Self-esteem is simply an attitude we feel about ourselves and we choose
that attitude. The pillars of self-esteem are:
Individuals with secure self-esteem:
- faith in oneself,
- a positive self-image,
- freedom from fear of both success and failure.
Confidence grows from solid feelings
of self-acceptance. Self-assured people are content to be themselves. What we
believe to be possible influences our hopes, aspirations, actions, and the outcome
of our plans. Those convinced they have limits do not strive, while others constantly
challenge their beliefs about their limitations. Confident people act while self-doubters
agonize. Confident people welcome challenges and changes, they delight in overcoming
difficulties, and even manage to transform problems into challenges. Those who
lack confidence let their fears stand between them and their ambitions. They resist
change because it threatens their sense of security. Self-faith gives people the
power to survive serious disappointments and defeat. What makes us who we are
is our own unique way of how we perceive ourselves, the things around us, and
the world itself. Other people see a reflection of how you see yourself. If you
feel good about yourself, others will be more likely to respond to you positively.
- take responsibility for their actions,
- insist on living up to their own standards,
- seek the stimulation of demanding goals,
Darrel Christenson M. S. 1998
Ways of Building self-esteem:
The process of building self-esteem can be learned and needs to be practiced.
- Eliminate "self-killer" phrases.
- Rid yourself of self-limiting attitudes.
- Don't use negative self-suggestions.
- Learn new techniques of dealing with disappointments.
- Mimic the way people with high self-esteem behave.
- Be persistent.
- Become your own best friend.
1. Write down 1 or 2 things you do well. _________________________________________________________________
2. Write down 1 or 2 things you do not do well. ____________________________________________________________
3. Describe yourself in 1 or two words. ___________________________________
4. Write down 1 or 2 words you think other people use to
describe you. _____________________________________________________________
5. List one thing you have done in the last couple of months
that made you feel good about yourself. _____________________________________________________
6. List one value you have.
7. What do you like about yourself? ______________________________________________________________
8. Look at the values listed below. Which are the most important
to you? Put number 1 - 7 before them; 1 being the
most important, 7 the least.
______ Earning a lot of money
______ Helping other people
______ Raising a family
______ Having good health
______ Having a lot of friends
______ Being a religious person
______ Being proud of your life
If you do not have good self-esteem, you can build it. WAYS
TO BUILD SELF-ESTEEM;
- Display your favorite works of art, crafts, and hobbies.
Pull out things you have made, trophies you have won, and certificates
you have received.
- Brag a little. When you do something good, tell close
family members and friends about it.
- Play your favorite records, songs. If you play music,
invite friends to hear you play. If you like to dance, go to more dances.
- Put up encouraging little notes for yourself, like, "Today
I will feel good about myself", on your wall.
- Look in the mirror and tell yourself good things about
- Read motivational poems and readings
- Do good things for yourself, and give yourself little
presents. **Taking a bubble bath or going for a walk.
- Ask yourself what kind of nice things you would do for
a friend, then do them for yourself.
- Hang up cards you have received from friends, or presents
friends have given you. In this way you will remind yourself that you have
friends that like you a lot because you are a nice person.
- Write a list of all the good things you do and keep it
in your wallet.
- Dress nice.
- Live each day to the fullest. Get the most from each
hour, each day and each age of your life. Then you can look forward with confidence
and back without regrets...
- Be yourself, but be your best self. Dare to be different
and to follow your own star.
- And donít be afraid to be happy. Enjoy what is beautiful.
Love with all your heart and soul. Believe that those you love love you.
- Forget what you have done for your friends; remember
what they have done for you.
- Disregard what the world owes you, and concentrate on
what you owe the world.
- When you are faced with a decision, make that decision
as wisely as possible, and then forget it. The moment of absolute certainty
- And, above all, remember that God helps those who helps
themselves. Act as if everything depends on you, and pray as if everything
depends on God.
MY DECLARATION OF SELF-ESTEEM: I AM ME
In the entire world there is no one exactly like
me. Everything that comes out of me is authentically mine because alone I choose
it. I own everything about me-- my body, my feeling, my mouth, my voice, all
my actions, whether they be to others or to myself. I own my fantasies, my dreams,
my hopes, and my fears. I own all my triumphs and successes, all my failures
and mistakes. Because I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with
me. By doing so, I can love me and be friendly with me in all my parts. I know
there are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other aspects that I do not
know, but as long as I am friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously
and hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles and for ways to find out more
about me. However, I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think
and feel at a given moment in time is authentically me. If later, some parts
of how I looked, sounded, thought, and felt turn out to be unfitting, I can
discard that which is unfitting, keep the rest, and invent something new for
that which I discard. I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do. I have the
tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive, and to make sense
and order out of the world of people and things outside of me. I own me, and
therefore, I can engineer me. I am me and I am okay.
WHO ARE YOU Answer ten times below, using
a noun each time to describe who you are:
1. I am ____________________________________
2. I am ____________________________________
3. I am ____________________________________
4. I am ____________________________________
5. I am ____________________________________
6. I am ____________________________________
7. I am ____________________________________
8. I am ____________________________________
9. I am ____________________________________ 1
10. I am ___________________________________
HOW DO YOU FEEL?
This is all about: Helping you understand
your emotional reactions to different situations. What you will do: 1.
