What Does A Healthy Self Esteem Look Like?
Our Body & Self Esteem image are so important, our perceptions of ‘self worth’ greatly impacts our day to day lives, our ability to feel joy, to be positive, it impacts our relationships, our productivity & successes…
Studies by The Butterfly Research Institute conducted a National Survey and found that more than 1 in 3 Australians are unhappy with the way they look. The survey shows that more than half of Australians rarely speak positively about themselves.
Key findings from the survey include:
- Over 40% of people are dissatisfied with their appearance.
- An overwhelming 73% of people wished they could change the way they look.
- 66.6% of people remember being bullied or teased for their appearance at some stage in their life.
- 41.5% of people most of the time or always compare themselves to others on social media
- 53.6% of people rarely or never speak positively about their appearance.
At some point in our lives, I think we have all experienced a hurtful, or careless remark or an act of cruelty by another, that more than likely set in motion self beliefs. It is so important to recognise our self value system and be open to undertake a shift in our beliefs when these beliefs are not serving us well.
I recall a time in my life, just having finished my HSC and was due to start my
Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Technology in the new year. I enrolled in a course to improve my skills sets for a clerical job I was starting with the Education Department in North Sydney to support tuition fees.
The course instructor was carrying out a group exercise & asked the class to ‘write down 10 things you like about yourself’. Seems simple enough, right? I picked up my pen but.. but struggled to write anything down… I spent 15 minutes looking at that page, feeling anything I thought of writing seemed egotistical.
To this day, I remember the train ride home that day, turning the experience over in my mind. With each stop closer to home I questioning, why was that so hard to do? I know, if I was asked to make a list of things I don’t like about myself, that would have been much easier.
I remember with each stop closer to home, I began to feel a lump in my throat, and I began to slowly realize, I didn’t know how to allow me feel good about myself. I would often be reminded how bad I was at somethings, how bad something was about my appearance or complection, poked fun of how skinny I was. and so on… now at 18 years of age and had no idea how to allow myself to say something nice about me. I learnt something very important that day about self appreciation. Is it that we are trained from a young age that complementing one self is egotistical. Are trained to self critisie rather than self appreciate? There is the extreme end of that scale, but lets not confuse ego with self appreciation. Surely there is a healthy medium. A place that a self love, self worth and self value – self-awareness, self-reflection, and self-control are healthy key elements that become the recipe for reaching our desired life and goals..
It was an important realisation at the age of 18. Feeling happy with ourselves is a crucial and valuable attribute. So many of my clients are incredibly successful and accomplished in their achievements, their level of education, their status, skilled in their accomplished field (be it men or women), yet regardless of one’s profession or achievements, they are very quick to devalue themselves, rather than be willing to express things they like and value about themselves. When I hear self criticism I am able to redirect this focus so they recognise their value, their uniqueness and promote feeling great about themselves, (especially with teens). Where one thought got programed, another, better serving thought can be effectively reprogramed. A belief is an acceptance that something exists, so practic a better thought.
A recent cross-cultural study by Dove, highlighted the reality that low self esteem prevents people from fully engaging in life.” We need to help empower ourselves so that as caregivers we can bring about a change for our girls and boys in order to improve body-confidence education. We are all beautifully unique individuals, it’s time to begin celebrating that.
As children and then adolescents, then adults we set thought patterns in place with each life experience we have and the people who impacted our lives (both good and some not). Over the years, these patterns become beliefs – some good, some not so good. If these beliefs is set as a negative about ourselves, they can have a crippling impact on our life. Shifting these belief requires an investment into ourselves, remember a habit is only something you do repeatedly, so become awaye and begin to change that habit. Begin adapting positive practices (for example; every morning before you get out of bed, take a moment to appreciate yourself). Say or think at least 3 things you like about yourself, about your life, what you have accomplished and so on…
It just takes one thought, like dropping a pebble into water, the first circle is small but each ripple is bigger and wider bringing about a wonderful realisation of feeling your value.
Wikipedia explains that the Western understanding of Self Realisation may be defined as the “fulfilment by oneself of the possibilities of one’s character or personality”.
Here are five ways to nourish your self-esteem when it is low:
- Practice positive affirmations regularly.
- Identify your abilities and expand them.
- Learn to accept compliments.
- Eliminate self-criticism and introduce self-compassion.
- Affirm your real worth.
There are many support systems in place available for you (if your are struggling to make that shift yourself).
If I can be of any support, please feel free to contact me