Become aware of the alternatives
Learn how to use it
Encounter a pressing need
Move out of your comfort zone
A pressing need led me to explore an alternative that I had discovered but had not utilized. That same pressing need prompted me to learn the mechanics of using the new system. And my final step was to let go of my land line – that comfort zone of familiarity.
One of the major beliefs that stand in the way of our success is what we believe we deserve. Both our self-esteem and self image affect that belief and both can be improved upon.
Self esteem is about how you regard yourself at the deepest level
We develop our prominent world view by the age of five. And that world view is not controlled by us. We are influenced by those around us – our parents, their philosophy, the example they set, how they feel about us. Through the atmosphere in the home environment we develop how we feel about ourselves and the world around us – what we expect to receive in that world. Are we a good kid, are we smart, are we safe, are we valued, are we encouraged, are we loved? So here we are at age whatever-we-are-now wondering what to do about our bouts of low self esteem.
The key to success in life is to recognize the existence of the problem in the first place
Take a reality check. Look back at what you accomplished. Look at what you did do, not what you failed to achieve. Look for and acknowledge the gifts only you have been given for your unique life. Question where your self-doubts come from. Was that a fear of one of your parents? How did their beliefs influence yours? Question your beliefs. Question your assumptions. Look carefully at what you now believe and why you believe it. Re-chose or discard the belief based on who you are today and how you want to live your life. Then take total responsibility for what happens to you.
Self Image is how you think you measure up to those around you
Self-image is a judgment you make of yourself. Self-image is how you think you rate in comparison to others. The irony is, you are the only one making that comparison. There is always someone out there who can do more than you can better than you can. Learn to appreciate the unique person you are. Recognize all you have to give to the world. Self-image definitely affects self-esteem however, you can change your self-image simply by seeing and acknowledging how valuable your life is.
Our self-esteem and self-image determine what we believe we deserve
Low self-esteem keeps us from asking for what we deserve. We don’t ask for more money for our product or service because we don’t think we deserve it. We’re not certain that what we have offered is important enough, or big enough or valuable enough. All that self-doubt comes from low self-esteem. Whether you’re reluctant to raise your prices, ask for a raise, or go for that new client, your attitude about yourself will determine how you go about it and if you succeed. Are you good enough, attractive enough, smart enough, strong enough, wise enough? Of course you are!
The level of your self esteem shows up in your choices. You picked the bummer boy friend because of low self-esteem. You don’ think you deserve any better. You feel your boss doesn’t value you because of your low self-esteem. You don’t even attempt to approach a new opportunity because of your low self-esteem and the belief that you couldn’t possible win and you certainly don’t deserve it. It’s not outside influences that affect your success, it’s the inside influence – what you say to you about yourself to yourself. And you can change that self-talk.
Motion your language
Negative self-talk is the most detrimental thing we can do to ourselves. “I can’t do that.” “I have no friends because I’m not likable.” “The other person is smarter that I am.” Stop that! Stop that now!!!
When I first became aware of how strongly my language influenced my life experience I really had to practice saying more positive things – to others and to myself – about others and about myself. Sometimes I stopped myself in mid-sentence so I could change the negative direction my words were going. It’s not just your words; it’s your thoughts and your actions. That’s a lot to monitor but it can be done.
Maintain an Acknowledgment List
Count your baby steps. A friend of mine got a divorce after 35 years and she is not well prepared for the practical aspects of caring for herself. She had allowed herself to be very dependent on her husband and her self-esteem is extremely low. She has a long journey ahead of her to become self-sufficient. But she is doing it, one step at a time. One of the things she did to help herself was to keep an Acknowledgement List. Whether it was learning to change the furnace filters, or going to the class on Quicken, she keeps taking steps that will ultimately change her life experience. Count the baby steps. Count the things that were hard only for you but that you did anyway. Then acknowledge yourself for having achieved them. Perhaps you wrote one article out of the twenty you want to write, but one is good and that is forward motion. Acknowledge yourself. Give yourself credit for the steps you take, however large or small.
Stop comparing yourself with others
We are each uniquely different – thank goodness. If you see a quality in someone else that you admire, work on increasing that quality in yourself. Don’t beat yourself up if you are only able to partially achieve your goal, just keep practicing. . You are your own unique mix and that has great value. But stop looking at someone and thinking “I can never be that way.” You will never be just like someone else – and that’s a very good thing You are needed in the world just the way you are. Acknowledge and cherish your own uniqueness.
