5 Tips to Enhance Your Self-Esteem
How to Begin Loving Yourself
by Andrea Lambert, creator of the Self-Awareness Weekend
In psychology, the term self-esteem is used to describe a person’s overall sense of self-worth and personal value.  When you have high self-esteem, you feel really good about yourself, including being madly in love with who you are!
  “Self-esteem is the internal experience of one’s own preciousness.”
 ~ Pia Melody  
What Causes Low Self-Esteem?

When we suffer from low self-esteem, we:
  • are too critical and too judgmental of ourselves
  • focus on our limitations and weaknesses
  • have a real fear of making mistakes
  • develop subconscious limiting beliefs about ourselves (I am not good enough, I don’t matter, I’m unworthy, I’m unlovable...)
Many times, low self-esteem is caused by our past experiences and the messages we received.  You may want to ask yourself: What experiences or messages did I get as a child, a teen, and adult?  Did any of these experiences or messages cause me to be judgmental about myself, to believe that I am not good enough, or to feel that I wasn't as good as someone else?  Review your past for clues to the root of limiting message about yourself, so you can get to the source and change it.

Unfortunately, many of these past experiences and messages get internally recorded and played on an endless loop in our heads.  This negative mental chatter drowns out our intuition and self-confidence.  We end up downplaying our strengths and successes, and focusing on our weaknesses and mistakes.  Ask yourself: What are the critical or negative messages that I say to myself?

Perhaps you have been told that it is selfish to love yourself.  To begin with, if you don't love yourself, you make it very difficult for others to love you as well.  In addition, “selfish” means “being into self” – this is a healthy, empowered and beautiful space to inhabit!  Give yourself permission to compliment yourself on a daily basis.

Another source of low self-esteem is caused by unhealthy relationships.  Often, when a person does not love themselves and see their own strengths, abilities, talents, they seek to get love and self-esteem outside of themselves.  This leads to co-dependent and even toxic relationships, where they end up taking care of the other person's needs rather then their own, or put up with abuse and neglect while they are waiting for their partner to praise and acknowledge them.  These relationships lead only to lower self-esteem, drama and misery.
Qualities of High Self-Esteem

Self-esteem grows when we acknowledge and love ourselves (internally-fueled), and when we are receiving acknowledgment from others (externally-fueled).  Ideally, we experience a healthy balance from both sources.

If we don't receive the reinforcement of externally-fueled self-esteem, perhaps by being in abusive environments or by being socially isolated, our self-esteem can decrease – we often begin to doubt our self-worth when it's not reflected back to us.

When we lack internally-fueled self-esteem, we cannot fully absorb and believe acknowledgments, appreciation and support from others.

Thus, in order to experience self-esteem to its full extent, we ideally need both internal and external reinforcement.  When this balance exists, it is amazing how much contentment, peace, and happiness you feel.  When you have high self-esteem, you live from a solid internal foundation of:

  • self-respect
  • self-understanding
  • self-compassion
  • self-acceptance
  • self-admiration
When you have high self-esteem, you know that it's okay to be human – you accept that you sometimes make mistakes, and you recognize any limitations and weaknesses with compassion and motivation to change, rather than judgment and shame.

When you have high self-esteem, you:
  • feel proud of your accomplishments
  • are less critical and judgmental of yourself and others
  • focus on your strengths, gifts, and abilities
  • set healthy limits and boundaries on your own behalf
  • are more capable of figuring out solutions to your life challenges
    express your feelings in healthy ways

5 Tips to Enhance Your Self-Esteem
Let yourself be human – give yourself permission to make mistakes, to be self-accepting and self-loving and stop being self-critical.  When you notice that you are thinking or saying something negative about yourself, stop and say “Cancel!” (you can say this out loud or internally – out loud is more powerful!).  Remind yourself that “What others think of me is none of my business,” and be as gentile with yourself as possible.
Be in love with yourself and be selfish (“into self”).  Focus on your positive qualities, acknowledge the beauty and power of who you truly are.  One way to begin doing this is to write down 100 positive qualities about yourself – what are your gifts, talents, strengths, and unique abilities?  If you need help with this, call or email 5-10 friends and ask them:  “What are the three things you like the best about me?”  You may be astounded by their answers!
Keep a self-esteem journal.  Spend at least five minutes every day jotting down any compliments you received, and accomplishments you achieved and any growth or improvements you noticed about yourself.  Go back over your 100 positive qualities list and read some of them out loud to remind yourself of them.  Then write them down in your journal with some examples of how you've recently displayed these positive qualities.
Identify and clear out and core limiting beliefs which may be in your subconscious (I am not good enough, I don’t matter, I’m unworthy, I’m unlovable...).  You may need professional guidance to do this.
Give yourself self-care by being nurturing to you – get a massage, treat yourself to a movie, buy yourself some flowers...  Give yourself as much care as you may be giving to your significant other, your children, your pets, your family, and your friends.
If you’d like more information about self-awareness, or need any support on your personal growth journey, consider joining the 14-Day Self-Awareness Challenge or attending the Self-Awareness Weekend.
© 2019 Andrea Lambert.  All rights reserved.
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Andrea Lambert created the Self-Awareness Weekend (SAW) program and launched it in 1983.  While she has since retired from leading SAW, the Weekend is still going strong 40 years later.  As a Redecision Coach, Andrea’s specific emphasis is on short-term coaching that produces significant results.  She is committed to supporting her clients in becoming more authentic and powerful, so they can create dramatic achievements in all areas of their lives.  www.andrealambert.com
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