regrets. Ahhh, yes, this is one of my biggest struggles. I frequently back out of things due to fear of failure. I also tend to be more meek, becoming the follower rather than a leader.
Healthy self-esteem is the building block of a satisfying life. When you have it, you will find life to be a positive experience full of learning and growth. Without it, life will feel like one obstacle after another. By learning what healthy self-esteem is, you can make a choice to build this important attribute in your life and build the life you desire.
How is your self-esteem fairing? Do you find yours to be healthy, or does it need some work?
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