|Kiwi Loco with my three lovelies (just had to share)|
As Jesse and I watched her growing anxiety and increased feelings of self-doubt we talked about how we could help her develop a sense of security in her ability to make decisions. It's hard to explain, but she had me pick her clothes out every night because she didn't trust herself to choose well. She also constantly asked us simple questions like how many blankets or pillows she should sleep with. It was very sad to see.
In each of my children I see areas of their lives where they've developed a strong sense of self worth and other areas where they seem to flounder and seek constant confirmation and aproval. Like most parents, I want to help my children develop those skills that will enable them to cope with lifes' many challenges.
Recovering from a stroke has been a slow hard road for me, but I've learned some things about myself and how to become a stronger person. Not being able to talk well has been a challenge (I still stutter under stress and people are constantly asking me to repeat myself because I slur) but it has also taught me the need to cope with a changing body.
The most important lesson I've learned is that the greatest impact on my success or failure in this life lies within myself. My success is in the strength I have to overcome my weaknesses.
With that said...here is my post on how to improve self esteem.
Self esteem is defined as "a confidence and satisfaction in oneself" and "the personal value, self-respect and self-worth that you place on yourself".
Symptoms of low self esteem are:
- can't handle criticism
- negative thinking and self-talk
- critical of yourself and others
- don't care about your physical appearance
- make excuses
- can't express feelings
- dependent on others
- no boundaries
- can't laugh
- isolation from others
- feel hopeless
- need material possessions
- fear change
Improved Self Esteem in a Week
Day One- take care of yourself. The very first thing Jaden was told to do to escape being bullied was to brush his teeth, comb his hair and look put together before heading off to school. Getting out of bed a little earlier can seem impossible, but looking good leads to feeling good.
Day Two- be true to yourself. As you live the life you want to live you will grow to respect yourself more. There is no need to compare ourselves to others because we will never measure up to what we think others are. Just a word of advice: they aren't. A lot of things happen behind closed doors that you will never know about. We each have our own cross to bear. Some privately and others publicly.
Day Three- think positive. We hear that "you are what you eat". Well, you are what you think also. "Negative feelings like guilt, anger, and depression do not result from the bad things that happen to you, but from the way you think about these events. " -David Burns, Author of Ten Days to Self-Esteem
Day Four- get intimate. The positive energy exchanged by touching and hugging those we love can give us great strength and confidence. When I couldn't talk Dallin would crawl in bed next to me and scrunch his body up against mine. The strength I felt from him is hard to describe but it buoyed me up and helped me press forward.
Day Five- talk nice. Think of how the Lord must see you and tell yourself all the beautiful positive things he would if he were sitting next to you. Positive self-talk helps us grow to believe what we are telling ourselves. Accounts of near death experiences often tell of the great love Christ has for us as individuals.
Day Six- get naked. Yes it sounds weird, but Adam and Eve loved being given a body. Stand and look at your body and you can find the beauty in it. The soft skin, intense eyes, curves and lines, bumps and lumps and everything else that contributes to your amazing body, a gift from God made in his own image.
Day Seven- break out of your prison. Take some initiative and get out of bed or off the couch to serve and help someone around you. Whether it be stopping by to visit a sick or lonely neighbor or putting a Hershey kiss on each pillow in your home your spirit will be lifted and you will find a smile on your face as you give to others.
I hope that these ideas can help someone else out there. I know they have helped me.
"No one can make you feel inferior without your permission."
- Eleanor Roosevelt