Have you been using the process outlined in Step 1 in last week’s article to help you practice new behaviors? Are you making more connections between your feelings about upsetting changes and your habitual reactions? Have you begun to shift into some new desired behaviors instead?
Is your self-esteem higher and more consistent as a result? Are you finding that you are confidently choosing more effective responses when your “pop quizzes” show up?
Whether you’ve been practicing daily, or have only “put a toe in the water,” Bravo! I congratulate! And even if you “haven’t gotten around to it yet” – just know it’s always there for you, as a resource that will help you navigate your journey through big changes with more ease and confidence.
Today, before continuing on to the steps that come next, go through Step 1 once more to put yourself in an empowered, self-appreciative mindset. Think about some of your desired new behaviors, and feel the self-love and optimism for the future that makes possible!
Once you are in that more expansive mindset and feeling that openness, move on to learning…
The Other 4 Steps for Building Self-Esteem to Handle Change Better:
- Acknowledge That There Will Always Be Ups And Downs – A learning curve is not a straight line. Think about the stock market graph: there are peaks and valleys along the way, but the general trend is always upward! I want you to be aware that low points will happen, and that no matter how big a setback they may feel like in the moment, you can consciously choose to see them as moments you can learn from.
Look at them honestly, without judging them as universally “bad.” What did you do that helped cause them to come about? What one behavior can you try next time that could bring about a more favorable outcome? See them as “pop quizzes” providing new insights and opportunities to grow. Every time you complete an inquiry and see something new, no matter how seemingly small or insignificant, congratulate yourself for being brave enough to look and add the new behavior to your “pre-implementation” practice.
- Be Consistent – Positive self-esteem and empowerment are the foundation and also the result of living authentically – it’s a cyclical, self-reinforcing phenomenon. Creating lasting change in your ability to stay authentic requires awareness, practice and willingness to be consistent. In order to live feeling empowered and genuinely good about yourself, practicing these new behaviors is a constant behavior or attitude you adopt because it’s for your greater good. Doing them just once in a while won’t provide the same empowerment!
If you find that you have not been practicing your new skills and behaviors consistently; that you somehow “got out of the habit” of using them, then start again. They’re always available to you, no matter how long it’s been. 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! Wherever you are is the perfect time and place to revitalize your progress anew.
- Spend Time With People You Admire And Model Their Behavior – If you want to feel positively about yourself, hang out as often as possible with people who already feel that way about themselves. Remember, “like attracts like.” When you are with people who have good self-images, their positive messages will rub off on you.
This may be a challenging shift for you if up until now you’ve been surrounded by people who reflect back and reinforce negative feelings about your, themselves, or life in general. That old saying, “misery loves company” started for a reason – it can feel way too comfortable because it’s so familiar!
But if that’s what you’ve been doing – maybe throughout your whole life! – it’s even more important for you to notice that. Then take a deep breath and decide to start “getting new inputs” by being around people who live from a consistently positive outlook.
Look around: Is there someone inspiring you’ve felt drawn to, and thought about befriending, but haven’t had the courage to approach? Start there. Trust the new path that you are on, recognize that you deserve this, and open up to bringing new people and new supportive energy into your life.
- 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 celebrate yourself and all the steps you are taking to find, enhance and live powerful, positive self-esteem. Then notice how much more easily you face the next unexpected change – from a position of feeling empowered and worthy of your desired outcomes!