You self-worth is more important than your net worth. – Anonymous
I had a weekend full of celebrations last month, including my niece’s 12th birthday and 6th grade graduation. Her parents are quite proud of how well she’s done in school and we all can’t wait to see what she does in middle school! After the graduation ceremony, we discovered that her teacher had given her the “Laughter Award (for the ability to see humor in everyday life).” While I can certainly understand the instinct to look at this award with some skepticism, I took the opportunity to affirm her and point out one of her strengths. I reminded her that people who laugh a lot have the ability to deal with the hard stuff in life a whole lot better than those with no sense of humor.
Self-esteem has to do with how you regard yourself–how much self-love you have. Self-confidence is how you feel about your abilities. When your self-esteem increases, so does your self-confidence.
Top 5 indicators of healthy self-esteem:
•Deciding what is really meaningful to you in life, rather than keeping up appearances
•The ability to enjoy success but not take it (or failure) too seriously. You are not what you achieve.
•Being honest about your strengths and weaknesses. Everyone has weaknesses, including the person you think is better or has it easier than you.
•Knowing what you have to offer the world/finding life meaning and purpose
•Assertiveness. Learning to speak up in a healthy way will prevent negative feelings from building internally. You’ll be less stressed, depressed, and anxious if you practice assertiveness. For more on this, see my recent post.
If you are struggling to find your strengths, listen to those you love. What do you your loved ones say about you? What do they say you are good at? Open the door to self-esteem by allowing others to build you up.
The next time you hear yourself begin a sentence with any of the following phrases, stop and ask yourself, “Would I say this to a friend? If not, why on earth would I say that to myself?”
“I’ll never _____.”
“I’m such a _____.”
“I should ____.”
“If I hadn’t ____, I would have ___.”
There will never be another you. Think about that! Your unique combination of personality, temperament, talents and abilities – will never be duplicated.
Have you heard yourself lately? What is that voice saying? Put an end to the negative self-talk. See my recent post for ways to conquer negative self-talk.
This article is intended for general education purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional counseling or medical care. If you are interested in seeking professional counseling, please call The Stone Foundation at 410-296-2004.
Elicia McIntyre, a licensed clinical social worker, and graduate of Smith College School for Social Work, has 15 years’ experience providing counseling to adults, children and families in the Baltimore-Washington metro area. She has helped clients navigate life transitions, depression, anxiety and relationship difficulties. Elicia helps couples increase emotional intimacy, and foster healthy connections among family members. She has spent the past 3 years traveling nationally and overseas, providing education and intervention to military service members and their families on communication, stress management and building healthy relationships.