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Self-esteem is how we feel about ourselves.
The words we use to describe ourselves reflect whether our esteem is high or not.
It has very little to do about how we or others see as the physical presentation but how we feel toward ourselves.
A person could have high esteem regarding their weight but to another, with the same height and weight, feelings may induce low self-esteem.
With this in mind, it would be unfair to state that everyone should possess the same physical qualities as another.
Magazine articles and pictures of super slim models induce a standard that states beauty is having this particular size. Beauty manufacturers make millions each year selling products that are supposed to make you feel a particular way.
Lifestyle critics will have you believe that by not having what their values on how to live is below standard.
These organisations make their money on preying upon our self-esteem. If a standard was not epitomised, then people would not readily spend their cash buying these products to 'enhance' their features, to reach the epitome.
However, you may feel a slight or monumental increase in your esteem if you were of perfect weight, of perfect complexion and lived in a fantastic house but even all this would not guarantee long lasting self-esteem; because self-esteem relies solely on your feelings.
There are many people who appear to have all the attributes to being happy but are not. Why is this? It is because how they feel about themselves is what influences their self-esteem, not what they may or may not have.
Self-esteem cannot be bought or sold. It cannot, either be traded. It can however, be tampered with or damaged and levels can be lowered.
We can blame others for the demise of our self-esteem but the truth is that our esteem comes from our own feelings about how we feel about ourselves.
Therefore, it is us that allow our esteem to come into disrepair. This is within our control. We decide how we interpret information. We decide what we do with this information. We attach our own meanings to this information. Therefore, it is us that damages or allows damage to be done to our self-esteem.
Some people may find these statements difficult to accept. They are still blaming others for the interpretations they personally make with the information they receive. No one can make you believe and feel something if you do not already believe and feel something about that information.
"You're ugly" is something you already believe to be true about you or not. Someone making this statement to or about you does not validate its truth. You decide whether it is true or not.
If you did not consciously believe this statement but it was easy to convince you to believe and feel that you are ugly; it is because you held those thoughts about you in your sub-conscience. You already believed this about yourself. All that just happened was someone saying about you what you already believe to be true about you.
What things are you saying about yourself? Be honest and put a number between 1 and 10, 1 being low and 10 being high about the following:
- Do you consider yourself pretty?
- Do you have good relationships with others?
- Are you happy with your career prospects?
- Do you consider yourself to be intelligent?
- What about common sense, how would you rate yours?
- Do you consider yourself to have a particular talent?
- Do you like yourself?
- Would you want to be someone different?
- Are you happy?
Now total your score. Highest possible score is 100. Whilst is may not be impossible to score 100, the likelihood of doing so is very low.
50 - 60 a moderate level of self-esteem that reflect some areas requires making some improvement.
61 - 75 indicates some level of balance although would still benefit from addressing areas of concern.
76 - 100 would be considered having high self-esteem.
Scores of 49 and under would reflect low self-esteem and be on a sliding gradient; 29 would be far lower than 39.
How did you do? Were you really honest with your scoring? Are you surprised about your score? Do you need to raise your self-esteem?
If the answer is 'YES' or even if you want to raise the score in certain areas, continue to read further.
As learnt previously, self-esteem is about feelings about us. To address the areas of low esteem, we must take a closer look at why we feel the way we do about it.
Can you pinpoint a situation that made you now view the way you feel? If you can, write down what happened, if you cannot, try to think carefully by going back into your past to try to identify when your feelings changed? It is very important that you begin to understand why you feel the way you do. By naming a belief is on route to dispelling old truths.
- Did someone say something to you that you began to consciously believe?
- Are you measuring up to other people and not feeling up to scratch?
- What values do you hold about your thoughts?
Our values help to shape our thoughts, feelings and behaviour. If our value on weight is to be stick skinny, anything that does not reflect this would cause concerns for the believer. If our value on relationships is being single signifies unworthiness, then being in a relationship would be very important to us.
Are the areas where you scored low reflective of your values? How do you measure intelligence? Do you allow others to inform you on the levels that act as the demarcation?
Do not read any further until you can identify the reason for the low scores, why you feel the way you do. Once this goal has been achieved, we need to alter the perception of our current viewpoint.
Confidence is when we feel that we can achieve a task or perform something that requires little or no effort.
Name 1 thing that you do effortlessly or with little thought to completing. Now think about doing this thing that you do effortlessly and write down how you feel about it. What do you feel? Describe the feelings and thoughts. Hold onto the feeling and listen to your thoughts on this subject. What words are you using? Write these down. Now look at what you have written and try to understand how positive these words are. Understand how these words evoke positive feelings. You have just witnessed a high level of esteem.
Now look at one of the earlier questions and pick one to increase its score, an area of concern.
Why did you score how you scored? What would you need as support to feel more positive about this area of concern? Who could help you? What can you do to score higher? Would you do this? How important is it to you to score higher?
You may want to score higher but do not fully believe that you can, you may have doubts. This is normal when you are re-training your current thoughts and feelings.
For example, if weight is an area of concern for you, what would make you happy about your weight? If losing weight is the answer, what can you do to achieve this? What support do you need and from who? How would achieving your ideal weight make you feel? Describe and write these feelings down.
Again look at your words and attach in your conscience both conscious and sub-conscious the positive feelings you would have. Imagine if you weighed your perfect weight now, how are you feeling?
Do you now understand that you are the one that has evoked these feelings? Prepare and achieve your weight goal, use the description you wrote previously as a constant reminder of how you are feeling as your weight decreases in your mind. Even on day one, you can achieve positive feelings about an area of concern, you are now hopeful.
You are no longer believing and feeling the same way you did about your area of concern. You now have a plan. You have changed your perception therefore, by default, changed your esteem levels.
It may not be high but it is higher than before and as you work towards your goal, it will continue to grow. You must tell yourself regularly how your ideal weight makes you feel, even when you have not reached this goal yet. You must believe that you achieving your goal and can feel happy on route to this. You are re-defining and re-training your thoughts on this area of concern.
It can be argued that this area of concern plays into the hands of the big organisations that make millions preying on those with low self-esteem. However, it is not simply a case of this. You are now viewing and feeling about your weight differently, now more positively.
Some of these organisations can help you to achieve your goal but you no longer feel a sense of worthlessness or below standard when confronted by articles on weight. It is your feelings that have changed, that have now increased your self-esteem.
The area of concern right now as you read this is exactly the same in the physical sense. However, the difference now is the feelings you have towards yourself. Change in perception requires action. These actions are not easily definable as your route to change can be and will be different to another.
What is the same is the change in your feelings about you, your self-esteem. As stated previously, self-esteem is based on the feelings you hold about yourself.
As you read and worked this guide, you began to learn how you are in control of your esteem and it is up to you to change a negative into a positive.
My name is Marcea Hibbert-Roye, qualified Social Worker and Life Coach. I currently run a company as Strategic Lead Developer for Women. My specialism is developing emotional awareness in females.
I have different strategies for raising aware and I have devised a 6 Step Program that promotes good emotional health by accessing information held in the subconscious mind to the conscious mind. The result is having more control over thoughts, feelings and behaviour.
Being a female can be challenging but when you have a good sense of identity many issues in life becomes weaker. It is knowing who you are that is key to defining your happiness. Start today to commit to you, to learn more about you.
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