Self esteem is not about being all-knowing, full of self praise idiot going through life stepping over everyone else. It is not about having it all figured out 100% of the time. It is not about feeling great, never experiencing setbacks, never experiencing fear.
Those people who treat the world like their property don’t have self-esteem, but what they do have is paralysing fear of losing control. Let’s not model that. Let’s not buy into the bullying they bring around. Let’s just look the other way for a minute. You might feel shaken a bit when such a person enters the room, maybe you even think that this is a sign of power, respect, the importance of that person. It is not. If you have to readjust yourself in the presence of someone else - understand this - they are not exuding confidence, they are projecting their fear of losing control. You have just been infected with fear that isn’t even yours. Don’t pay for it. Don’t give in to it. Don’t accept it. Call it what it is and figure the rest out. Don’t be in awe of someone who needs to force their presence upon you to feel noticed.
Self-esteem is the deep inner knowing that you have the ability to learn, to face challenges, to figure things out. That you are self efficient enough to take charge of your reactions to circumstances, that you can make your choices without guilt and that you allow space for things as well as your skills to develop. All you start with is the belief that you can.
Self-esteem is the acceptance of the fact that we are not perfect, but our best is enough to allow us to recognise the work we’ve put in. Thank yourself for the work you are doing, laugh at the times you have tripped up and fell. Take the time to celebrate YOU. Self-esteem is about acknowledging that you are worthy of happiness, success and love.
And rest sometimes. Don’t buy into that notion that you have to always be doing, moving, achieving. The current model at a regular workplace is this: you work for 8 hours, so you are bound to sit in this chair, in front of this computer until the clock strikes “time to go home” o’clock. If you have managed to get the job done in 2 hours, wouldn’t it be more productive to go out, take a walk, read an inspiring book, take a nap? Thank just sitting there, forcing your body to suffer through the remaining hours so that you can go get a drink and push that experience past your cognition.
Unconsciously, as it might be, we apply this broken rule to ourselves in life too. When we decide to take a day to read a book - we expect ourselves to sit still and read for 10 hours straight. If we aren’t being productive we feel like we are doing something wrong. But maybe, the two productive hours are enough. Maybe we need to unlearn the lesson that taught us to keep pushing even when there is no gas left. Especially when there is no gas left. Maybe, just maybe, we could give ourselves permission to enjoy a little bit of just being - as opposed to constantly doing.
You are not here to live up to anyone’s expectations.
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