I write a lot about self-esteem because this issue derails more happy lives than any other. So many cultures seem to be hard-wired to train people to feel guilty (and guilt is low self-esteem's sibling) if they dare to feel good about their accomplishments and to feel even worse if they dare to mention their achievements. Not only is humility the most approved attitude, we have the additional influences of religions teaching that people are basically sinful and have no business liking themselves as they are.
Self-esteem has a hard row to hoe. Yet probably nothing is more important for mental, spiritual, and physical well being.
I have taught methods of detecting negative self-talk, the unearthing of invisible beliefs, and the associated use of crystals and essences. (See list of articles at the end of this one.) In this article, I describe a supplementary technique: deliberate focus on the energy of feeling good about yourself.
When it comes to energy, many of us treat our cars better than we do ourselves. You wouldn't try to run your automobile on sludge, but that's about the quality of the emotions that run us. We work hard and sacrifice because we feel guilty if we don't. Fear of failure may cause us to either take risks that don't fit in with who we are or to back off from the risks that could lead to enhanced lives. We may judge others in order to feel better about ourselves.
We use an especially low-quality fuel when we run on the opinions of others. If people disagree with our ideas, plans, or how we live, we may learn not to trust our inner promptings. Direct negative judgment can puncture that fragile self-esteem balloon. Its companion, lack of validation and praise, causes a slow leak, and that can be just as deflating.
Would you pull into a gas station and stand by the self-service pump waiting for someone else to fill up your gas tank? People go to gas stations to fill up their tanks, not yours. It's a good system, and if we handled self-esteem issues the same way, we'd be a lot better off.
People will never give us all we need in the way of support, not because they're mean or withholding, but because a) even if they try, because they aren't us, they don't know from the inside what we need and b) they're too busy wishing that people would give them what they need for support.
We can react to others' inattention by feeling hurt and using their neglect to reinforce the idea that we're unworthy (or that they're unworthy and plain wrong). We can also decide that our need to be supported means that we need to support ourselves.
That doesn't mean, "No one else will do it, so I guess I'm stuck with me." This attitude leads to half-hearted affirmations. We can repeat: "I am a worthy person," "I love myself," "I deserve everything I want," but if we don't believe any of the above, we end up feeling worse about ourselves when we repeat these phrases.
A shift in our beliefs can change the leaden weight of faint affirmations to the shining gold of self-esteem in the emotional bank. We have to be sure that what we believe about ourselves is more important than what anyone else believes.
Even more important, we need to believe that we always have an internal voice that cheers us on. We can call it our connection to universal love, soul, eternal self, and source. It's that part of you that's immune to the battering the world may give your self-esteem, that aspect of self that restores you while you sleep or meditate. It's your 24/7 connection to unlimited love.
When you feel good about yourself and your life, you're connected. When you don't, you're not.
Noticing our successes and praising ourselves for them activates that connection. We don't have to shoot for big accomplishments. In fact, if you're not in the habit of praising yourself, you'll do better to start off small. Seeds are small, too. Begin in planting mode, remembering that your successes are as big as you allow them to be. When you ignore them, they wither and die. When you acknowledge them, they grow.
Here are some examples:
Mental success is just as important.
You can do your self-esteem workouts in a number of ways.
|And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.
From "Last Fragment"
Citrine is the primary crystal for self-esteem and a sense of empowerment. Its golden rays transmit a sunny glow.
Rose Quartz helps us feel beloved and to know that the source of all love is within ourselves.
Clear Quartz, the mirror of the soul, helps us to realize who we really are.
Sometimes memories of past failures haunt our attempts to appreciate ourselves in the present. Carnelian helps us to be fully in the present and to make wise choices based on inner knowing.
Larch (Bach) is the companion essence to citrine. It promotes self-esteem and self-confidence.
Pine (Bach) helps to dissolve guilt.
Lion (Wild Earth Animal Essences) epitomizes confidence and courage.
Dragonfly (Wild Earth Animal Essences) helps us to see the illusory nature of our negative self-images. Its shimmering wings reveal our true beauty.