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Self-esteem is one of the most important attributes you can have as an
individual person. To reach the level of self-esteem you want to achieve
often takes the help of another person, someone who can help you with
the issues that may be keeping you stuck in low self- esteem, so that you
can become the best person you can be. Lee Davis, The Self-Esteem
Expert, has over 30 years experience helping women to achieve their
personal and/or business/ professional goals.
What is self-esteem? What is esteem? How do we know if we have low
self esteem? How do we know whether we need to work on our self-
esteem? If I don't have self-esteem how do I get it?
I don't work. I stay home, take care of my kids and husband, so why do I
need to lean about self-esteem? I go to college every day, work every
day. Why would I want to spend more time each week learning one
more thing? If it will do anything for my relationship I'm all ears!
To begin with, self-esteem is not to hate, despise, disregard, or
disrespect. It is not to dishonor, criticize, or condemn. It is not to mock,
ridicule, insult, or disgust.
These are some pretty harsh words. And if we put the word self in
front of each of these words it is even more disparaging. To hate
oneself. To despise oneself. To abuse, condemn, dislike, dishonor,
disregard, and disrespect oneself.
Is it true that we could hate our self, despise our self, abuse or condemn
our self? Is it possible to dislike our self, dishonor our self, disregard who
we are, and disrespect our self?
Could it really be true that we could have such thoughts and feelings
about our self? Of course, it's true. Thousands and thousands of women
in our country experience one or more of these feelings every day. Many
women feel most of these feeling, and too many women experience all of
these feelings every day, even many more.
I remember when I did my list of negative core beliefs. I had 187 and have
added more since. That equals a lot of bad feelings.
It's sad, but true, that the majority of women in our country have been
inflicted one time or another by low self-esteem. Look around you and
you may actually be able to see the negative effect low self-esteem is
having on others-- a lack of self confidence, which shows itself through
body language, such as she's looking down rather than making eye
contact, or she seems to be unable to make a decision, or she looks sad
and/or lonely all the time.
Or she may take the opposite approach. She appears to be overly
confident and perfect all the time. In her work, with her family, in her
community, she is always there. Or she may be the girl or woman,
especially, many young women, who is overly concerned about her
appearance or what someone, or everyone, thinks of her. Then there's
the people pleaser who is there for everyone...... everyone but herself.
Those are just a few examples of how low self-esteem presents itself.
Now that we have taken a peek into what low self-esteem is, let's take a
look at self-esteem and what it means to have self-esteem. First of all,
let's take a look at some words that define positive self-esteem. Look at
the column to the right and you will find a list of positive, descriptive words
in alphabet order..
How does it feel when you read these words? Is there anyone in your life
toward whom you have these feelings? Do you highly regard this person?
Do you cherish, admire, and appreciate this person? Do you love, honor,
and treasure this person?
If there is such a person in your life, hold an image of that person in your
mind's eye for a minute. Really feel all of the wonderful feelings you have
toward this person. Are there others in your life for which you feel these
feelings? How does it feel to think about them? How does it feel when you
are in their company? How does it feel to be on some common level with
Now think about yourself. Do you have these feelings toward yourself? A
few? Some, but not all?
When you have healthy self-esteem you will experience many, if not most,
of the feelings mentioned above and to the right all the time.
So, let's take a look at self-esteem and see how that could be possible.
Self-esteem, good or poor, reflects your overall emotional evaluation of
your own worth. It is a judgment of yourself as well as an attitude toward
the self. Self-esteem encompasses beliefs about yourself. A positive
belief may be, "I am a good person, "I am competent." A negative belief
may be, "I can't do anything right." "I'm stupid, ugly, and unlovable."
Self-esteem is the concept of ourselves that encompasses such emotions
as triumph, pride, worthiness. It is the most important attribute we can
have for ourselves. With it we can climb a mountain. Without it we can't
even get out of bed some mornings. It's what makes us truly glow.
