All of us can, at times, struggle with our self-esteem. Having good self-esteem is a vital part of mastering happiness, and it’s something that only you can provide. There’s a reason it’s called SELF-esteem…it can come only from your SELF.
However, when we are going through a difficult time, it can seem impossible to remember how special you are to the people around you…how you’ve helped make life better just by being you…or the feelings of soft confidence that come from having a healthy dose of self-esteem.
If you’re going through a period where your self-esteem is waning, it’s important to take some time and think about your accomplishments, the things you’re grateful for, the joys in your past and the “wins” you have experienced in your life.
I want you to get out a sheet of paper or a simple notebook. Below, I’ve listed important aspects of life. Write down each aspect, and underneath it, write down an accomplishment in that area. It doesn’t need to be anything big or life-changing. Any accomplishment will do. Take a moment with each topic. At first your mind may just totally blank out and you won’t be able to think of any accomplishment—big or small. That’s OK. Just stay with that feeling and breathe. Let your mind relax and wander.
Ready? OK—lets get writing…
Here are the topics:
- Home and Family
- Sports and Exercise
- Creativity—music, art or some form of expression
- Helping or Serving Others (this can be through an organization, helping an individual or even doing something nice for an animal)
Take some time with this list. If you find a little critic in your head pointing out the bad things that happened or the ways that ultimately things didn’t work out the way you wanted or…whatever (those inner critics have an endless supply of belittling opinions)…let that feeling settle, then return your thoughts and focus back to your accomplishments…your “WINS.”
Nicely done. Do this on a daily basis for the next two weeks, and you’ll find your self-esteem naturally increases and strengthens, and your ability to master happiness expands.
Often we forget to pause long enough to let our accomplishments settle deep in our bones. Creating a list like the one above can be a real boost. Go ahead and review the list you just created before you go to bed at night and when you get up in the morning. Looking at written “proof” of your value and accomplishment before you start your day is much more empowering than watching the news or checking how everyone else is doing on Facebook.
Let your list wash over you. Let your accomplishments become part of you. Heck, they already are a part of you. Invite them to the party! Don’t shove them over into the corner of the room just because they’re not the loudest, most aggressive or “coolest.”
You might even want to add in a positive affirmation after reading this list. A positive affirmation or self-statement is what you tell yourself in a very literal way to boost your personal belief system.
Even if you do not completely believe in the positive affirmation at the time, these statements are a real boost—especially if you’re feeling worthless, inadequate or just “beat up.”
I am going to share some positive affirmations and statements with you. You can develop your own statements and positive affirmations, but feel free to use these as a start…
I have worth and value.
I am a unique, special person.
I am lovable.
I deserve happiness.
I accept myself.
I deserve respect.
So for the next two weeks, I challenge you to write down your accomplishments and read the list daily…or even twice a day! Also, find a positive self-statement/affirmation that you want to work on, and repeat this statement morning and evening out loud facing the mirror.
These two simple things—recognizing our accomplishments and vocalizing a positive self-affirmation—can have a powerful effect on our happiness and are excellent tools to use when practicing the craft of Mastering Happiness.