March 22, 2018

Boosting Self-Esteem


Have you ever noticed that your belief in your self worth dominates your sense of your value in the world? We’re trained from an early age to value ourselves in measurable ways including how much money we earn; the results we produce in the world; how successful our children are; where we live and so on. These aspects of esteem are consistent with the capitalist society paradigm, and with the elements of media-defined beauty.

If we look deeper into genuine esteem, it’s not about social acceptance or material measures. It’s a process in and of itself and we are constantly in touch with it through that little voice in our head that judges and evaluates everything we think, say and do. It’s our narrator, our inner critic and our witness and it is always talking to us. Because the voice is private and no one else can hear it, it seems like it’s who we are. It’s very convincing that it’s on our side and knows what’s best for us.

Every child develops this voice from the messages received from outside itself ~ from parents, school, church, siblings, the media. It doesn’t take long for our natural esteem to become overwhelmed by the power of society. Don Miguel Ruiz calls it “domestication” in his book, The Four Agreements. We are literally trained by these messages to constantly compare ourselves to social status and judgment. That inner voice can become a faulty filter that informs our reality and our actions. It’s such an intrinsic filter that it appears to be reality and truth ~ that’s how powerful it is. I have come to call this my inner terrorist.

Not sure about this? Take an hour and tune in to your thoughts, the ones that are constantly going through your head. For most of us, the voice is negative, critical and judgmental. The good news is that we can endow ourselves with healthy self-esteem. It takes commitment, focus and repetition, and we can literally reprogram that voice into one that’s positive and loving.

How to do this?

Tune into your deepest essential self and listen for the feeling tone in your life that makes you shine and feel whole, that allows you to feel your heart and radiates from there. This is the tone we long to hear from others, and it’s the tone to practice with ourselves. Practicing it on the inside first will then attract it from others. This works from the inside out and that’s why it’s called self-esteem. It’s the tone, the words and the intention that all add up to a powerful and positive shift.

Write yourself a loving letter. Tell yourself all the traits you appreciate about you, all the things that are great about you. Tell yourself what you love about you and how the world is better with you in it. Write the letter on pretty paper or a card and mail it to yourself. When you receive it and read the letter, know that the truth is contained here. Keep the letter in a place where you can see it often and allow it to inspire you with the truth.

When you go to bed at night, tell yourself three things you appreciate about yourself from that day. Tell yourself things like, “My new haircut highlights the beauty of my smile.” “I felt peaceful in my heart in that meeting and others calmed down.” “I made the best dinner tonight!”

When you go to sleep feeling happy and appreciated you will not only sleep better, but wake up feeling happy and refreshed. Over time, you’ll notice that the nature of your thoughts has shifted into more love for you and that translates into higher self-esteem. Have fun with this shift and let me know how it goes for you.

© 2012 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
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This blog is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

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