Oh my, this week’s topic applies to ALL of us.
This week’s Love Letter is focused intently on the very cornerstone that any search for love or attempts to nurture love, rests upon.
Our individual level of self-esteem.
We cannot have meaningful, healthy, long lasting connection with other human beings, if we first do not have a meaningful, healthy, long lasting connection with ourselves.
Doubt, distrust, resentment, anger, fear, unclear communications, poor conflict resolution, are all typical symptons of low self-esteem. Whilst empowerment, confidence, goodwill and yes, LOVE… need the fertile soil of high self-esteem in which to take root and grow!
Before we dive in, allow me to clarify, from the very start, some of the confusion around Self Esteem.
Many of us think that Confidence and Self Worth (or self-esteem) are one in the same. Let’s pull those two things apart, right now.
Confidence is our outward bravery.
Confidence is the value we wish to show the rest of the world and what is reflected back to us. Confidence can be called upon in the moment, we can pep talk ourselves into confidence before you walk into that big meeting at the office or showing u p for the first day of a course, or before walking into social situations and event.
WARNING. Confidence is TEMPORARY.
That’s okay, temporary is what confidence does best. It just means confidence has an expiration date. That expiration date, is directly triggered by our self-esteem.
SELF-ESTEEM is our inner bravery.
Self -Esteem (or Self-Worth) is how we truly value ourselves, for ourselves. It can also be how we believe we are valued on a universal level. Are we deserving? Are we a good person? Exactly how smart, funny, kind, beautiful do WE believe we are? No one can define our self-worth, our internal value, but us.
The more self-esteem we have, the longer and more genuine our confidence (the projection of that value) lasts.
Self-esteem is an issue that arises for every person I speak with and coach. EVERY PERSON. Regardless of relationship status.
So how do we garner higher self-esteem? The simplest answer to that is do to estimable things. Acts of contribution, giving, care and love worthy of great respect.
So… okay, how what exactly does THAT look like?
When 'the patient comes' to me, complaining of, or displaying low self-esteem, the very first thing I do is check the their vitals.
I ask them, what do they do to love and care for themselves? What estimable acts, what actions of self-love and self care is part of their DAILY practice?
For some, the concept of self-care and self-love is alien. For others, these concepts though familiar, have been cut away.
Sometimes, life gets hectic. Careers, relationships, dating, heartbreak, kids, aging parents, and for way too many of us, the first person to be bumped down the priority list, is US! Acts of kindness and care for ourselves get cancelled out of the diary, put off to tomorrow or next week.
We can’t make that yoga class this week. No time for guided mediation, need to read this research instead. We find ourselves skipping meals; no time for breakfast, totally forget to eat lunch or devour something fast and not so healthy at our desks. Sleep becomes elusive. No time to see friends, too much on our mind to have a giggle. Our hobbies, that give us such pleasure and joy, maybe next week! Holidays, museum days, going for long walks in the countryside… they’ll have to wait too. We’re just to busy; such and such needs my attention, so and so needs my care, this and that needs to get done! It will have to wait, I WILL HAVE TO WAIT!
We are so busy caring for others, meeting our boss's needs, our partners, our children, taking yet another call from a client, a heartbroken friend, or the school, or our parent. We lose any regular practice of self-love. We find ourselves, our happiness and pleasure first on the sacrificial alter.
Yes. Caring for others, making a contribution to the world around us, both small and large are crucial estimable acts HOWEVER today, I want to challenge you... to bump yourself to to the tippy top of the priority list!
We simply cannot go out into the world, with our pitcher filled with water, pouring it out wherever we go, without making sure we are regularly filling it up again, and again.
So here is my challenge to you, if you choose to accept it, that WILL help you garner higher self esteem in just 7 days!!!
Challenge Phase 1:
Make a list of at least 10 items you know are acts of self-care and self-love for you, and you alone.
Ten actions that bring you calm, happiness, wellbeing, pleasure and physical and mental health.
(this could be... yoga, reading a good book, long walk in the countryside, chocolate, spa day, running, facials, fav pod cast, coaching, time with nephews and nieces, spin class, jumping in the sea, fancy meal out, antiquing, live music, positive affirmations, therapy, lunch in the sunshine, open mic nights, and on and on and on!)
Challenge Phase 2:
Take some time here and line by line, item by item, make a numerical notation next to each item that correspond with how many times you actually participated and partook in each of these estimable acts of self care.. in the last 14 days.
Ex. Here is my personal list.
1. Ride my motorcycle (0)
2. Yoga/Pilates. (1)
3. Meditation (1)
4. A day at the seaside (2)
5. Dinner or coffee with friends (1)
6. Ice cream (!!) (2)
7. Going out for comedy/theatre (0)
8. Getting a Massage (1)
9. Bicycle ride (1)
10. Getting out of the office every day (3)
Challenge Phase 3:
Take out your calendar/diary and schedule in SOMETHING every day.
It doesn’t have to be an hour yoga class… maybe 15 minutes on a Yoga app before bed? It may not be 30 minutes of mediation at 7am, but instead a sleep mediation you find on youtube you use at bedtime. It may not be dinner with friends, but scheduling in a 10 minute phone call to your bestie for a giggle.
Intentionally CARVE out 5 minutes on one day, 20 minutes on another, 1-2 hours on a Sunday.. whatever it takes to implement even the smallest act of self care, EACH DAY. It’s high time, you make YOU the first stop on the self esteem your, and fill that pitcher.
Maybe you don’t have a top 10!?! Maybe you have never EVER considered yourself, your needs, your desires, your care as a priority? Maybe you’re not even sure what makes you happy?
WELCOME dearest one. You're in the right place!
I challenge you to come up with a list, let your fingers to the walking on google “What is self love?”, carve out those same blocks in your dairy with the notation ‘Find my joy!’ and “Self care’. Go out and experiment till you find your Top 10 list!
Challenge Phase 4:
Comment below your lists! This will also provide those who are struggling to come up with 10 self care acts with a fodder of ideas to try, so you get some points for contribution! Oooooh!
Post how you got on with putting you towards the top of that priority list this coming week!
Let me know how you are feeling AND how you believe this has effected your interactions and ability to contribute with and to others in your path!
I do hope you accept this 7 day Self-Esteem Challenge and boost that self esteem by engaging with some real kindness, care and joy for yourself... as it will revolutionize how you find, attract, give and receive LOVE!