It’s easier to focus on physical wellness, but emotional wellness cannot be ignored. I want to give you some tools to put in your emotional wellness toolbox. These are action items that you can start doing today to improve your self-esteem. Emotional well-being is different from mental health because mental health is diagnose conditions like depression and anxiety. Emotional well-being is loneliness, failure, and heartbreak, the non-diagnoseable stuff. In my professional opinion that it is one area of our well-being that limits us from facing our fears in the fear zone. These tools will give you ways to tap into your self-confidence, self worth and self-esteem starting today. THE most important jobs we have in our lifetime. Our quality of life rests upon our foundation of our well-being. With a strong foundation we can achieve our highest potential in life and reach self-actualization.
“Self-esteem is like an emotional immune system that buffers you from emotional pain and strengthens your emotional resilience.” -Guy Winch
Let’s get one thing straight. Self-esteem is not a genetically inherited trait. Our opinion of ourselves is something we develop early in life as messages and experiences with family and friends shape our opinion of ourselves and the world around us. Depending on your journey in life you may have felt successful, celebrated, and respected while others may have been bullied, ignored, or isolated. No matter which experience you had, we have to learn to value ourselves and our skills. We need self esteem to help us bounce back from heartbreak, grief, and emotional pain. It is possible to improve our self-esteem and our self-confidence by changing our mindset. Let’s put some tools in your emotional toolbox to keep our self esteem afloat.
#1 Embrace failure
Failure is not a measure of success. Failure can be a beautiful thing to experience because it allows us to practice humility. Our response to failure is what matters the most. Changing our reaction to failure allows our mind to appreciate that we are capable of learning and growing as opposed to thinking that we are helpless and unable to learn new skills or achieve something outside of our comfort zone. Remember you control you. You can control your reaction to failure. You can control your opinion of your self worth following a failure.
#2 Accept compliments
Affirmation is powerful. Giving ourselves and others words of affirmation to boost one another’s self-esteem is a simple exercise that can involve your whole family. Get a piece of poster board or just generic printer paper and hang it prominently on a wall in a space where you and your family spend most of your time. Title one poster for each person with the phrase, “What I love most about ______”. Then as the mood strikes add what you love about each person to their poster. Do this exercise until the paper is full however long it takes. Reflect on these positive affirmations and celebrate your awesomeness. When you take them off the wall, allow each person to keep these affirmations in a place where they will be able revisit their awesomeness in moments when they feel low self esteem. This activity is sure to trigger conversations that reinforce positive characteristics about each person. Everyone has something to offer and their value can and should be celebrated. Sometimes we don’t even realize how much we mean to other people until we take a moment to tell them how much they mean to us.
Journaling is a safe way to channel intimate personal thoughts. The privacy of a journal allows us to flood pages with any variety of thought that flows from your headspace. If you read my book you know how important journaling is to me. Remember, your journal is a judgement free zone. We can claim our failures and expose our insecurities. Once it’s out of our head we can only then realize that these are only feelings and not facts. Sometimes the simple act of physically writing our feelings out on paper is enough to identify where the falsehoods lie in our opinion of ourselves. Never underestimate the power of writing. Consider it time well spent.
#4 Make personal hygiene a priority
Feeling fresh always gives our self confidence a boost. There are many ways to freshen ourselves up. Sometimes taking a nice hot shower is all we need to feel alive and well. In other cases it’s our decades old wardrobe that’s got us bogged down and feeling like we are in a rut. As I decided to “face my own fears” and become a brand partner with a NEW athleisure wear company in pre-launch to monetize what I’m already doing (wearing athleisure wear). Now I “wear and share” with my friends and family. Help myself and others feel confident. Win and Win. Make no mistake a little shopping spree will not solve all your self-esteem problems, but it will give you a confidence boost that we all sometimes need to get us through to the next big challenge. Come join the fun! Or Come Shop! Please Contact me if interested in shopping or becoming a brand partner. Becoming a brand partner includes includes working with me one on one AND making money... woohoo.
#5 Do more of what you are good at
Identify skills you have that you excel at and seek opportunities to use those skills. There is no sense in forcing your hand at something you are not good at or you don’t enjoy doing. For example, if you are not good at cooking and you don’t enjoy cooking, then dammit don’t spend your energy agonizing over the fact that you are a terrible cook. Find a work around. Ruminating over your lack of skills in the kitchen won’t do your self esteem any favors. There’s probably something else you are good at where you can spend your precious time, which is limited. Savor the moments you have by doing things that you are good at and bring you joy.
#6 Follow through on your commitments
Ultimately your commitments are tiny contracts with yourself that involve other people. By not following through on your commitments you lose trust in yourself. Trusting yourself to achieve tasks is important for your self worth. Everyone has something to offer. We might not all be a Bill Gates level contributor, but we all have gifts and talents. Your talents are valuable to society at some level. So if you sign your name to an agreement of any kind, follow through on your commitment.
#7 Focus on saying “I need…” instead of “I should…”
A good friend gave me this tip and it is a great way to check yourself and get instant results. So solicit help from a close friend on this one. Ask them if they hear you using statements that start with “I should…”. If you are using “I should…” statements frequently there is a strong chance that you are setting unrealistic expectations for yourself. When we say I should we are subconsciously putting pressure on ourselves to achieve something that realistically you cannot. For example you might say, “I should be folding laundry and not going for a run.” Instead of feeling guilty for going for a jog we need to change our opinion of our self worth. The “I should” statements lead to a constant state of disappointment in yourself. That disappointment could spiral into anxiety, stress and depression. Not worth it. Get on the “I need” bandwagon. Start saying,“I need to go for a jog so I have more energy to fold the laundry.”
#8 Practice self-compassion
It is our imperfections that make us human and beautiful. Give yourself some grace. We all have imperfect characteristics or make mistakes from time to time. Imperfections are not reflections of our worth and mistakes are only isolated moments in time. When your inner voice starts spouting off criticism try this exercise: Take 3 minutes to write a message to your dearest friend who is (let's pretend) struggling with the same problems as you and in this message express your support and compassion for your dear friend. Now read this letter to yourself. That is the self compassion you should be giving yourself.
You see the thing about a toolbox is that when you need to fix something your tools are right there at your fingertips. Depending on the problem, you don’t need to use every single tool; just the one that is right for the job. Some tools you will use more often than others and some tools will only help to fix certain problems. I hope you’ll add these tools to your emotional health toolbox and use them when you need them or if you need them. Our opinion of ourselves matters. You are enough. You add value to the world. It’s time to dip our toes into the middle as they say and do the hard work in the fear zone and learning zone. Facing our fears is the only path to self-actualization.
About Mama Bear Domain
Kelly Hater, owner of Mama Bear Domain, has over 15 years of coaching experience along with a B.S. in Health Promotion specialized in Exercise Science.
She specializes in helping clients overcome mom burnout, providing a clear, decisive plan that leads her clients on a path of success. Her clients no longer let mom guilt steal their identity and goals. Moms deserve to be happy and live a fulfilling life. She personally has overcome overwhelming struggles herself. Get the accountability needed to take action. As a mom of two she gets it. Get your E-Book Mom, Open Your Eyes to Self-Awareness.
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