Complete the open-ended sentences below. 2. As a class, discuss the two questions
at the bottom of the page. Sentences to complete:
1. When Iím proud of myself, I ___________________________________________
2. I love _____________________________________________________________
3. I am afraid of _______________________________________________________
4. Iím embarrassed when ________________________________________________
5. I hate ______________________________________________________________
6. I want to be _________________________________________________________
7. I am happiest when ___________________________________________________
8. I am worried about ___________________________________________________
9. In my free time, Iíd like to ______________________________________________
10. Someone who means the most to me is __________________________________
11. In school, I do best when _____________________________________________
12. I need to work harder in ______________________________________________
Questions: 1. What did you find out about yourself? 2.
What do you need to do more of to feel good about yourself?
DIS-IDENTIFICATION AND SELF-IDENTIFICATION For a moment
now, turn your attention to yourself in this room. Get in touch with your body...
Get in touch with your feelings, your mood... Get in touch with your mind, your
thoughts. Now get in touch with the observer that notices the body sensations,
the feelings and thoughts. As the observer, think of this:
- YOU WILL RECEIVE A BODY You may like it or hate it,
but it will be yours for the entire period this time around
- YOU WILL LEARN LESSONS You are enrolled in a full-time
informal school called life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity
to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant or stupid.
- THERE ARE NO MISTAKES, ONLY LESSONS Growth is a process
of trial and error: experimentation. The "failed" experiments are
as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately "works".
- A LESSON IS REPEATED UNTIL LEARNED A lesson will be presented
to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it,
you can then go to the next lesson.
- LEARNING LESSONS DOES NOT END There is no part of life
that does not contain its lesson. If you are alive, there are lessons to be
- "THERE " IS NO BETTER THAN "HERE"
When your "there" has become a "here" you will simply
obtain another "there" that will again look better than "here"
- OTHERS ARE MERELY MIRRORS OF YOU You cannot love or
hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something
you love or hate in yourself.
- WHAT YOU MAKE OF YOUR LIFE IS UP TO YOU You have all
the tools and resources that you need, what you do with them is up to you.
The choice is yours.
- YOUR ANSWERS LIE INSIDE YOU The answers to lifeís questions
lie inside you. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.
- "I have a body but I am not my body".
My body may find itself in different conditions of health or sickness. It
may be rested or tired, but that has nothing to do with my self, my real
"I" .My body is constantly changing; it started out as a baby
and grew continuously, and will continue to change, become stronger or weaker,
skilled in some new things, and gradually grow old. I value my body as my
precious instrument of experience and of action in the outer world, but
it is only an instrument. I treat it well, I try to keep it strong and healthy,
but it is not myself. I have a body, but I am not my body."
- "I have emotions, but I am not my emotions.
My emotions are countless, contradictory, changing. They may swing from
love to hatred, from calm to anger, from joy to sorrow, and yet my essence--
my true nature-- has not changed. ĎIí remain. Though a wave of anger may
try to submerge me, I know that it will pass in time; therefore, I am not
this anger. Since I can observe, and understand my emotions, and then gradually
learn to direct, use, and integrate harmoniously, it is clear that they
are not my self. I have emotions, but I am not my emotions."
- "I have a mind, but I am not my mind.
My mind is a valuable tool of discovery and expression, yet it is not the
essence of my being. Itís contents are constantly changing, it gains new
ideas, new knowledge and experience. It can think something falsely and
then find out the truth and think something entirely different. Sometimes
it refuses to obey me; therefore it cannot be me, myself. It is an organ
of knowledge in regard to both the outside world and my inner world, but
it is not myself. I have a mind, but I am not my mind."
- I have pain and pleasure but I am not my pain and
pleasure. My pain and pleasure are always changing. Sometimes the pain
really hurts badly; sometimes it lets up, and sometimes I feel really good.
Sometimes my pleasure is really intense and then it lets up and fades away.
Therefore, I cannot be my pain or pleasure. I have pain and pleasure,
but I am not my pain and pleasure."
- "I have thoughts, but I am not my thoughts.
Sometimes my thoughts are pleasant or happy. Sometimes they are sad or confused.
My thoughts change and I watch them change. I have thoughts, but I am not
my thoughts. Sometimes my thoughts are argumentative and I let myself have
an argument. But I am not these things. These are some things that I have
or do. I see myself having or doing them. Therefore I cannot be them. I
have thoughts but I am not my thoughts."
- "I have desires but I am not my desires.
My desires are often changeable and contradictory, with alternations of
attraction and repulsion; therefore they are not myself. When I am hungry,
I desire food, but when I am filled I do not. I have desires, but I am not
- "I have roles to play, but I am not my roles.
I engage in various activities and play many roles in life. I must play
these roles, and so I willingly play them as well as possible, be it the
role of son or father, husband or student, worker or prisoner. But I am
more than these roles. These are roles, specific but partial roles, which
I myself am playing, must play, agree to play, and can watch and observe
myself playing. Therefore I am not any of them. I am self-identified, and
I am not only the actor, but the director of the acting."
- "Who am I then? What remains after having
dis-identified myself from my body, my sensations, my feelings, my desires,
my mind and my actions?
- It is the essence of my self-- a center of pure self-consciousness,
- It is the permanent factor in the ever-varying flow of
my personal life. It is that which gives me a sense of being, of permanence,
of inner balance. It is the center that lets me know who I am, in the midst
of all the flurry of external events, when I remember myself. Take a moment
right now to identify with this center, to realize its self-consciousness,
its permanence, its energy.
- Now I recognize and affirm myself as the center of pure
self-awareness and creative dynamic energy. I recognize that from the center
of true identity I can learn to observe, direct, and harmonize all the psychological
processes and the physical body. I will be able to remember this experience,
to remember myself in the midst of my everyday life, and use this awareness
to help me and to give me increasing meaning and direction in my life."