Friday, June 25, 2010

How Self-Image and Self-Esteem Shape Our Life

Research shows that four in every five people report they have suffered or currently suffer from low or diminished self esteem. Often this is event related. For instance, self esteem can diminish when we are faced with a situation where emotions are heightened. It is said, that by the time we reach the age of three, fifty percent of what we believe about ourselves has been formed, by six it is sixty percent and by nine it is around eighty percent. By the time we reach the age of twelve, up to ninety percent of us have a well developed sense of who we are and what we believe ourselves to be.

Self-esteem: holding a favourable impression of one-self is a basic human need. It's a measure of our self acceptance, and also indispensable to normal and healthy self-development. The experience of being competent to cope with the day to day challenges of life and being worthy of happiness, is a simple measure of our self-esteem, and a basic element in the health of every human being. All of us have the ability to, at any time, recreate and rebuild our self-esteem so that it better serves us.

I think... Our self-image is an automatic and inevitable consequence of what we choose to believe. It is a reflection of our reactions to past events and experiences. However those experiences have not made us the way we are; they have made us believe that's the way we are. Ultimately however we have the power to decide what we will believe about ourselves, and therefore we should not accept self limiting beliefs imposed on us by others. Life has conditioned us to respond to things in certain ways, and our responses have lead to certain choices. Many people are unaware of why they respond to things as they do, and that their choices are automatic. Have you ever examined the beliefs you hold?

I feel... Our self-esteem is all about how we feel; our emotions. Our emotions are triggered by our thoughts and they are the key to personal effectiveness. They prescribe the way we act and react in life however we can change our actions and reactions by changing the way we link our beliefs and emotions.

I act... People with low self-esteem tend to react to events and circumstances. However this inevitably leads to a life of impoverishment and lost opportunity. People with high self-esteem instead choose to respond and strive to create a life of action. Often when faced with a new challenge we can become frozen by fear. Fear is simply a thought, mostly an irrational thought. Therefore, when we examine and identify our self-limiting beliefs and understand the impact they have, we have the opportunity to create new possibilities. Our future life swings on the doors we open and the doors we close every day. 

To live more effectively and to make our way more successfully in this world we should seek to align our thoughts, our emotions, and our actions. One important way we can achieve alignment is to let go of past mistakes. Mistakes are as much a part of life as breathing and I speak as someone who has made more than my share. When we make a mistake we tend to blame ourselves, however another more empowering way to relate to and resolve our mistakes is to acknowledge them, see them as learning opportunities, internalise the lessons they hold and then move on.

The final thought is from Dr. Joe Rubino - "We diminish ourselves when we lose sight of our magnificence and forget that we have special qualities, talents and gifts that would be of benefit to others. Abdicating responsibility for our greatness cheats the world because we short-change our potential to impact others with the special gifts only we can offer. One way to handle this preoccupation with our fears is to focus on worthwhile achievements that are much more significant than our petty concerns. Committing to worthwhile and lofty goal allows us to shift our focus from our concerns and problems and builds our self-image and self-esteem in the process." 

To Your Success,
Lloyd Dobson  :)



Christine Casey said...

I like how you detailed each areas of "you" to your self-esteem. How each makes up to create your overall self image & how you project this to others. I agree that those with lower self-esteem do seem to "react" to events & circumstances rather than being able to "respond" and work through it to find solutions.


Ap said...

This is a great post! I think that we should always try to work on self limiting beliefs that hold us back. It is something I think you need to constantly work on to keep moving forward.

Kc said...

Self-esteem, to me, is something you grow with, as you build character, you gain self-worth, but as your post suggests, we have to be careful that we don,t inflate our worth. It,s difficult to remain humble at times, i guess that,s that old ego that slips in when

we least expect it.

Self Esteem Affirmations