As I continue to confront my own issues in this area, I am encouraged by the progress I am making. What makes me feel the best, though, is understanding that if I can do it, others can too! So let’s get into it:
In A Return To Love, Marianne Williamson wrote,
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our bright light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?’”
I think more of us have challenges in this area that would care to admit it. We don’t, for instance, see ourselves as being capable of being President of the United States. What in the world makes any of us any different than Abraham Lincoln, with barely a grade-school education, or <cough>Bill Clinton, from a podunk town in Arkansas?
“Actually who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
“Who are you not to be?” Who am I not to be? What powerful questions! What are your answers?
As I detailed in an earlier article, the question I most often asked myself in one form or another, in times when my confidence was challenged, was essentially the same as in the first quote above: “Who am I to be [fill in the blank]?”
Unfortunately for me, my mind came up with an answer every time. Not a nice answer, either. It was an answer that reinforced my current state of mind.
“Who am I not to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?” Doesn’t that question just feel good? What kind of answers does that bring to mind? Write them down!
So how do we raise our self-esteem?
Feel better about yourself.
“But…but…but…” I hear you sputtering. “That is no answer!”
It really is, though. That’s all the answer you need. That’s all the answer I needed. It’s not some great cosmic mystery. It’s actually pretty easy to do. It takes perseverence and effort, and most importantly, it takes wanting to make the change.
Question: How many therapists does it take to change a light bulb?
Answer: NONE. The lightbulb will change itself when it’s ready.
Are you ready? Here are some simple steps you can take. We’ll talk more in another post about how to add some permanence to your results. But here are some things you can do initially:
- focus on what it is you want from whatever situation you are in, and thoughts of self will fade to the background
- live up to your own values instead of trying to measure up to others’
- learn to see your ‘failures’ as opportunities for growing
- list, on paper, all the positive attributes you have that you can think of
- ask people you know well, good friends and family, to do the same
- cultivate the conviction that your worth is based on what’s inside, rather than outer trappings of wealth, good looks. In other words, what you are, instead of what you have.
- when feelings of inadequacy or doubt come upon you, ask a most selfish question: “Is what I’m thinking now good for me, or bad for me?”
I’ll have more for you tomorrow…