Self image is how we see ourselves, and how we think others see us. Self image plays a HUGE role in how we behave and feel. 

What is self esteem?

Self-esteem is our internal feelings and evaluation of ourselves based on our “perceived” self-image. 

Self-esteem and self image are closely inter-related. They are largely based on our feedback while growing-up (parents, peers, other important figures). 

It takes about 20 positive statements ABOUT OURSELVES (the foundation of our self-image—self-esteem) to counter-act even just 1 negative personal statement!

It doesn’t take a continual repetition of negative statements from our parents, peers, and others throughout our childhood to cause low self-image-self-esteem. In fact, once we get a couple in our head, we can use them over and over again. Again and again we take those false negatives and repeat them unconsciously (completely unaware). It’s like having a constant heckler with you.

Building Self Esteem – 6 helping attitudes

Compassion is like a healing potion that goes directly to where you are hurting. Listen to your inner voice that is caring, healing, and ready to cheer & encourage you. IT IS THERE; it’s just been stifled for so long you really have to listen for it. 

Acceptance: No human is perfect, and that includes you. No matter what parts of yourself you may like to change, it is important to value yourself for who you are now–as a moving, changing, evolving being with very specific attributes and abilities.

Respect: Often particularly in the work environment there is a need to walk a thin line between being too passive and too assertive which sets some people up to feel lesser than others. 

Remember a time when somebody showed you respect when you were feeling down on yourself. Remember the feeling that radiated through you when you took the comment in as truth. It’s time to give that to yourself. 

Encouragement: We all need encouragement to set goals and to believe that we can attain them. We can also offer that encouragement to ourselves. The word encouragement is derived from the Latin for heart. We can open our heart to ourselves even, or especially, when we are not feeling so good about ourselves, while acknowledging the realistic barriers most people face, and the value of valiant effort.

Support: Have you ever felt so bad that you just wanted to stay in bed and hide from the world? You probably longed for someone to nurture you and give you courage to go on. We can be that kind of loving parent to ourselves by letting ourselves know that no matter what, we will still be on our own side. It is also important to be able to reach out for support. No-one can do it alone. 

Rewarding: Have you ever stroked an animal? Have you noticed how much it appreciates this gentle touch? Can you remember being stroked this way? A gentle massage? Being rocked in a nurturer’s arms? Let yourself remember in your body. Even if we get little stroking from others, we can learn to reward ourselves from time to time. We can do it physically, emotionally, with words, with gifts.