Tag Archives: self esteem

Get self respect FAST


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Photo by FootMassagez


Get self respect FAST

When you have self respect, you treat yourself well and you expect others to treat you well too. It’s a win-win situation, a no-brainer. So why is it that so many of us seem to lack self respect? When we listen to others too much and we don’t believe in ourselves enough, our self respect can wane. Here are a few ideas to keep you on track and to remind you to strengthen your resolve to be good to yourself and to have clear boundaries as to what you will and won’t accept from others.


Be fair, not only to others but especially to yourself. Show yourself compassion and talk to yourself in a positive manner. Be your number one fan. Learn to like yourself.


Don’t apologise unnecessarily. If it’s warranted, apologise by all means but don’t make a habit of constantly saying sorry. This sends a message that you aren’t as worthy as others and that you need to make excuses for yourself. Often we don’t need to explain ourselves but we go into ‘people-pleasing’ zone. This can erode self respect. Learn to see yourself as worthy and as valuable as any one else. Have an opinion and don’t be afraid to say what that is. Be bold, brave and confident.

Stick to Values

Never compromise your values just to be liked or to get what you want. Stand up for what you believe in. Decide what your values are and use them to guide you. Use your values to create goals. Purpose adds to self respect.


Avoid dishonesty such as exaggeration or acting helpless as a form of manipulation. Be assertive enough to be truthful about who you are. The more you present yourself as you truly are, the more confidence you will have in yourself. When we try to be someone other than who we are, we are basically telling ourselves that we aren’t good enough. Be proud of yourself, quirks, faults and all. The more you stay true to yourself, the more you will realise how accepting others actually are.

Self respect is all about treating yourself well and not allowing others to mistreat you either. It is made up of a healthy dollop of self esteem. Like yourself, “act as if” if you don’t always feel confident. Behaving in a confident way can actually lead to it becoming a more natural state of behaving over time. You owe it to yourself to make the most of your life.

Mandy X

Past experiences and current triggers


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Past experiences and current triggers

Cognitive Behavioural Therapists look for links between past experiences and current triggers of anxiety and depression. We all have thought systems or schemas – these are a set of thoughts that become a habit. We tend to see the world within a frame of reference and that is made up of our past experiences.

For example: depression is characterised by schemas/thought systems  about loss, deprivation and failure. Anxiety is characterised by schemas about threat or fear of failure. Each of us looks at our experiences in terms of these habitual patterns of thinking. One person might focus a lot on issues of achievement (unrelenting standards), another around issues of rejection and someone else on fears of being abandoned. Let’s say that your schema – your particular issue or vulnerability – is related to achievement. Things can be going well for you at work, but then you have a setback that activates your schema about achievement – your personal issue about needing to be very successful so that you will not see yourself as a failure. The setback at work might lead to the schema about being a failure (being seen as a failure) and then you get anxious or depressed. The current trigger would be a setback at work. The intensity of your reaction will, to a large degree, be influenced by your thought system and beliefs about yourself. Positive beliefs about yourself will lead to a less intense emotional response.


We often try to compensate for our schemas. For example, if you have a schema about failure or that being average is bad, you might work excessively hard as you are trying to compensate for your perception that you might turn out to be inferior or not live up to your standards of perfection. You might compensate by checking your work over and over again. You might have a hard time relaxing because you are worried that you are not working enough. It might also manifest as a lack of discipline to avoid the possibility of failing if you really do put all your effort into it. With a lack of discipline, it serves as a fallback plan/reason if you aren’t successful and you can then comfort yourself by telling yourself that you would’ve done better if you had put all your effort into it.

Often we engage in behaviour in an attempt to avoid what we fear coming true. If we fear abandonment, we might engage in behaviours that we believe will make it less likely for abandonment to happen. This is false thinking though because, often, our schemas are not based on reality and are more a product of our own thoughts, perceptions and past experiences.

And the most important thing about these compensations is that we never really address our underlying thought system. (ie. I have to keep up standards of perfection so as not to be seen as a ‘failure’). This is a rigid rule which will be tough to live up to in reality. Rigid rules get broken more easily (the key to happiness is psychological flexibility) and this will lead to higher levels of anxiety and/or depression.

How we avoid facing our schemas:

An example to do with failure: If your view is that deep down inside, you might be really incompetent (a thought), one way you might avoid testing out this schema is to never take on challenging tasks or to quit early on tasks. Another way people avoid their schemas is by emotional escape through substance use or through extreme behaviours such as drinking too much, using drugs to dull feelings, binge eating.

Where do schemas come from?

Parents, siblings, peers and partners. Parents might contribute to negative schemas by making you feel that you are not good enough unless you are superior to everyone, comparing you to other children, intruding on you and ordering you around etc

Some examples:

“You could do better – why did you get that B?” schema about the need to be perfect or avoid inferiority

“Your cousin went to Harvard, why can’t you be more like him?” schema about inferiority and incompetence

“Why are you always complaining? Can’t you see that I have problems taking care of you?” schema about the selfishness of needs

We internalise schemas from popular culture, such images of being thin, having the perfect body, “what real men should be like”, perfect sex, lots of money and enormous success. These unrealistic images reinforce schemas about perfection, superiority, inadequacy and defectiveness.

