Positive Vibes — I Like Me!
John: Instead of trying to fix yourself, what if you just accepted yourself as you were.
Of course, you can make changes to improve behaviors, but you should be happy when you look in the mirror and see your core self. Maybe that is the hardest thing – coming to grips with who you are and deciding that you are enough, that what you stand for is meaningful and important, and letting the right people come into your life who love you for who you are?
For much of my adolescent and adult life, I sought validation. Validation from girls, friends, coaches, teachers, anyone who I thought I could receive love or acceptance from, that is who I wanted it from.
Looking back it was all a mirage. As I sit here now, if I would have kept those people in my life, the relationships would have been horrifically superficial. Plus, why do you want anyone in your life who is not excited to see you, excited to share your dreams with, or talk to. Think about this for a second – if you share your dream with someone, and they say, are you sure you really want to do that?” don’t they go from friend to acquaintance really quick? At least for me they go.
Sandy, there was a post by Lauren Impraim on Tiny Buddha that hit home. She has decided to just accept herself as she is instead of trying to change herself. She says, “In our culture, we are constantly bombarded with the newest and best things to improve ourselves and/or our quality of life. Unfortunately, this leads to the belief that we need to obtain some sort of thing before we could accept ourselves as we are.”
What is your thought on this? I don’t believe that any amount of self-improvement can make up for a lack of self-acceptance, do you?
Sandy: Absolutely John! What we’re talking about here is self-esteem. When you have positive self-esteem you believe that you are a lovable, valuable, capable, competent person, treat yourself as such and expect others to do the same. (As Mr. Rogers used to tell us, “You are perfect just the way you are.”)
When you’re self-esteem is negative you don’t believe you have value as a human being, and often look to others for validation of your worth. Unfortunately, this strategy seldom works. Even if others love and appreciate you, if you don’t feel it from the inside, it doesn’t last. When someone is saying nice things about you it feels good, but when they leave you feel empty again.
Having positive self-esteem is hugely important, because it’s the cornerstone of a happy, healthy, successful life. When you believe in yourself you can withstand the slings and arrows others might throw at you. When you don’t, you let them penetrate and end up paralyzed with negativity and fear.
Positive self-esteem so important that I’ve written a book about it called Feeling Good About You. When you have good self-esteem you are equipped to deal with whatever life gives you, and when you don’t, everything is a bit more difficult.
Your level of self-esteem usually comes from your childhood, and the messages you gained from the people around you about how lovable and valuable you are. If the messages you received were loving and supportive, you were probably able to develop positive self-esteem. If they weren’t, you most likely developed negative self-esteem.
The good news is that if your self-esteem is low, once you understand where it came from, you have the power to change it. When you do that you will reclaim your power and it will change your life.
Also, once you’re clear on how valuable you are, you will be able to distance yourself from toxic people, as you have (congratulations on having the strength to do that.) As we grow we often outgrow relationships and need to let them go in order to find new ones that fit with the person we’ve become.
Also, many people think that self-esteem and self-confidence is the same thing. However, they are quite different, but that’s for another conversation.
Please comment so others can benefit from your wisdom and experience.
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