terça-feira, 29 de maio de 2012

Por mais amor próprio

Do Positivy Blog.
"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection."
Buddha

"Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand-break on."
Unknown

Hi!

Your self-esteem is one of the most important things in life. It is one of those things that will make a huge difference for you if you work on it.

So one thing that certainly helps is to know about some common mistakes people make that can really make the self-esteem plummet. In this newsletter I'll share 4 mistakes that I and many others have made and what you can do about those issues.

Letting your inner critic take over your thoughts.

We all have an inner critic. The critic can spur you on to get things done and to behave in way that gains acceptance from the people around you. But it can also drag you and your self-esteem down.

The inner critic whispers or shouts thoughts in your mind. It could be thoughts like:

  • You are lazy and sloppy too, now get to work.
  • No one really likes you for who you are.
  • You always fail in relationships.
  • You aren't good at your job at all and someone will figure that out and throw you out.

Now, the inner critic can as I mentioned help you to be productive and so on. But there are alternatives that are better. If you want to become more effective then it will for example be healthier and more productive to remind yourself of your major reasons for doing what you do each day. You could write down the most important reasons why you are focusing on this project, on these classes in school and so on and put that note where you will see it every day.

But, as you start going on that other, healthier path, you also have to stop the critic so it does not start to drag you down. You have to talk back to it.

You can do so by simply creating a stop word or stop-phrase that you say or shout in your mind whenever your critic pipes up with a distorted and self-esteem hurting thought.

Simply say: Stop!

Or use something else. I like these two phrases:

  • No, no, no, we are not going there!
  • No, that is just silly and not true!

They have worked well for me to get the inner critic to shut up. Try these ones out or create one that feels good and works for you.

Then use it to not get dragged down by your own inner critic when it may get triggered by for example criticism or a mistake in everyday life. And as you use the word or phrase and it becomes a habit and as you find healthier paths towards what you want your critic will pop up up less and less.

Forgetting to appreciate yourself regularly.

It is easy to neglect all the fine things you actually do and the good traits and things about you as a person. And if you neglect that and don't appreciate yourself regularly then your self-esteem won't rise no matter how many good things you do and how wonderful you may be.

One way to help yourself out with that and with appreciating what is good and wonderful about you is to use a self-appreciation journal.

You can do that by taking out a pen and notepad (or by using a word processor on your computer or cell phone) every evening for a week. There you write down 5 things you appreciate about yourself. 

But make sure that you do not only write down accomplishments. Also write down good stuff related to your core-self esteem. By that I mean things that always there no matter how you perform at work or in school. It could be things/traits like your sense of humor, your kindness, your honesty, wisdom, creativity and so on.

Building imaginary catastrophes in your mind.

This very common thought mistake and habit is when you build up a nightmare scenario of how everything could go totally wrong in some situation and imagine a big catastrophe in your mind. 

You may have a presentation tomorrow and your mind starts to pull up a scenario where you have left your notes at home, you make a fool of yourself, you are embarrassed in front the whole company and your boss yells at you for 20 minutes after the meeting. 

Scary stuff for sure. 

Now, here is how I have made this problem a lot less common for me and how I handle it when it pops up once in a while. First, say stop to the inner critic. 

Take a few deep breaths to calm down.

Then think back to your past. How many times in the past have these catastrophe scenarios that your mind throws at you actually become reality? Never or very few times I would imagine. That has certainly been the case for me. 

So say stop, calm yourself down and look to the past to calm that nervous mind and remind yourself of the actual facts from the past.

Judging instead of being understanding of others (and yourself).

By being more judgmental towards other people you tend to be more judgmental towards yourself. Not a good thing if you want to create new relationships, improve the ones you have and if you want to raise your self-esteem.

But luckily, this works for other kinds of viewpoints and behaviors too. So by being kinder towards and more understanding of others if becomes easier to do the same to yourself. One simple way to focus on being more understanding and kind when you feel the need to judge someone is to use helpful questions. One I find to be really effective is:

What parts of this person can I see in myself? How is he or she like me?

This one helps me to shift my perspective from what is different and what I feel the need to judge to what we have in common instead. This tears down the mental barriers between us and I can feel closer to and more understanding of this person.

Try it out whenever you feel the need to judge someone, no matter if it is someone close to you or someone you don't even know.

By doing so it becomes more natural to extend and use this more understanding and kind frame of mind when you view yourself too. And by behaving in this way towards others you will feel better about yourself and in that way raise your self-esteem too. I understand if this may seem a bit odd. It seemed odd for me too at first. But it works so well and can make a world of difference in your life.

I hope this email will help you to have a great week and summer,

Henrik

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