Updated: Feb 21, 2020
The dictionary definition of Self-Esteem is “confidence in one's own worth or abilities; self-respect.”
With this said, in my practice I am consistently meeting clients who proclaim they have poor or low self-esteem. Needless to say the effects of this limited thinking is not only detrimental to achieving their goals, but it also impacts every aspect of their lives.
I was lucky to have a Mother who was a feminist and a humanist, who taught me at a very young age to never allow my gender or race to affect my ability to achieve my goals. She told me I was beautiful and smart and allowed me to pursue my interests no matter what they were. Now, by no means did I have the perfect childhood, and there were events that should have crushed me, but I am resilient and that allows me to keep pushing forward and fighting,
Being resilient really has an effect on how well you cope with what the world throws at you. What we think of ourselves is directly linked to that. I recently picked up the book “Option B”. It is about building resilience and finding your joy. This book appeals to me because I strongly believe in the premise. The struggle I have as a coach is helping my clients build their resilience and self-esteem when some have been beaten down since childhood. As a coach it is not my job to explore the “why”, it’s my job to help you create the “how”…. How to move forward and not allow these personal blocks to limit you.
I coach brilliant woman who are smart, funny, beautiful and immensely talented. What makes me want to scream is that most of them have no idea that’s who they are. They consistently get in their own way. Now, I am a woman who thinks because she can parallel park on either side of the street that makes me a Goddess, so with that said I am frustrated and angry when faced with this hurdle. My success is connected to my clients achieving their goals. So, it has forced me to exam my approach to the subject when it arises and surrender my own personal feelings and ego. I can’t force you to see your own worth and abilities, but I can help you paint a picture of what those things look like and how to move forward.
I have developed a series of questions that has helped to move clients forward when the low self- esteem belief rears its ugly head. I have also created a step by step process so you can try to help clear the way to building your self-esteem. Here they are:
1. Meditate – basically this is rule number one no matter what is happening in your life. For those who are new to the practice of meditation there are some great apps you can try. “Head Space” is excellent for beginners or those who haven’t practiced in some time. There is a limited number of free sessions and then a subscription follows. I suggest you try it for a year and when you have “mastered” the art you can download a free timer and continue. Oh, did I mention that meditation is a lifelong practice…yep!
2. Take stock/Clean House – Who is in your life and what role do they play? This goes for friends, family, colleagues etc. Are they lifting you up or tearing you down? There are some people who you have to let go of, even if you have been friends since the 7th grade. If that “friend” puts you down and does not support you when you are trying to go for yours then that is not someone you need to be around. Are you holding on to an old flame who is practically ashes now? You wouldn’t leave stale molding cheese in your fridge because you love cheese, so don’t hold onto relationships that don’t make you feel good or Bring.You.Joy. If you cannot completely get rid of negative people, then create boundaries and distance.
3. Break Free from the Past – There are people who hold on to traumatic events that have happened in their past and allow the experience to dictate every aspect of their future. Look, you wouldn’t keep regurgitating the meal you had last month as your constant source of nutrients. Take the lesson from the situation and let that shit go! Literally treat it like your digestive system. For those folks who want to poke holes in my food-based analogy, I am fully aware the body stores excess energy into fat, but don’t nobody want that either! Bye!
Joking aside, if you are struggling to move past old experiences… seek help. Therapy is a wonderful gift of self-love!
4. Resolve Your Inner Conflict – Make peace with yourself! Forgive yourself for the missteps. Meditation will help you quiet that inner voice that is constantly nagging at you and doubting you, making you question every little choice you make. Recognize your ego and know that it does not define you and it does not have the ability to make the best life choices for you. A colleague of mine once told me “Your ego is not your amigo” -MDR
5. Tap Into Your Personal Power & Move Forward – Living life to the fullest is such a wonderful thing, operating from a place of love is a great space to live. Knowing you are worthy of goodness in all aspects of your life is the attitude you need to take. Affirmations are an excellent way to gain or regain that lost power.
Below is a list of wonderful books that will help you move in the right direction.
*You Can Heal Your Life – Louise Hay
*Option B – Sheryl Sandberg & Adam Grant
*The Self Esteem Workbook – Glenn R Schiraldi, PhD
*Spiritual Liberation: Fulfilling Your Soul’s Potential – Michael Bernard Beckwith