Tag Archives: love yourself

7 Ways to improve your self esteem

 

improve self esteem

7 Ways to improve your self esteem

There are three parts to your self concept. Your self ideal – how you would like to be, your self-image, how you actually see yourself, think about yourself as you go about your activities and  your self esteem – how you feel about yourself. This is the emotional part of your self esteem. It is the key to happiness and personal effectiveness.

Your level of self esteem is determined by two factors: the first is how valuable and worthwhile you feel as a person (how much you like and accept yourself) and the second factor is your feeling of self-efficacy. This is how competent and able you feel you are in whatever you do. These two parts reinforce each other – when you feel good about yourself you perform better.

How you feel about yourself is largely determined by how you talk about yourself so it pays to talk to yourself in a positive manner. See yourself as competent and capable and as a likeable person. I even tell clients to repeat loudly “I love myself, I am wonderful”. They laugh and it feels awkward at first but it does work! Liking yourself is healthy.

Everything you believe about yourself today is learned – it is a perception, it isn’t fact. We come into the world without a self concept and we learn about ourselves by how others treat us and by life experiences.

The biggest hurdle in life to us all is fear. Fear robs us of happiness and opportunity. We try to stay safe in our comfort zone. The more you like yourself, the more likely you are to take actions that propel you out of your comfort zone.

  1. Visualise

Get in the habit of visualising positive outcomes, see it and feel it in your mind’s eye. Repeat these visualisations regularly. Immerse yourself in it, think about it often. Create a visualisation board – put together images of how you want your life to be and look at the images regularly.

2. Affirmations

Programme yourself by regularly repeating positive affirming statements such as “Everything is unfolding as it should.” or “I am safe and loved”. Write them on post-it notes and leave them around your home so that you ‘programme’ yourself regularly.

3. Verbalisation

Say the affirmations out loud. Hear the positive words. “I can do it”. Also, when you insist to others that you can or will do something it has a powerful impact on your thinking and behaviour.

4. Act the part

Walk, talk and act exactly as you would if you were already the person you’d want to be – more confident or more self assured. How would you sit and stand? Think about a celebrity or family member you admire and respect and copy their behaviour if it helps.

5. Feed your mind

Read books and magazines consistent with the direction you want to go in.

6. Associate with positive people

Seeking out inspiring people will help you to make the most of yourself and see things in a positive manner.  A very uplifting experience.

7. Teach others

You become what you teach. Forget what you were in the past, discard past labels, work towards living and being the person you want to be.

You will become what you think about most of the time.

Mandy X

Love yourself

 

happy woman photo

Love yourself – A contract with yourself

Not enough people really like themselves – that’s a fact. This world would be a better place if people liked themselves more. I believe we would have less hangups, get on with others more and the world would be a nicer place if we all respected and honoured ourselves more.

Here is a contract to make with yourself, a promise to love and cherish yourself and to do the best you can to reach your full potential:

I, ____________________ promise to love and cherish myself. I promise to treat myself with respect and be assertive with those that do not treat me well. I will make every effort to be true to myself and follow my own path instead of continuously pleasing others and putting my needs last. I need to look after myself first in order to be a ‘together’ person and/or a better partner and/or parent.

I will do my best to recognise and make the most of opportunities that come my way and will try to keep a good balance in my life between work and leisure.

I will remind myself regularly and repeatedly about my strengths and achievements and will talk to myself as if I was my own best friend. I deserve love and kindness and will do my best to treat others the same way.

 

Signed______________________________   Date__________________________________

 

You can add/delete any parts and make up your own contract with yourself. I have signed a contract with myself and keep it at the front of my diary. I read it every now and then when I realise I am going ‘off track’ and not putting myself first.

It’s a great reminder of my self worth!

Mandy X

 

Love yourself

 

happy woman photo

Love yourself

Believe it or not, when resilience is called for it is often those who have self belief and love themselves who are more successful than the talented ones. Self belief often wins over talent. I would say that the majority of my clients do not love themselves. In fact, I would say it’s the exception rather than the rule to find someone who has tons of self belief and really likes themselves.

Someone may have all the trappings of success, such as a great job, a wonderful family and financial stability yet they can still feel empty and unhappy because they do not like themselves enough and as result they never really enjoy the fruits of their labour. There is always something missing.

You are far better off if you possess healthy positive feelings about yourself and take pride in who you are than possessing all the riches on the earth.

Many good wonderful people lack self belief and self-love. The beginnings of this self-defeating behaviour often starts in childhood. As a child you don’t have the sophistication to reason and save yourself from any damage you may be experiencing. Critical parents, being bullied at school or an unhealthy home environment can all detract from healthy self-love. Your identity is shaped by the individuals around you and you believe what you’re told.

