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When people believe in themselves they have the first secret of success. ~Norman Vincent Peale

How do you feel about yourself? Are you happy with yourself? Are you confident in your life? Think of these for a bit and notice how you feel in your heart. Is it where you want it to be? If not do you wonder how to get more self-esteem? Well for starters, it’s up to you as always.

“How do I feel about myself and who I am as a person?” Self-esteem answers this question. We learn this from our family and our culture and the events that happen as we grow. This is not an inherited thing.

There are different kinds of self-esteem. There is situational self-esteem and is about what we do. This is always changing depending on the events, roles and the circumstances in our lives. It can be high one moment and then then hit rock bottom the next. For example it can be high at home and low at work depending on the environment. Then we have global self-esteem and this is “who we are”. This is our constant.

When you are being negative about yourself, is low self-esteem. We usually feel this way when something negative our hurtful happens to us and we do not have the inner strength or tools to deal with or to respond to it in a positive way. We seem to then take the situation or incident personal and we burry it deep within our being and we tend to carry it with us until we learn to release it or learn to turn it into something positive. Most often than not we tend to just let it grown within us. When we keep this in we tend to experience physical changes as well as emotional. Then it seems that we become self-destructive and we end up hurting those around us as we continue to hurt ourselves. We lose our self and who we are and who we can be.

Guess what happens then? We then, it seems, begin to fight back the only way we know and that is by trying to control everything in our lives and the people in it as well.

Global self-esteem is not set. You can raise it but know that it is not an easy task. This esteem grows as we begin to face our fears. That is the key. To face them and to learn from them and from our experiences in life as we travel through it.

How can you do this? I will share with you know what I have done and what I have learned throughout my life.

First if you are addicted to something, get sober! Get help in a program because if you don’t do this first it will be near to impossible to raise your self-esteem. Addictions block learning from the events in your life by clouding your mind and judgment.

Change aspect of your life. Make life changes, read different books, find friends that support you and the you that you want to become. Focus on your health and your life and change it.

During this process try to identify your triggers and make note of them, those things that bring you down. Learn to look at criticism as a lesson and not a negative event and quit taking it personally. They are just words, nothing more and nothing less. Face your fear by accepting the criticism.

Slow down your reactions to things. Do not personalize things that occur in your life.

Notice the good things and cherish them. Respond to situations that normally bring you down by responding to them rather than just noting them.

Experience feelings. “Feel” feelings in your body and identify your needs. When we do not respect our feelings, we are left to rely on what others want and believe.

Optional thinking. End either/or thinking. Think in “shades of gray” and learn to reframe meanings. By giving ourselves options, we open ourselves to new possibilities about how to think about our dilemmas.

Detachment. End all abuse; say “no” to misrepresentations and assumptions. By maintaining personal boundaries, we discourage abuse by others and assert our separateness.

Assertion. Voice what you see, feel, and want by making “I” statements. By expressing our thoughts, feelings, and desires in a direct and honest manner, we show that we are in charge of our lives.

Receptivity. End self-absorption; listen to others’ words and meanings to restate them. In this way, we act with awareness of our contribution to events as well as empathize with the needs of others.

With all of this that I am sharing and have learned throughout my life there is only one thing that can make the difference. That difference is YOU.