For people to think highly of themselves, they need to be aware of every aspect of the self and identify their own personal scale to measure their performance. Most people are so used to defining themselves based on others around them that I can understand why this is not an easy task.
Easy it may not be, but it is possible and, I believe, essential.
Last week, in Service Your Self-Esteem, we talked about essential rules to increase self-esteem. To increase our self-esteem, we need to look at ourselves carefully and examine each part of what creates the self.
Last week, we met Eli, my mechanic, and talked about his checklist for car maintenance, the one he uses before returning each car to its owner. Well, here (at last) is a self-esteem checklist – your very own list of the parts of your self-esteem.
When you examine yourself in each of these areas against your own full score (your ideal). You can still drive when the petrol is not on full, but it is much better to drive on a full tank (less worries, less fuel contamination). You can still function if your tyres are not new, but if when they are too worn, you risk skidding and having an accident.
The scale from 1-10 is easy to work with (1 being low and 10 being high). Rate yourself on each one of them and write yourself some ideas to increase it. When you check them all as full, you are in the perfect moment, when you highly think of yourself.
Self-esteem is highly influenced by self-love. If you love yourself, it is because you think highly of yourself. Remember, self-love is not a second name for arrogance or selfishness. You can love yourself and still be kind and caring to others.
Self-love is accepting yourself as a human being, no matter what you do or what you look like and despite any particular attribute you may have.
Write down your personal description of what you would consider ideal (the situation you would score as a perfect 10).
Rate your love for yourself from 1 to 10.
Write as many ideas as you can to increase your self-love. It may help to start by asking “What is missing?” and then developing a way to overcome each of the things you list.
We are the only mechanics in charge of ourselves and need to take care of ourselves. Therefore, we need to make sure we have enough food, enough sleep, enough water, enough stimulation and enough connections. We need to determine what is “enough” for us and make sure we provide it to ourselves.
Our body is the vehicle with which we experience the world. We need to make sure we take care of our physical and emotional self if we want to experience what we call “life”. Your body is a temple – worship it!
Write down your ultimate self-care list.
Rate yourself from 1 to 10. How well do you take care of yourself?
Write down ideas of how can you can take better care of yourself. To supply yourself with motivation for self-care, list the ways in which you are neglecting your wellbeing and ask yourself “What are the effects on my life of not taking care of myself in this way?” Self-care takes time, but self-neglect often takes a lot more away from you.
Our self-esteem can increase significantly when we give ourselves permission to think and feel freely. Thinking and feeling freely is what separates us from others.
Unfortunately, we grow up in a way that the permission is in the hands of the grown-ups, someone stronger, the boss or someone influential. Every time we need their permission, we erode our self-esteem. Remember, thinking and feelings are inside of you and no one can take them away from you.
How much do you give yourself permission to think and feel freely? Rate your self-permission from 1 to 10.
List some ideas to give yourself more permission.
Self-expression comes after self-permission. After we give ourselves the permission to think and feel, we need to give ourselves the permission to express thoughts and feelings outwardly.
Yes, I know, this is a bit scary at first. If you need people’s approval, you might think you are taking a risk, but in fact, it is amazing how much people respect you more when you stand up for your beliefs, thoughts and ideas.
How freely do you express yourself? Rate it from 1 to 10.
Write down some ideas to increase your level of self-expression.
Our self-esteem is significantly influenced by others. Totally relying on ourselves is very hard, since we do not live in a bubble and we need the people around us to fulfil some of our needs. However, if we need people so much that we depend on them to feel, think and do everything, we lose our self-esteem and become subject to external influences.
How much do you feel you are independent? Rate from 1 to 10.
Write ideas to increase independence (emotional, physical, technical…).
Self-awareness is an important engine of your self-esteem. It is your ability to notice and understand your feelings, thoughts and actions. Self-awareness is the ability to answer to yourself “Why am I thinking the way I’m thinking?”, “Why am I feeling the way I’m feeling?” and “Why am I doing the things I’m doing?”
When we are not aware (i.e. we do not understand our thoughts, feelings and actions), we feel confused. This confusion destroys our self-esteem.
How aware are you of your thoughts, feelings and actions? Do you have the answers to why you think, feel and do the things you think, feel and do? Rate your self-awareness from 1 to 10.
Write ideas to increase your self-awareness.
The final item on your checklist is self-worth, which is how valuable you are as a person in your own eyes. It is how useful you think your skills are, how meaningful (significant) you are, how much you think you contribute (add value) to your world and how deserving you are of good things.
A way to discover this is by asking “What would the world be like without me?”
On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you appreciate and value yourself?
Write ideas to increase your self-appreciation and self worth.
To get the most out of this exercise, write a list of 100 things that you appreciate in yourself. Yes, 100! When you are done, write another 100 and another 100, because your worth is endless.
Until next time, be happy in life,
This post is part of the series Self Esteem Mini-Course:
- What Is Self Esteem?
- How School Promotes Low Self Esteem
- Beliefs and Where They Come From
- Social Identity
- Service Your Self-Esteem
- Your Self-Esteem Checklist
- How to Get Rid of Doubts
- Assertiveness and Self Esteem
- How to Be Assertive
- Beliefs of Assertive People
- Ronit Baras’ Success Experience Theory
- Ms Self Esteem has an Identity Crisis
- Conflict Resolution
- Watch Your language or Lose Your Kids’ Trust
- War Between Two Minds
- What if
- What do I Think?
- Awareness is Half the Solution
- Damaging Kids’ Self Esteem
- Boosting Kids’ Self Esteem