Parents can be guilty of the most appalling neglect and ignorance when it comes to giving the children healthy self-respect. As adults we have a duty to ourselves to challenge any negative messages that we were given as children and to replace them with more rational alternatives, as well as realise the flaws in our own parents.

I recently worked with a client who had very damaging views about herself and as result her behaviour led to him missing many positive opportunities in her life. On some deeper level she did not believe she deserved any happiness or love. Together we worked on changing her views about herself. Unless you have consciously ‘detoxed’ yourself from negative childhood messages, you may be holding self-defeating and self-limiting beliefs about yourself. Definitely excess baggage that you are free to cast off at any time.

Loving yourself is contagious. The more you love you the more others will too. Appreciate yourself more and talk kindly to yourself as you would a best friend. You came into this world

and you will leave it on your own. At some point in between it makes sense to get comfortable with yourself.

Write down reasons to like yourself and make a list of all your strengths and achievements.

Challenge negative thoughts about yourself, you really do have a choice when it comes to what you want to believe about yourself.

Pamper yourself and see it as a way of honouring you and your life.

Don’t neglect yourself-make sure you take good care of yourself. See yourself as fabulous, likeable and utterly lovable!!

I have had to work very hard to undo negative programming from my childhood. I do not believe I would have achieved very much in my life had I allowed all the negative messages to define me. I have forgiven but not forgotten and use my progress in life to reinforce how far I have come. The more I achieve and the more I foster self belief, the greater my power grows. I have refused to allow small mindedness as well as mean-spirited and ignorant adults to affect my life forever. They no longer have this power over me.

Mandy X

Be yourself

 

funny faces photo

Be yourself

We all compare ourselves to others and often it’s not in favourable terms. We tell ourselves that if we were thinner, richer or more outgoing that we could be happy and have the life we want. I am hoping to give you a different perspective on this in this post.

Think of Sienna Miller, Cheryl Cole or Maria Shriver – they are all beautiful yet their men had affairs behind their backs. This shows me that even being gorgeous is no guarantee of happiness and love. So…any thoughts about not being pretty enough and needing to be more beautiful to have a happy relationship with love and stability are flawed. The lesson here is to stop yearning to be something/someone else and get stuck in with accepting yourself and working with what you have.

Money…it’s great to think about all that we could do with a lot of money and while it’s true that money does give you more freedom to choose in life, it does not mean that life suddenly becomes easy without any problems. Think of the sad case of Robin Williams. His death refutes any ideas that money can fix life’s issues and make you immune to the troubles of the general population – not true. Many wealthy people end up doing drugs as they become desensitized to life and need a higher fix each time. Having money does have it’s down sides! It’s fine to want more money but it’s not helpful to see money as a way to solve life’s problems. Sometimes it can add to the problems – not knowing if people like you for who you are or for what you can do for them.

It can be very self defeating to think about what you don’t have and imagine that if you had these things in your life, you would be so much happier. It might be true but it might not. Don’t wish away possibilities for happiness now. By resisting who you are and comparing yourself to what you think is a better, more ideal life can leave you feeling depressed and anxious. Thoughts are not facts – challenge what you choose to believe. If it makes you feel sad, think of life in another way. Choosing thoughts that support you will give you a much better quality of life and a happier existence. Just be yourself – be genuine and have confidence in you – this is the most alluring way to be.

Mandy X

 

 

 

 

Photo by miss pupik

Air brushed images and untouched images

 

airbrushed images before and after

Air brushed images and untouched images

Many of us get freaked out about the way we look. We feel inadequate compared to the models we see in magazines and in the general media. People, in general tend to be much harsher and critical of themselves than others. Couple that with this images of perfection constantly being displayed and it’s no wonder that many of us lack self confidence and don’t want to leave the house till we’ve lost the weight or that pesky pimple in the middle of our forehead.

While there will always be those that are better and those that are worse, it’s important to make the most of what we have been given. Focus on your good bits and not on what you feel you lack.

Before and After Images:

before and after Britney Spears airbrushed

airbrushed before and after

airbrushed before and after

airbrushed before and after

I hope that’s cheered you up. The next time you look at an image, remind yourself that it has probably been ‘doctored’. People still prefer the real thing, you’re the real thing and the ‘real’ model behind the airbrushed image doesn’t look like that in reality!

Mandy X

Reject Labels

 

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2520/3993548505_d93ce6acb9.jpg

confident woman – thoughts on life and love

Reject Labels

It seems impossible to avoid the common human affliction of labelling others. Every day we are making judgements about other people. We add value to everything in life. examples such as: “This house is very good” or “that neighbourhood is very bad”. We all use what psychologists call “cognitive shortcuts” in order to make sense of our worlds as quickly as possibly. Part of this process involves labels. I’m not talking about designer labels but labels that describe others.

