My experience in developing Self Esteem

By RosalieM Latest Reply 2015-02-21 16:27:56 -0600
Started 2015-02-20 13:15:15 -0600

First the disclaimer. This is my opinion based on my own experience, my own conclusions, it may or may not have any meaning for you. It is not a judgment of you as I don't know you.
I find self esteem to be the heart of many difficulties people have with each other. My definition of self esteem is found in the word self. To me self esteem is what I think of myself. Not what someone else thinks of me. Poor self esteem may have been caused by ones poor upbringing.
That could be true in my case. I decided that since self esteem is what I think of myself, I can change that to what ever I want. How to do it was the question. So I ask myself what do I like and respect in others. I talk to myself a lot! I made a list, which is open ended. I value creativity,
learning, honesty, integrity, responsibility, reliability…so on. I started developing those traits in myself. They always remained uppermost in my mind as a goal. Was I perfect? no but I plodded on. Some of my goals were not to do things, they included don't quite, don't envy others, never get even, never gossip, never hold a grudge. As I grew in those character traits over the years and they became a habit. I liked myself more and more. Myself esteem was increasing. When someone says something to me that is not nice, I look at myself to see if something needs to be added to my list. If it does, I start working on it, if it doesn't I ignore it because I know who I am. The only one who can hurt my feelings now is me. In my estimation, revenge, envy, hatred etc. and many other negatives are engaged in by people who don't like themselves very much. Sometimes people try to make themselves look better to themselves by putting others down, buying a bigger car, following the latest fad and on and on. But it usually doesn't work for them. How did I come up with this, the first two things on my list was creativity and learning. Everything else came as I learned and practiced. I have also learned that it is now very easy for me to be open. I have nothing to hide from myself or others. If a defect in my character is shown to me I put it on the list and start to work on it. It feels wonderful! What do you think? Does this have value for you?

10 replies

lilleyheidi 2015-02-21 02:53:00 -0600 Report

I think it is great and I'm happy when I see people with good self esteem. For reasons I don't think important to get into here, I've never had good self esteem, always felt quite low of myself, lesser than others and as you discussed earlier this week, in need of strokes to feel better.
I've had a bit of a slap in the face and a wake up call, and have made some major changes in my life. A few things that helped me were 3 notebooks, 2 small, one regular sized, my regular sized is for stream of consciousness journalling, one small one is for 5 things a day I am grateful for and the seconId small one is for 5 things a day that happened that were good. (not every day is good, but there is good in every day). Through doing this every day I have come to find more and more about myself, and learned to like myself and see my value.I no longer feel such low self esteem, I feel pretty darned good about myself, and because of that no longer feel the need for daily strokes. I still believe every person regardless of their self esteem needs and deserves strokes, but I don't need them as often now. I can feed my own fire so to speak.
I will say, having been at both sides of low self esteem and higher self esteem, a better self esteem feels better.
PS, I've also dramatically changed my eating which helped with the self esteem, even before the dramatic weight loss, the food made me feel better than the junk i was feeding myself.

RosalieM 2015-02-21 12:03:51 -0600 Report

Hi lilley,
What your doing is great. A suggestion, decide on a couple of traits you most admire in other people, then work on cultivating those traits in yourself. Character traits, are what I am talking about. Anybody can do that. I am bad at math, and I will never be good at math, but I don't judge myself on math skills as it is not in my genes to be mathematical. Character traits are not genetic so we can all do them. You will like yourself even more as you progress. This is a matter of self awareness.
Most people seem to assume they are stuck with low self esteem. But they are not. My self esteem use to be like whale poop, that is at the bottom of the sea. My late husbands saying :). Even whale poop can learn to float.
If you try it and make the first traits you choose, having to do with your diabetes, you will like yourself better and get healthier at the same time.
How good is that?

haoleboy 2015-02-20 16:28:46 -0600 Report

Never been accused of having low self-esteem. My challenge is balancing it with humility. Something I work on daily … and something this world needs more of.


RosalieM 2015-02-20 17:46:09 -0600 Report

My humility challenge doesn't come with self esteem, but self confidence. There are not the same in my books.

haoleboy 2015-02-20 19:19:07 -0600 Report

we are reading different books …

"Humility comes from the Latin word humilis, which literally means low. If you feel humility in front of someone, you feel small in the scheme of things — that you are just a simple, insignificant person. Someone who spends his life taking care of others shows humility. Although it's related to humiliation (which makes you feel low in a bad way), humility is usually used to talk about a lack of ego."

"The 'esteem' part of self-esteem comes from the Latin verb aestimare, meaning to value. The "self" part is self-explanatory, referring to you, yourself. So think of self-esteem as how you value yourself. If you think everything you do is wonderful and deserves praise, you have no self-esteem problems, but if you feel like you are not worthy of good things, you may have low self-esteem."


valentine lady
valentine lady 2015-02-21 16:27:56 -0600 Report

Hi Steve
Love everything you've written in this thread. You go dude…I think we have similar personalities. …lol. Hugs, VL

RosalieM 2015-02-21 12:21:03 -0600 Report

I don't think everything I do is wonderful nor do I think it deserves praise. What self esteem means to me is: I am able to be honest and open, I don't have ulterior motives in how I treat people etc. That doesn't mean I don't make mistakes as I do, but I am open to discovering my mistakes and correcting them. I don't feel a need put on a false front to make someone think I am better than I am or better than they are. What you see is what you get. No hidden agendas. That is why I encourage people to correct me if I am wrong. Correction allows me the opportunity to improve more. That is what makes me like myself.

haoleboy 2015-02-21 13:08:52 -0600 Report

As I said … we're reading different books. If your book is working for you, great. Mine's working for me … so we can both be happy.