Self-esteem is the backbone of our personality. It influences everything we do in life. Our self-esteem is never static as it changes with each experience and situation. The key to be who we wish to be, to achieve what we strive to achieve, to work through life's challenges, is a strong self-esteem. It is important to understand that our self-esteem is firstly an attitude quickly followed by an emotion. When your self-esteem is challenged by a particular person or occasion then check your attitude. A change in attitude changes the emotion and enhances our self-esteem.
'SELF-ESTEEM MATTERS' contains a program of 52 topics, one for each week of the year. With each topic, there are a number of exercises designed to enhance your self-esteem. How you use this book is up to you. You may follow the program week by week or pick and choose the exercises that are suitable to you at a particular time. The choice is yours.
Week 13: Positive Self-talk
Once you begin to get your thinking in the present and in the positive, your next task is to work on your self-talk.
As with your thinking, your task is to talk in the present and in the positive.
Exclude statements like, “when I win the lotto.” “I will lose weight and get fit when.” These statements are in the future and will most probably stay in the future.
This is not to say never plan for the future. Planning is good. Goal-setting will work if it is realistic. The idea is to bring the future to you and not to push it away and into the realm of always being the future.
Always listen and monitor your self-talk.
You not only have to eliminate the talk that is in the future but also those words that are indecisive.
The word “try’ is the best example of indecision.
This is important to understand, you either do something or you don’t do something.
If you want to go for a ride on a horse, you either do or you don’t. You cannot try to ride a horse. You may not have the best technique but if you are on a horse, you are riding. If you want to lose weight, it is no use saying, “I am trying to lose weight.” You are either losing weight or not losing weight.
Your self-talk is so important. Always listen to yourself.
Remember, from this point onwards, you are talking in the present and in the positive.
Week 13: Exercises
1. At least three times a day, say 5 things about yourself that are in the positive and in the present. “I am” or “I have” will begin most of these statements. Here are some examples. “I am content with who I am.” I am good at my job.” “I am fit and healthy.” “I have incredible endurance.” “I have an amazing family.” “I love my children.”
2. Write some of these positive statements and place them in positions where you will notice them. Place them next to or on the mirror, on the back of the toilet door, on the fridge door, on a wall or chest of drawers next to your bed, on the passenger seat of your car, on the front of your mobile phone cover and similar places. When you notice these statements, smile and say them to yourself.
3. At least once a day, deliberately limit your conversation or how much talking you do. This is not to be rude. This exercise allows you time to assess what you say and involve the other people more fully. Ask questions instead of making statements or expressing your opinion.
4. Monitor your self-talk. Listen to what you say. Always make your words positive and in the present.
Week 16: Dealing with Family
Most of us have to deal with our family. As children we have no choice. As adults, we do have a choice.
Families often present complicated relationships. There is no manual on how to raise a child. There are often loving and nurturing examples of the relationship between parent and child. However, there are also strained and even hostile relationships as well.
The relationship between siblings is also fraught with varying degrees of love, admiration, jealousy, resentment and all manner of emotions.
The key to improving your self-esteem is to understand that not all family relationships are a success.
Each of us is under immense social pressure to get along with all members of our family. We feel the obligation, especially at times of celebration such as Christmas, birthdays, graduations, weddings and anniversaries.
Yet, there are situations when this does not happen. There is conflict and with that conflict is the associated guilt.
Honesty is so important when dealing with family matters and family relationships.
For the sake of your self-esteem, your dignity and your mental well-being there are times when you need to be honest and say to family members that you find dealing with them in certain situations too much of a strain and you will not be attending or adding to the conversation. This you will do with honesty and without guilt.
Week 16: Exercises
1. It is important to understand that you are part of a family. It is also important to understand that you may find certain members of your family a challenge. In fact, you may not like them. If that is the way things are then deal with the relationships with honesty and strength. You may need to sever the relationship. If you need to keep a family relationship then every day say quietly, “I am happy to be part of my family.”
2. Each day choose a member of your family and reflect on the things that you have in common or the good times you shared. Never dwell on the negative, always dwell on the positive.
3. Contact a family member. If a phone call is too challenging then begin with a text or email. Keep the message short and simple. You may say something like you were thinking of them, of the good times you shared, wishing them health and happiness and success in what they are doing.
4. With family members or at family gatherings that are a challenge, keep your side of the conversation brief and limited in content. Practice making a statement and then asking a question. For example, you may state that your job is fine. You then ask, “How is your work?” or “Are you still working for the same company or have you changed your situation?”
5. When conversations are a challenge, never argue about or justify your situation. In challenging conversations you play politics. You state your position or opinion once, maybe twice, and then ask a question or change the topic of conversation.
How do you strengthen your self-esteem? How do you maintain a strong self-esteem?
Self-Esteem Matters gives you the answers to these vital questions. The book is a practical step-by-step program designed to strengthen your self-esteem. The program is easy to follow and consists of fifty-two topics, one for each week of the year. With each topic, there are a number of exercises specifically designed to enhance and maintain your self-esteem. You may follow the program week by week or pick and choose the exercises relevant to you at a particular time. The choice is yours.
Our self-esteem is critically important. Individual self-esteem determines our attitude and the emotions we feel in all situations and with every experience we encounter. A strong self-esteem establishes and maintains positive attitudes. It increases our level of confidence and self-belief when dealing with others. It strengthens our resolve to seize opportunities for personal growth. It inspires us to be our true self and to be the person we truly want to be.
This program is suitable for all ages. If you have the desire for change, self-esteem does matter. We all have the capacity to strengthen our self-esteem. When you have the desire and the motivation, Self-Esteem Matters provides you with the techniques and the program for change.
About the Author
Brian Dale is an archetype consultant, past life hypnotherapist and workshop facilitator. His expertise is with all ages; children, teenagers and adults.
Brian has a remarkable ability in assisting individuals to discover their inner self, reveal and pursue their passion, heal past wounds and injustices, stimulate their creativity and inspire change with positive personal direction.
A retired primary school teacher, librarian and storyteller, Brian is also an author/playwright, drama teacher and performing arts director.
Other published works include a comprehensive guide to archetypes ‘Archetypes Unmasking your true self’ (2015), two companion books to Archetypes, ‘The Queen’ (2017) and ‘The Knight’ (2017), ‘Decoding the Afterlife’ (2015) and children’s fiction ‘Tilly and the Magic Potion’ (2013) and ‘Charlie the Cheeky Spider’ (2018).