It’s also important to mention the importance of needs in schema formation and perpetuation.  Schemas are formed when needs are not met during childhood and then the schema prevents similar needs from being fulfilled in adulthood.  For instance a child whose need for secure attachments is not fulfilled by his parents may go for many years in later life without secure relationships.

Even though schemas persist once they are formed, they are not always in our awareness. Usually they operate in subtle ways, out of our awareness. However, when a schema erupts or is triggered by events, our thoughts and feelings are dominated by these schemas. It is at these moments that people tend to experience extreme negative emotions and have dysfunctional thoughts.

Schemas are obstacles to reaching goals but they do not tell us what we need to be happy. Develop a set of life goals – develop a strategy to outline where you want to go with your life. The clearer the objectives, the easier it is to define steps to achieve your vision.

Discover your natural inclinations – each person has an innate set of preferences. The best clues are found in our emotions and bodily sensations. Unfortunately, many of us are trained as children to disregard our natural inclinations and to do what is expected of us. We are forced to be tough when by nature we are sensitive, forced to pursue medicine when our natural preference is for outdoor activities…it is important to find a balance between the needs of society and our personal fulfilment.

The areas of change and focus – relationships, autonomy, self esteem, self assertion and self expression, concern for others.

Try having empathy for yourself and remind yourself of the origins of your schemas. Surrender the security of childhood patterns in order to grow into the adult you want to be.

Mandy X

Why self love is vital

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Why self love is vital

I know the ‘self love bandwagon’ has been through here many times before but it is such an important concept that I feel I need to keep banging on about it. I know why self love is vital and this is because I never used to like myself very much.

I grew up with parents who didn’t really see the merits in having children. I was a nuisance and a liability and I received many negative messages during my upbringing. Undoing messages from parents takes some time and I have spent hours in therapy re-programming my ‘unhealthy wiring’. I can honestly say that the more I have liked myself and acted in accordance with this newfound self respect, the more things have changed for the better in my life.

When you reduce the negative self talk and stop criticising yourself, amazing things start happening. It’s difficult to explain but I can assure you that when you treat yourself  in a kinder fashion, others do too.

I stopped the negative self talk and decided to try looking for things that I did like about myself. At first, it seemed odd and fake but I persisted with it. Self love is vital if you want to get the best out of yourself. When you think you are worthy, others tend to agree. No one is there asking to see your certificate of worthiness, they just accept you as you are.

We give off many signals through our body language and if our thinking is negative, our body language tends to match this. When you open up your body language, talk to yourself as you would to a best friend, your energy changes. This may sound like psycho-babble but if you try it you will see an immediate difference. When you act as if you are confident, you see an immediate difference. It may take a while for the brain to accept your new thinking but in the mean time act as if you are supremely confident and as if you really feel happy in your own skin.

Regularly remind yourself of all the good things about you – do you have a good sense of humour? Are you a good friend, parent, partner? Are you kind, tolerant? Build up that list of all that you like about you and be able to recite it easily and at will. I am always amazed at how so few of my clients can tell me what they like about themselves.

I ask them to give me 5 things they like about themselves. This is usually followed by an uncomfortable silence, some squirming and then perhaps one thing that they can think. Not good enough. Get into the habit of being able to say 5 things in quick succession. This shows a person who thinks of themselves in positive terms. Get into this habit!

I am always looking for ways to improve my positive regard towards myself and recently read a brilliant book that I highly recommend: Please see below

Mandy X



Photo by h.koppdelaney

Be your number one fan

fan photo

Be your number one fan

If you don’t like and love yourself, you’ll find that others like you less too. It’s an energy thing – we pick up on each other’s vibes and can usually tell how comfortable someone is on their own skin. The more at ease someone is with themselves, the more likeable and charismatic they tend to be. You need to be your number one fan and the way I see it, we don’t have much choice in the matter. Either you find a way to like the ‘you’ you have been given to live with or you don’t. Which one do you think is going to lead to a happier life? Why waste energy not liking yourself?

So, make a choice to get comfy with who you are. Sure we can all improve upon ourselves but work on self acceptance in the meantime. Like who you are and what you see when you look in the mirror.

Live according to your values, only speak positively to yourself and make the most of what you have rather than comparing yourself unfavourably to others. If you can do those three things you will be on the way to living out your full potential. It makes sense to try to be the best version of yourself that you can possibly be and to treat yourself well. Self compassion is underrated. Those that are at peace with themselves tend to emit positive happy energy to others. They don’t keep score and their inner contentment leaves them with no need to project bitterness and hate onto others.

Learn to be your number one fan, you;ll be amazed at how this can transform your attitude and your life.

Mandy X