Monday, July 26, 2010

Beautiful Blogging ~ Self-Esteem Part I

Self-esteem is a term used in psychology to reflect a person's overall evaluation or appraisal of his or her own worth. Self-esteem encompasses beliefs (for example, "I am competent" or "I am incompetent") and emotions such as triumph, despair, pride and shame.* So, how's your self-esteem?  I find that time and time again, women tend to experience a negative self-esteem.  Why is that?  Well, we can all surmise a myriad of reasons; the media, our parents, our spouse, and other external circumstances.  While these may all be true, the bottom line is: WE CREATE OUR OWN SELF-ESTEEM!  Yes, ladies, it's true.  We decide our own fate and the fact of the matter is that you may be degrading yourself!

How can this be you ask?  Why the media tells me I must look like a supermodel and that's not possible.  Estee Lauder and Elizabeth Arden tell me I must use their makeup or forget it, I will be ugly forever; my parents told me I was stupid and would never amount to anything.  Yep, that's all true too.  But, as an adult we choose!  We choose to feel good about ourselves or not.  We do this by how we "talk" to ourselves or what is known as "self-talk." 

Here's a quick test you can take to measure your self-esteem.  Why don't you take a quick break and complete it and come back here. 

So, how did  you do?  I wouldn't be surprised if many did not do as well as you thought.  What to do?  The answer is simple  yet requires your time and consistency in making a permanent change.  The website you just visited (I hope) has some answers.
  • Focus on achievements.  Very important! 
  • Make plans for the future.  Stop procrastinating and start planning. 
  • Focus on what you like about yourself and stop highlighing what you think are your defects.  We all have strengths and we all have things we would change.  So, if you can change, do it.  If you can't, why focus on it? 
Again, all of this is so true.  However, please keep in mind that our goals need to be realistic.  For example if you're a 5'4" tall and you goal is to be a supermodel, you're probably setting yourself up for failure as we all know supermodels tend to be very tall.  So be reasonable with yourself.  Set goals that you can realistically achieve.  Also, remember to establish objectives or "small steps" to that goal.  Most goals take time and energy and we feel more productive and successful  when we establish objectives.  For example, I knew since I was in high school that I wanted to obtain a Masters Degree in Social Work.  I started attending college right out of high school but was side tracked a multitude of times for various reasons.  However, I never gave up on that goal.  I focused on what I achieved rather than what my ultimate goal was and it helped me feel successful and stay focused.  Do you know old I was when I obtained my masters degree?  32 years old!  Yep, that's correct, I was 32 after starting out at 18 but I was on top of the world the day I received my diploma.  More importantly, I never gave up.
While achievements are part of how we feel about ourselves, the vast majority of our self-esteem comes from our self-talk ~ recall the old phrase "the glass is half full.  Our style of self-talk generally develops in childhood and becomes a pattern - negative or positive.  Moreover, many of us don't even realize which type we tend to engage in.  But, if your measure of self-esteem is low, you can be sure your style is negative! 

I will devote next week's Beautiful Blogging post to self-talk.  Since it impacts our self-esteem, our anxiety and stress level, and our mood, I would like to share some strategies on how to change your self-talk from negative to positive.  Remember, it's a pattern of behavior, thus we can change this pattern.

ADDED 7/29/10 - please visit my friend Pam's blog to view her post on creative coping

Have a wonderful week!




BEAR's Mom said...

a good read...especially on a day when i came home from work early because i couldn't deal with a co-worker :(

Carolee Crafts said...

Don't even ask what my score was, now to do something about it. Thank you so much for this post.

Pam Kellogg said...

What an excellent article! I'm going to include a link to your blog in the next day or so as I'm writing a series of articles and coping creatively with depression & anxiety.

Pam Kellogg said...

One of these days I'll start proof reading! I'm writing a series of articles ON coping creatively with depression & anxiety! LOL!

Chatty Crone said...

Great read - love the way you wrote it and it is so true. I need to work on my self esteem too.


NicNacManiac said...

This was so inspiring...thank you for making me take the time to reflect and pat myself on the back!
Tomorrow will be a better day!
Enjoy your week xOxO Nerina

The Polka Dot Closet said...

Jacalyn, as you can imagine my self esteem is pretty good right now, neer been better LOL Thank you for your kind word and Thank you for stopping by and sharing in my publishing joy!


Celestina Marie Designs said...

Hi Jacalyn,
This was a great post and I am happy to report that my self esteem is living in good order. I always strive to be better, but I am thankful and blessed to realize how far I have come, and how much I have achieved in my journey.

As women it is important to see ourselves as our own person and not compare ourself to others. Everyone has their own potential on their own time, set by God. I believe we all have talents to use and it takes discipline to be ambitious enough to find it.

Great and inspirational post my friend. Thank you for sharing.
Have a great day.
Hugs, Celestina Marie

AnticaTreasures said...

Hi Jacalyn!

Thank you for posting this! This is so true! We definitely have 90% if not a 100% of the responsibility of how we feel. ; ) The greatest difficulty is to let this ingrained reasons for misery emerge to our conscious mind and know what to do w them. That's when a therapist help is awesome!


A 2 Z said...

Hi Jacalyn,

great post! In my case I got the degrees first and had my children after.If I was to compare the "elation feeling factor" its "giving birth" that gave me the all time "high" in my life. Well that's my personal story. Now that I teach its helping young kids with their own issues of self-esteem that builds mine.

The Knitwit Knitter said...

Very interesting post!!!

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