Monday, August 10, 2015

Build & recover self-esteem

If you're like most of us, you occasionally go through periods of self-doubt, times when your self-confidence flags. Worse than that, sometimes we as women don't even have a good solid dose of self-esteem to begin with.

If either of those things are true about you, don't worry. You're in good company. And the good news is that you don't have to stay in that place of low self-esteem or lack of confidence. You can change your perspective and your attitude toward your self. If it's simply that your confidence has fallen, for one reason or another, think back to times of success in your life—or times when you've been praised for who you are or something you've done. You've felt affirmed, respected and loved. Remember how that feels—and remind yourself that you're still that same person. Nothing has changed but your own perspective and attitude. Try a couple things to change that:

• Find photos of you in happier, successful days—or letters of praise and affirmation you've saved (I keep a file that I call "Good Letters" in which I keep some of those so I can look at them when I'm down and need a boost).
• Visualize yourself successful, happy and in your best frame of mind.
• Create some daily affirmations to post on your mirror as reminders. Some examples are: "I am worthy of all the good in my life." "I always do the best I can with what I know." "I am strong and able to ask for help." "No matter what others say or do, I am still a good person."
• Talk with a trusted family member or friend—that's where we can gain support and encouragement until we can give it to ourselves again.

If it's a matter of low self-esteem, that can be changed, too. Some of the above examples can help. Also try to change the messages you give yourself from negative ("Why did you do that, Stupid?") to loving and positive ("You are always so thoughtful of others"). And take care of yourself, knowing you are worth the time and attention. (If you don't believe that yet, act as though it's true, and soon enough, you will feel the truth of it!) Accept yourself and your body as it is. Say "No" to things you don't want to do without feeling guilty. And learn to accept compliments by simply saying "Thank you."

If you would like some coaching around this topic, I invite you to contact me for a complimentary strategy session.

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