Self esteem is more than a feeling – it’s a habit. It is possible to systematically build healthy self esteem. Like most habits, it takes a commitment and some practice. I remember visiting my dentist who told me I needed to change my brushing practices in order to keep my gums healthy. It feels odd to change something you do the same way every day. But, for several weeks, I took care to brush my teeth in this new way as my dentist instructed. Now the new way has come to be habitual, and I do it without a lot of conscious thought. Now it would feel odd to do it the old way!
Self esteem results from treating yourself well.Taking care of yourself is a way of showing yourself compassion, treating yourself as you would treat a valued friend. How often do you say critical and insulting things to yourself? How often do you beat yourself up for making a mistake or missing an opportunity? Compare this to how you treat a close friend or beloved child. It’s often easier to show compassion to others than to give yourself a break.
Low self esteem is the result of treating yourself badly. We’ll talk more in upcoming posts about components of the habit of healthy self esteem, with tips for concrete steps you can take to build self esteem, starting TODAY.