Being sel-critical helps to keep low self-esteem going , but is only one half of the equatipobn . The other half is ignoring or discounting your good points, and failing to treat yourself with kindness, consideration and respect.
LEARNING TO APPRECIATE GOOD POINTS
Low self-esteem makes you alert for anything negative about yourself at the expense of anything positive. Even if you occasionally notice ypour good qualities you may discount or forget them, or see them as exceptions rather than as a true reflection of who you are. You might think ,’I know the meal I made was nice, but anyone could have done it, probably better ‘. Unsurprisingly these biases against yourself will naturally affect your mood, energy and motivation and make you feel that you are not worth treating with consideration . Learning to value your good points will help you to do yourself justice and develop the feeling that it is okay to be you.
Watch out for”Yes,but…’s
If your low self-esteem is well embedded , the idea of appreciating your positive qualities may seem entirely alien to you. As you try out the strategies outlined below, you will almost certainly have thoughts along the lines of”Yes,but…” : Yes ,but that would be boasting !” Yes, but suppose other people don’t agree ? ‘ Yes, I am generous , but only sometimes .’ These will seem more convincing and belieevable when your mood is low. Yes, but ….’s may seem like barriers to progress , but in the fact they are extremely useful . Every time you notice one, you are in the fact catching something that keeps you stuck in low self-esteem , right in front of your very eyes . Yes, but …. ‘s are actually helping you to find out more about yourself.
Identifying good points
It is a good idea to use a notebook for this exercise. Try making a list of your positive qualities. How many come to mind will vary from person to person. If your low self-esteem is not there all the time, or is not very strong , then you might be able to come up with ten or even twenty positive qualities , after giving yourself time to reflect . If your low self-esteem is persistent and long standing , and no one taught you to value yourself and treat yourself respectfully , you may find it difficult to think of even one .
Don’t despair, You are a new developing mental muscle . At first you will feel stiff and awakward but, if you keep practising , it will get easier and you will find that you are able to come up with several positive qualities. Don’t worry if you can only find one or two good points to start with, and if even that take a while , stick with it. Take your time , go at your own pace , continue to add things as they occur to you, leave your list and come back to it as many times as you need. If you have a supporter , ask them how they see you: they can probably see good qualities in you that you have trouble noticing for yoursself.
Making it real: reliving
Recoginsing your good points needs to become part of your everyday thinking, not just words written down in a peace of paper. Once you havev your list , find a time and place to relax and reflect. Focus on your first item, and recall a recent occasion when you demonstrated this quality in your behaviour . For instance, if your first positive quality is,’ I’m helpful’, try to bring to mind a recent occasion when you were indeed helpful. It should be recent because you need to remember clearly what happened . Recreate the situation in your mind ‘s eye. Call up a vivid image – what you saw , what you heard, what you felt in your body . Home in on what you did that was helpful and the emotions you experienced at the time.
I will complete in article 4 soon.
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