I have heard from many people regarding how hard it is to feel good about their work on improving their self-esteem, living empowered, de-stressing their lives, when the work seems to take so long and improvements seem so small. It is a very common belief that one can only get credit for something only after a job is completed in its entirety, and until then people keep hearing the phrase “it’s good, but… or you still have a lot to do, or you’re not quite there yet…”. In the work we do in life, these phrases do not inspire us to do more, they wear us down and we continue to feel overwhelmed and diminished. Therefore, it’s imperative to acknowledge, respect and accept the small steps, because each and every step you take moves you toward your goal. Goals are important in anything we do, and we need to keep them in our sights, but we must also recognize each step we take that brings us closer to them. The steps, even the small ones DO COUNT! You cannot go from A to Z without visiting all the letters in between. The problem most people have is that you only hear about the miraculous results, and not about all the hard work, sweat and tears that occurred, before they became “overnight successes“.
What are your small successes? Have you begun to think about yourself in a more positive way? Do you look at yourself less critically? Are you more conscious and aware of how you are treated by others? Have you spoken up for yourself even once? Have you started to express your feelings, thoughts and/or needs? Do you give yourself time and patience to implement even a few of the recommendations you’ve read, heard in our teleseminars or workshops? Any of these are steps toward your goal of improving and enhancing your self-esteem. They COUNT, and there are no “buts”! Remember what Martin Luther King, Jr. said: “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
Whenever we minimize the importance of each step we take along the way, we further undermine our feelings about ourselves, and reinforce the negative beliefs that we carry. Minimizing whatever we do is just another form of self-abuse. I am not talking about lavishing praise which can feel false and meaningless. Rather, I am talking about acknowledging each thought and activity that moves you toward your goal. Not everything we say and/or do has to be monumental; some of the greatest achievements in life are based on those small, incremental activities that, when added together, amount to greatness.
The following are 5 steps to be aware of and to implement in your journey to owning and honoring your self-esteem. These may seem like small steps, but they are vital in your moving forward to uncovering your own self-esteem, and living healthy and empowered from within. Make sure that you STOP! BREATHE! FOCUS! as you become aware of the shifts within you that are happening as you step into the life you so richly deserve.
1. Practice new behaviors: If there is something that sounds like it would be good for your overall self-esteem, or you see a behavior that looks that way, practice the behavior. First practice privately in front of a mirror, then with a good friend, spouse, or mentor, so that you get to see and hear how your new “voice” sounds and feels. It’s like trying on new shoes. You may love them, but you need to break them in before they feel like your own. This is also important because it reinforces your learning, and encourages your growth!
2. Acknowledge that there will be ups and downs: A learning curve is not a straight line up. There are always peaks and valleys, and I want you to be aware that the low points are moments you can learn from, if you look at them truthfully, not with judgments, but rather as those inevitable “pop quizzes” from which you can learn, grow and feel empowered.
3. Be consistent: Positive self-esteem and empowerment is really about a life-style, and a change in life-style requires awareness, practice and a willingness to be consistent in your efforts to achieve that change. In order to live feeling empowered and genuinely good about yourself, practicing these new behaviors is not something you can do just once in a while, it’s a constant behavior or attitude you adopt because it’s for your greater good. If you find that you have not been practicing your new skills and behaviors consistently; that you “got away from using them somehow”, then start again. Your heart and soul will remember how good those new behaviors felt and you will feel the difference again in your life very quickly. Don’t give up on yourself!
4. Spend time with people you want to be like, and model the behaviors that you admire: If you want to feel positively about yourself, it is always best to be around people who feel that way about themselves. Remember: Like attracts like. If you are with people who have good self-images, their positive messages will rub off on you. This may be somewhat challenging, if up until now you’ve been surrounded by people who reflect back and reinforce your negative feelings about yourself, but look around: Is there someone you’ve thought about befriending but haven’t had the courage to approach? You could start there…Trust the new path that you are on; recognize that you are deserving of it, and that “who you are really is enough! Be willing and open to bringing new people and new energy into your life.
5. Know that this is a marathon, not a sprint: Self-esteem is not about who gets there first or fastest, but about who can participate and grow through this journey. It’s not about immediate gratification, it’s about living with your changes and experiencing what works for you and owning and honoring the internal shifts. This journey to uncover and reveal your true worth is a life goal. Know and trust that it’s not speed that counts, but honoring the steps along the way.
Honor your work, and that means all the steps you are taking to achieve the desired outcome of finding, enhancing and living with your positive self-esteem, and feeling empowered in your life. You deserve no less! I am honored to be on this journey with you.
Join Carmel-Ann and me on Wed. Aug. 8 (http://www.beingwellwithin.com/workshops/teleseminar/) as we further explore ways to stay motivated on this journey we call life… Our on-line virtual course From Distressed to De-Stressed will also be available SOON Stay tuned for that info…
As always,, we wish you all the best, and are here to support and encourage you to move forward…Loren

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