For the last few posts, I’ve been talking about self-esteem. Today, I’m going to finish off this topic with “how to think about yourself.”
First thing you have to do is break any habit of thinking negatively about yourself. Trying to work on your self-esteem without doing this necessary step, is like trying to get 6-pack abs through vigorous exercise without cutting out your consumption of junk food. The big difference is, even a little taste of negative thinking will not add any happiness to your life. This first step is not easy to do because many of us are addicted and we keep on relapsing. Cut negativity out of your life cold-turkey and rewire your brain to think positively about yourself in all circumstances.
When you notice that you are different, believe and meditate on the thoughts “I am wholly acceptable,” “I am beautiful just the way I am.”
Next, when you notice the gap between where you are now and where you would like to be, believe and meditate on the thoughts “I have incredible intrinsic worth now,” “I am good enough as a person now,” “Maybe not so immediately, but I will reach my goals.” And meditate on the same thoughts when you face rejection, failure, and others just straight-up put you down.
“Yeah that’s a nice, fluffy concept, Daniel. But how am I supposed to believe that I have incredible worth if everything around me tells me that I don’t?”
This is where perspective comes in. You have to ask yourself, “why do the things around me that tell me that I don’t have value” matter? “Why is it easier to not take it so seriously when I am put down by a toddler who doesn’t know me at all VS when I am put down by an adult who knows me very well?” It is because we think the adult knows more, that the adult is more intelligent, that the adult has more experience and understanding to judge more accurately. Now, as long as you believe that adults, including yourself, have the greatest ability to judge accurately, your view of yourself will always be vulnerable to the judgment of humans.
But what if you were able to really stretch your imagination. What if you were to believe that there possibly might be an entity that has an even greater ability to judge accurately than humankind… that this entity, being omniscient, knows everything about you, even all the things you try to hide from everyone else. And still, this higher being finds so much value in you, regardless of your performance. A good human parent may love his or her child whether or not the child colours within the lines. What if this higher power loves you and finds great value in you even when you don’t “colour within the lines” in life.
This is what I choose to believe in and it has given me so much freedom in my life.
What you choose to believe about yourself, whether it is based on measurable evidence or not, will affect your self-esteem.