Your guide to a
new direction in life

Lillie Lee, LCSW

Are you your best friend?

Self esteem is how you feel about you, whether or not you feel you are lovable and capable, that you have worth simply because you exist.  Gloria Steinem says, “Self esteem isn’t everything but without it there is nothing.”  Self esteem impacts every area of your life:  the people you attract, the work you do, your health, the decisions you make, and the money you earn.

Self-esteem begins to develop six months after conception.  From six months on, the fetus can hear, experience, taste and on a primitive level learn and feel.  When young, we are like ducklings imprinting on our caretakers. Responses of parents, siblings, teachers, coaches, and ministers have a large impact on us.  Self-esteem develops over time and is based on experiences, feelings and the meaning made out of what happens.  By the time we are six years old, major beliefs about our self and our place in the world, our life scripts are in place.

Most people grow up on disapproval.  After leaving home you tend to treat yourself the way you were treated growing up and /or attract others who will disapprove of you either in your work life or your personal life. Disapproval can become equated with love.  If one gets enough disapproval, in a crazy kind of way, one feels loved, which undermines self-esteem. How do you feel about you?  Are you your best friend or worst enemy?  Two out of three Americans have low self esteem.  Self-esteem will only increase if one affirms oneself.  Increasing self-esteem means taking risks and practicing new behaviors to increase aliveness and become your best friend. Increasing self-esteem is the most essential ingredient to creating happiness and a healthy fulfilling life.  Improving self-esteem helps in every area of your life.

There are many practices, which help increase self-esteem.  One practice is to listen for any negative self-talk. “That was stupid” and turn it around to a positive supportive statement like “that was my best and I can do better next time.”  Look for beliefs you carry which are limiting or destructive like, “ I’m not good enough” and create a positive affirmation or rhyme to work with.  Do something nurturing that feels good each day. Increasing self-esteem takes awareness and action. Whatever it takes, you are well worth the effort.

For more information, contact, Lillie Lee

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