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On Solid Ground

By Karen Vally on 30 Jan 2019

Self-esteem is the opinion we have of ourselves. It implies that we are fully aware or our abilities as well as those aspects of ourselves that hold us back. When our self-image is healthy and strong, we feel secure, relaxed and we value ourselves. We truly believe that we are doing the best we can.

Developing a healthy self-esteem takes regular practice. The most fertile period during which it should be nurtured, is in our early childhood years. However, if this was not the case, it is important to realise that our past experiences and relationships need not determine our destiny. We have the power to convert a low self-esteem into a more balanced, vibrant and accurate opinion of ourselves. We can do so by changing our negative thoughts into positive ones, shifting our focus, making certain lifestyle changes and engaging with inspiring people. " When others believe in your abilities, it can be easier to believe in yourself."

Start small, learn to say "No", take regular "self-appreciation breaks", eat good food, exercise regularly, get sufficient sleep, dress well, strive for excellence, don't allow anyone to distract you and refrain from comparing yourself with others. " A better plan is to compare yourself to yourself and to focus on how far you have come." This will raise yourself-esteem and motivate you.

" Sleep can benefit mind and body and it can help you to feel good about yourself. Sleep helps to reduce stress, avoid depression and sharpen your attention."  Do something you enjoy. It brings a sense of accomplishment and can improve our mood and our thoughts about ourselves, our gifts, talents and strengths. Doing something for someone else also encourages us to be kind to ourselves.

A healthy self-esteem enables us to have the courage to express our needs and opinions more willingly and to be more assertive. We become more confident in our ability to make wise decisions and to form secure and honest relationships. Our expectations become more realistic, we become less critical of ourselves and others and our ability to cope with set-backs improves. We shift our focus from the past onto the joy that living in the present brings. We take better care of ourselves, become more optimistic and adopt a positive outlook. We are able to forgive ourselves and others. We are clear about our values. We see good in the world around us and in others. We take rsponsibility for our thoughts, words and actions.

' Self-esteem affects virtually every facet of your life. Maintaining a healthy, realistic view of yourself isn't about blowing your own horn. It's about learning to like and respect yourself - faults and all."

You're one of a kind which makes you uniquely special. Treasure that.


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