Are you good or argue bad? Are you worthy or unworthy? Are you intelligent or not firing on all four cylinders? All of these labels, such as: fat, thin, pretty, ugly, tall, short, weird, easy-going or narcissistic get bandied around and influence the way others treat us. It also influences the way we think about ourselves and our subsequent behaviour.

When you think about your life now, would you say that you are winning or losing? Happy or sad? Moving forwards all remaining stagnant? now I want you to think about where those labels have come from. If others decided these definitions for you (such as parents or teachers when you are younger), have you accepted them as true? Never forget that only you define you. No one else really knows what’s going on in your head and no one else can force you to be a certain way.

Reject labels. Who is the official decision maker on how “good” or “bad” is diagnosed? What are the criteria for these labels? Are you good if you can finish 10 burgers in an hour or are you good because you wear clean underwear every day? The truth is, there is no “Book of Life” that sets out specific definitions for labels. labels limit you. Reject labels. When you are unwilling to narrowly define yourself according to labels you suddenly feel freedom to be just as you are. There is no need to be better or to be more intelligent. Accept that you are who you are and that everything is as it is supposed to be.

Marvel at your weaknesses and your strengths and know that you are unique and original, never to be repeated. Love yourself as you are in and others will too. Remember that when you reject labels, you stop allowing others to decide who and what you are.

Mandy X

Fourteen Ways to Develop Your Self Esteem

 

 

self-esteem

self-esteem (Photo credit: Key Foster)

Self Esteem

1) Figure out who you are

What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are your values? Write down five words that sum you up. Living according to our values helps us to present a strong and unified person to the world. Know what makes you happy. If you don’t know, make every effort to find out. Take self-evaluation quizzes and learn as much as you can about who you are and why you think and feel the way you do. Never change who you are to fit the company that you keep. Self-knowledge is a key to success and good self esteem.

2) Decide what you can and can’t control

Focus and act on things that you are in control of and released the things that are out of your control. Often we can feel inadequate due to circumstances that are beyond our control. It is crucial to know the difference.When we focus on things that are beyond our control, we are left feeling helpless and powerless.It is wasted mental energy fighting against that  which we cannot influence and it will reduce self esteem.

3) Accept responsibility

Finding self-confidence and a healthy self esteem requires accepting responsibility for your own happiness and recognising that you are a product not only of your genetic code and your environment, but also of the choices you make.  When we claim ‘victim’ status, we essentially hand our power over to those that we blame.When we accept full responsibility for our decisions and our current position in life, we effectively take back our power. Begin your day with the words, “today will be of my own making-my happiness is up to me”.

4) Make anxiety your ally

Write down your worries for 30 days. Making concerns that loom so large in your imagination lose their power on paper. Amazingly, after writing them down the anxieties begin to fade. Change how you think about anxiety. When you feel anxiety ask yourself what story you have been telling yourself in your head. Ask yourself whether there is another way to think about the situation that allows you to feel less stressed and keeps your self esteem in tact.

5) Recognise that mistakes are opportunities

keep setbacks in perspective. Most mistakes are not personal tragedies; rather they are problems you now have the opportunity to solve. “Success” is often a string of failed attempts to get it right. Success is rarely a linear pursuit.

6) Compete to improve yourself

There is no point in comparing yourself to others. Instead, look at your own progress-that is, how far you have come. Compete to improve yourself not to beat someone else. This the key to a healthy self esteem. Follow your own path and be proud of your uniqueness.

7) Be brave and take risks

Don’t be afraid of mistakes. Risk-taking builds confidence. When considering any risk: define a clear goal.Review the positive, practical and potential losses. Determine whether the risk is one of trust, identity or something larger. When you focus on risks that have a larger purpose, you can’t go wrong. Even if the risk doesn’t turn out as you hoped it would, you will gain from it. Act. Take a risk. Be confident-you owe it to yourself.

8) Think and speak positively

If you hear a compliment or positive statement about someone you know, pass the compliment on to them. An Arabian proverb puts it neatly: Blessed is he who speaks a kindness; thrice blessed he who repeats it. Our thoughts can make or break our experience of life. It pays to nurture a positive mindset. Spreading kindness and good will creates positivity in the world and raises our self esteem.

9) Learn something new

Develop an insatiable curiosity. Keep those brain cells active by learning something new every day. The Internet has made this task very easy to do. Create a new hobby. Increase your vocabulary when word the week. Take on a new physical challenge or activity. Keep striving and keep growing for increased self esteem.

10) Spend time investing in your personal growth

This enables joy to flourish amid the fears and difficulties of life. Read self-help books to improve self esteem and act on the knowledge or read this wonderful blog daily :-)

11) Figure out your barriers

The real essential you is hiding under layers of self protection. As we cruise through life we invariably experience sadness and disappointment. Each negative experience encourages a greater need for self protection. We build emotional barriers and begin to cut ourselves off from others, sometimes without even realising it. Realise your problem is and who you are, it’s what you have used to protect your physical and emotional well-being. It is hiding who you are, a beautiful human being, a wonderful source of awareness, knowledge, creativity, love and joy. If you practice self-esteem based on faith that this is who you really are-a passionate, kind and approachable person-your barriers will decrease.

