Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Self-Esteem & Your Problems

In Al-Anon we learn to focus on ourselves. We learn that taking care of ourselves in not a selfish act in a negative way. That taking care of ourselves means we can become better and help others differently than the way we were taking care of others before Al-Anon.

I talk a lot about self-esteem in this blog. Self-esteem is about you feeling good about you. Or said another way, "I like myself, I truly like myself." Now try and say that 10 times a day before going off to work!

Say it! Repeat it in the shower! "I like myself. I like myself. I truly like myself!" This may feel uncomfortable at first. But after a while you will find that this really feels good. Say it in front of a mirror in the morning and you can't help but smile.

This little "trick" or "tool" really does work, by the way. Keep it simple as Al-Anon literature says. And this is really simple.

Let's get back to self-esteem and it's definition. I think you'll find these next section interesting, because it will provide insight into us and how we think or at least remind us, how we can think differently, if not better when we go forth into our day.

Our Problems
What if I told you, that, almost all our problems are a result, directly or indirectly of how "YOU feel about your SELF?"

It has been proven that you can never feel better than your own self-esteem. This means how you feel about yourself in relation to others, is based upon your level of self-acceptance. Here are a couple of thoughts around problems in our self-esteem;

  • You hang around the people you feel worthy of hanging around.
  • You do things for yourself less, when you don't feel good about yourself.
  • You tend to replay negative events in your mind AFTER they already occurred if you are not feeling good about yourself.
  • You tend to replay events negatively BEFORE they occur if you are not feeling good about yourself.
  • You tend to put others feeling first, before or even at the sacrafice of your own needs.
  • You tend to think how are other people going to react today or what are they going to think about this or that or you and them.

Interesting couple of bullet points. I am sure we can all relate to these. And I am sure there are some that are not there that may be playing in your head today or even right now.

But what if you just eliminated these thoughts? That's right. ELIMINATE them right now.

If you did, would your day be a little more peaceful? A little more calm?

Well, let's start with the, "I like myself" mantra this morning, and in fact, this mantra every day. Emile Coue - a French psychologist curing tuberculosis patients had his patients say, "Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better." He had all his patients say this over and over. Now I am not sure if he had them chant in unison or not (that was a little joke), but his patients got well faster than the other groups of patients.

So, if this worked for his patients, why not try "I like myself?" What have we got to lose? A few words spoken. Say it out loud with enthusiasm and you will gain a major impact. You may not want to say this in the elevator on the way to work this today. Or you may, because it might be interesting and entertaining to watch the reactions of others!

And let's start ELIMINATING the negative thoughts we have - starting with those in the bullet points above.

9 comments:

Pearl said...

High self esteem: superior to others, the rules don't apply to me, entitlement, me,me,me

High self respect: God and others first, respect for self and others

Alcoholics have high self esteem. They would benefit from self respect. Self respecting people don't abuse drugs and entitle themselves to behavior that's unacceptable. Just my 2 cents. Pear

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Joe, you are a miracle. You are helping me through a difficult time.
Best wishes,
Jenn

Syd said...

I also tell myself that my HP loves me regardless. Knowing that I'm a neat person helps but knowing that I have unconditional love is even better.

Joe said...

I think A's have arrogance because they lack self-respect or self-esteem. I think it is the disease affecting them. Sometimes though, they may abuse and a switch goes on in their heads that cannot shut off.

Unfortately, no matter what the cause, their disease affects us. By not giving a crap what others think about us and just do the best we can, which isn't perfect, we can be ourselves. And be protected by others' judgements of us.

I think self-esteem is about liking yourself or loving yourself - not because you don't like or love others. That once you have self-esteem you can let others be who they are and not accept the tags the A gives us (or anyone else's tags)

Joe

Serenity girl said...

Self esteem is so important.
I know mine has take a nose-dive and I am trying my best to pull it up back again.

Anonymous said...

Good Morning All,

It takes the same energy to see the glass "half empty" vs. "half full".

For me, starting with a half a tank makes more sense than starting with a dry one.

Peace this Thursday.

KevinB

Anonymous said...

Good Morning All,

It takes the same energy to see the glass "half empty" vs. "half full".

For me, starting with a half a tank makes more sense than starting with a dry one.

Peace this Thursday.

KevinB

Catherine said...

I would add another bullet point that I notice in my own thinking:

* I compare myself and my achievements to others and use them as a measure for myself.

Thanks for this list.

Anonymous said...

Love others as you love yourself. If I have no love for myself (as I am unconditionally loved), then I don't even know how or where to begin to love others. A's and Co's seem to be flip sides of the same coin - not knowing how to love or thinking that self-esteem and love mean being a door mat or completely self-centered and then acting on these internalized views out of ignorance in how to live and love fully.

Your posts and the comments from everyone help us to reframe and rethink about the issues of self-esteem and love. After all, it is our stinking thinking that helped us fall into and stay in our situations. This is a process. We are learning new ways of thinking and behaving. It's nice to have a place to read about and contemplate on beliefs and behaviors and to see that they are intimately connected.

God bless! Kath