Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Healthy Sense of Self!

self-esteem
Self-esteem (Photo credit: Key Foster)
by Linda Hancock

So many people live their lives as though they are hot jello. When it is poured out, it flows into all the cracks!

They are so busy trying to fix other people or do what others demand that they either never develop a healthy sense of self or lose it in the process of putting others first.

They never allow themselves to "set" and therefore can't handle the shake-ups of life without running all over the place - physically, emotionally, spiritually, relationally and financially.

Sometimes they blame their upbringing and state that they were raised in an abusive or bullying environment where they were required to meet the needs of everyone else while neglecting their own.

Some people, who have low self-esteem, claim that the only way they will feel good about themselves is if they put all their time and effort into pleasing others. A third group is just petrified that if they express their own opinions or ask to have their needs met, they will be viewed as selfish.

Well, before you take off in an airplane, the flight attendant provides excellent safety advice for both your travel and your everyday life. "If there is an emergency, a mask will fall from the ceiling. Put it on yourself FIRST, and then help the person beside you."

But you don't have to wait for an emergency and actually shouldn't leave it that long before ensuring that your needs are met.

I often tell my clients that I am just like a baby. If I don't eat right and don't sleep - I cry! On the other hand, I am a better mother, therapist and friend when I am rested. I am more interesting when I take time to do interesting things. I have more self-respect when I take care of the things that I value.

Imagine what a bowl of jello is like after it is set. It has some flexibility and wiggles a bit when shaken but it stays together and doesn't slide into all the cracks. That is a good image for a healthy lifestyle. You need to be somewhere between being too fluid and too rigid.

Metacognition is an interesting word that means "knowing about knowing". When you know yourself - your values, needs, and boundaries - and behave in a manner that honours them, you do better than if you just wander through life letting everyone else tell you what to do!

So, begin by writing down all the things that are important to you - not to your children, or relatives or neighbours or friends - but to you. And then start creating a plan that will allow you to meet your needs and bring joy into your life.

Then you will be set for pretty well anything - just like jello!

And now I would like to invite you to claim your Free Instant Access to a complimentary list of 10 Steps to Making Your Life an Adventure when you visit http://lindahancock.com

From Dr. Linda Hancock, Registered Psychologist and Registered Social Worker.

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