Many people look outside themselves for approval, acceptance, and love. But the truth is, they won’t ever find it by looking “out there”.
It all starts with you—your relationship with yourself. When you are an affirming and supportive friend to yourself, your self-esteem is strong. External validation is nice, but it doesn’t last. Because your own good feelings and self-esteem must come from within. Here are some simple ways to get started:
1. What are you good at? Look yourself in the mirror each morning and tell yourself (yes, out loud!) one thing that makes you distinctly who you are. Then affirm and acknowledge your uniqueness with love and total acceptance.
2. Cut yourself a break! Nobody’s perfect—and that’s good news. I don’t know about you but when I see someone that appears to be “perfect” it makes me a little uncomfortable. We are all perfectly imperfect. The next time things don’t go exactly as planned, instead of muttering how you didn’t get it right, take a deep breath, forgive yourself, and move on.
3. Ban negative talk. Recently, I was with a friend and as she looked into the mirror she said, “Geez, I look so freakin’ ugly and old.” I said to her, “If I walked in here tonight and I said to you, “Girlfriend, you look so freakin’ old and ugly” how would that make you feel? Would you still want to hang out with me? How much would that hurt you?” Yet, we talk this way to ourselves frequently. Learn to love yourself and speak to yourself in a positive way. It starts with how you talk to yourself and extends out to how you allow others to talk to you. Avoid people who are critical, unsupportive, and do not bring out the best in you. Instead, surround yourself with people who love, support, and affirm you.
Be careful how you speak to yourself, because You are listening.
Self-esteem is really about acknowledging, affirming and accepting ALL of yourself, even the parts that aren’t perfect. When you practice acceptance of yourself, the world will take note… and follow your lead.
© 2014 Balance Your Life All rights reserved. Reproduce with permission
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