Self-esteem is the heart and soul of every accomplishment that comes
from true self-confidence and self-worth. It is the rock that keeps you
grounded, even in bad times. It is the joyful, loving bond between your
internal and your external self.
For some women, and I hope for all women, but I know that's not true
because of my own background, there was a person or persons who
supported you and helped you with building your self-esteem. When a
little girl feels supported and loved she will most likely have the
confidence to believe she can do anything.
This self confidence and self-esteem will carry over into her adult life.
She will constantly strive to do better in her life. As a mother, she will pass
this onto her own children. As an employee, she will push forward to
reach the goals expected of her, and as a business owner or in a
professional practice, she will have the most important tool she needs to
If her business does not reach her expectations and she must let go of
the business, she will not give up. Instead, she will try again.
There are people in every walk of life who have had to let go of
something precious to them --a job, a business, a home, a marriage, a
person who passed on. Sometimes it's necessary to let go of one thing to
gain something else of importance.
Sometimes it's necessary to let go of a friend who is dragging you down
rather than moving forward at your pace. This often happens to couples.
In the beginning the two persons had, or appeared to have, the same
goals and dreams. However, as time passed, it becomes obvious that
one of the partners is content with status quo, while the other one is still
learning and growing and looking forward to bigger and better things in
Contentment can be, and is, a wonderful place to be if that's where you
want to be. But, if it's not your time to be content, and may never be
your time because contentment is not something you want, then it can
make for a difficult situation.
Grief is always part of letting go, and each person has their own time
frame in which to grieve. A person with healthy self-esteem will go
through the grief period and move on in their life. Whether it's the
person left behind, or the person who (passed away or) moved on
without you, a person with good self-esteem will look once again at the
positives in their life and move forward.
That's not to say they won't go through the stages of grief. They will. But, for those, that's what it will
be-- a stage in which they need to get through, and the next, until they come out at the end a better
person for having known the person(s) in which they grieved.
Self-esteem is powerful simply because it helps you discover your inner power. Self-empowerment is
the greatest gift you can give to yourself. It supports you in making the "right" decisions for your life. It
allows you to take risks, and supports you in making dreams a reality. No matter what you do in life,
the difference between making decisions that will support your life as opposed to decisions that will
work against your life, is directly related to your level of self-esteem.
You would be hard-pressed to find someone, male or female, in prison who has healthy self-esteem.
Oh, yes, there may be the one or two, or even a whole gang, who appear to have self-esteem, but
after digging deeper, you will likely discover that the self-esteem each person in this group appears
to have is false. In fact, you will most likely discover that the power this person appears to possess is
relative to the level of self-esteem this person does not posses.
There are many leaders who genuinely have high levels of self-esteem. All to often they are
recognized more for what they don't do rather than what they do. This being an election year, it will
be hard not to see the candidates at one point or another.
For me, I will always choose the person who shows the best self-esteem. That person will appear
happy with themselves and their world, look comfortable with their self, laugh, have a good sense of
humor, lots of energy, and know a lot about the position for which they are campaigning.
Conversely, if I see someone who is cocky, boastful, arrogant, rebellious, smug, egotistical,
overbearing, and his self-importance is as large as his bank account, which he constantly boasts, I
run the other way and hope that this person doesn't get elected.
It's very interesting watching people and trying to determine whether they have good self-esteem
and to what degree. The signs are there for both good and not so good self-esteem. Are there
shoulders slouched? Are the shoulders thrown back in arrogance? Does the person look totally
stressed out, depressed, or nervous? Or do they look happy, busy, and high spirited? Look at the
eyes, the way the person wears their clothes, the way they walk, talk, and carry themselves. The
signs are there.
Look at yourself. Are there any messages you're putting out to the world about your self-esteem? Are
you welcoming, pleasant, and approachable, or distant, distraught, and disapproving? Do you wear
colors or are you always in drab-looking clothes? Do you smile, say "hi" and complement strangers?
Do you look ahead to the future, or are you stuck in your past?
Self-esteem. The more, the better!
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Counselor/Coach, Author, Lecturer