12) Be aware of the media’s messages

The more I listen to the media, the more neurotic I become. Every day there seems to be a new health warning-stop ingesting sugar, vitamin supplements are a waste of time, eating red Smarties will make you go mad 😉 etc. The media also churns out unrealistic images of beautiful looking people who seem perfect in every way. Of course this reality is made up with the help of airbrushing and photo shop. It would appear that the media’s goal is to make us feel bad about ourselves so that we will buy what they are selling.I urge you to reject the subtle messages. Love who you are and tell yourself daily that you are enough and that you have enough.

13) Be aware of the different messages in your head

Remember to turn up the volume on the messages that contributed to your positive self esteem and to turn down the volume on any messages they encourage you to be negatively about your worth or abilities.You can improve the quality of messages that you have in your head about being lovable and capable. Use “how-to” statements in your head and take action on the answers you receive. repeat positive affirmations to yourself out loud and as often as possible. Writing positive affirmations about yourself down on post-its and leaving them in obvious places where you will see them daily also a very good idea.Any thoughts that take us away from a positive feeling not worth having or defending. If you want to be happy and enjoy high self esteem follow your happy feelings not unhappy ones.

14) Put criticism from others in its proper place

The moment you hear a critical remark, ask yourself “what is on this person’s screen?” Assume that all critical remarks from others arise from an internal conflict that this person is experiencing. Happy contented people rarely feel the need to project negativity onto others.It is very unlikely that any criticism is based on accurate perception of you.It’s much more likely that the critic is reacting to emotions, memories and behaviour patterns that have very little to do with you.Thinking poorly about yourself because of such critics is a mistake. When someone criticises you, do and say the following: smile and say to yourself, “Boy, I wonder what’s on their screen to make them so critical of me?” Remember it’s about them not about you. All criticism shows one characteristic-it is unwelcome. You may feel that you owe some critics a response, but you never own a critic your self esteem.

15) Small steps

A small success can bring a big feeling of competence. Small steps lead to more steps. Pat yourself on the back every time you make a small success. Every step counts. Take one step at a time in a positive direction, this is the practice of self-esteem.

Mandy X

 

 

No One Like You

You are wonderful

You are wonderful

There’s No One Like You

One thing that I have found to be extremely common amongst my clients is self doubt and a lack of self love. There are two ways that I test this. I sometimes compliment a client if they are wearing something flattering or they are looking well and nine times out of ten, the recipient of my compliment will look away and make some excuse to negate what I have said. Most people find it very difficult to accept a compliment. The second ‘test’ is to ask a client to list five things that they like about themselves. Again, the common response is a blank look and lots of “ums” and “aahs”. Most people find it difficult to spontaneously list good things about themselves. This is a worrying state of affairs as it indicates that most people don’t have a positive inner dialogue and have some sort of mental block towards liking themselves. Positive self regard definitely doesn’t seem to be the default position.

When I talk to clients about how important it is to like themselves, I often get the argument that it will seem arrogant. Again, this is a common misconception. Being arrogant means that you believe you are better than others, loving yourself means that you feel you are just as good as anyone else and really like who you are. When you are happy in your own skin, this self confidence exudes into everything you do and others pick up on it mostly through your non verbal language. The way you stand the way you treat others – people accept you as a person who is obviously worth getting to know, they don’t ask you to show your credentials to back up your confidence.

Think about it – there is no one on this planet that is exactly like you. You are meant to be here and there is a purpose for your life. You owe it to yourself to make the best of your time here and to give yourself the best possible life – this isn’t possible without a healthy dose of self love.

Right now, write down ten things that you like about yourself/ten strengths that you possess. There is no one like you – what makes you unique?

Here are a few examples to get you going:

  • Great company
  • Good sense of humour
  • Kind
  • Tolerant

Never ever criticise yourself. Instead of inner dialogue such as “I am stupid” or “I am fat and ugly”, reframe these statements something like this:

“I am stupid” —“I may not know everything but I will find out what I don’t know. No one knows everything and what is the definition of “stupid” anyhow?”

“I am fat and ugly” — “I may be having a bad day and there are things about myself I would like to improve but I accept myself as I am – a work in progress”.

Back yourself 100% and if you don’t, ask yourself why not. It can only benefit you if you like yourself. When you like yourself you expect good things to happen and self worth acts as a fantastic antidote to abusive behaviour from others. Self love acts as a safeguard,  you expect to be treated well.

Remember that there is no one like you – celebrate the person you are, faults and all…

Mandy X