We have created our life experience
What we think, how we act and what we believe all influence how we experience our life. What you look for you will see more of. If you are looking for the things that could go wrong, you will find them. If you keep focused on positive possibilities they will show up. Your choices today, this very minute, affect your next experience. Choose well. It influences the outcome.
I think I can, I KNOW I can
Erase self doubt. Instead of telling yourself you think you can, shout out “I KNOW I can!” Then go do it. We each give ourselves negative feedback from time to time. Listen to yourself. Listen to the words you speak and the thoughts you think and change them into positive affirmations of how truly great you are. We are each perfect just the way we are. We each contain our own unique blend of talents and skills, of beauty and strength. We are unique just like everyone else and we must learn to value ourselves for that uniqueness.
YOU are the primary force shaping you life. Love yourself. You deserve it.
The pilots call it “down time.” Musicians may refer to it as “between sets.” It could be the time between jobs or between tasks, but whatever you call it we’re referring to those unfilled moments in which you find yourself with nothing to do. How you fill those open spaces can make all the difference in what comes next. Here are six ways to use those open times for inner work.
1. Reflection: What did you accomplish?
I particularly like the week between Christmas and New Year. For me it is a time to examine the year just completed, to acknowledge what I accomplished and plan the year ahead. I begin by looking for what really worked. That acknowledgement is very important. If you take time to list all you have done you may be both surprised and pleased. Maybe you want to call it a “Gratitude List” rather than an “Acknowledgment List.” Write down your successes, you’ll find you have a lot to be grateful for.
2. Contemplation: What do you want to change?
Of course, some things didn’t work and we get to give gratitude for them too because they contained our lessons. We found out that we didn’t know how to do it, or people didn’t want it, or the timing was off, or, or, or… Looking at our less-than-successful ventures gives us insights into what not to do next time or how to do it differently if we choose to try it again. What lessons did you learn?
3. Decisions: What do you want more of?
Some things were absolute joys for us so of course we want more. What made them happen? What parts of it made it so invigorating? A little examination of what happened, what its components were and why it happened helps us take a giant step toward attracting more of the same. What do you want more of in your life?
4. Values: What qualities do you want to attract?
Whether you are contemplating next year or next quarter or next week or next day, what qualities do you want to be there for you? I’m a bit too much of a loner so I’ve decided to embrace the quality of willingness to be more social. Within 24 hours I had a most rewarding conversation with someone I knew only slightly. We deepened our understanding of each other and it warmed my heart. The next day another new friend felt comfortable in asking me to drive her somewhere. Another friendship expanded all because of my willingness to be more social. What qualities do you want to have evident in your life?
5. Choice: What you focus on you get
It’s very simple. What you look for you will see. What you focus on you will attract. If you look for negativity you will see a lot of it. If you look for positive reinforcement you will see how much there is of that around you. Notice the words you use. Are they “I can’t,” or “I can” phrases? Notice what you expect to happen – good things or bad. Once you are aware of what you are focusing on you have a choice to consciously start focusing on and expecting only the good.
6. Take charge: You are the director of your life
I play weekly cards with a woman that when I first started I found to be very, very judgmental about how I played the game that was new to me. It showed in the tone of her voice, in her judgmental sighs (you’ve heard those) and her attitude. Now I know that I always have a choice: I can hang out with people whose positive energy I like and not be with people whose energy is negative. I privately mentioned to another one of the card players that if that judgmental-ness kept up I might not play cards. It was just a concerned comment and the expression of an awareness on my part that I had a choice. I have a feeling she told the woman for the latter gradually began to change. And a few evenings later the woman said, “This is so much fun!” Because she had changed her attitude, that had changed our responses to her.
You are the director of your life. What you say, what you think, what you look for, what you do, all influence those around you and their reactions to you. If you do nothing else in those quiet, reflective spaces of time, look at what you want to change about yourself. What do you need to let go of? What do you need to do more of? How can YOU change? Then do it.
Use your open time to contemplate, to rest in the unfilled spaces and simply see what shows up. Look within and see how balanced you are. What does your body need? What does your soul need? Use these pauses to reflect and make new choices based on what you find within. Open spaces are for inner work. Use them wisely.