Did you know that your self-esteem affects your interactions with everyone in your life? Your self-esteem refers to how well you think of yourself and value yourself, and the power you allow yourself to have. It’s your reputation with yourself.

Everything you think and say and do affects your self-esteem in some way. The good news is that you have control over what you think and say and do.

A lovely woman, Shari, came to see me because she said her insides were like Swiss cheese. Any compliments and words of praise went right through her and would not stick to her. She had no self-esteem nor confidence. I said to her “You must be very difficult to live with and work with.” Can you imagine what happens when her husband tells her that she’s pretty? She probably says, “You’re just saying that.” Or when her kids tell her she’s a great Mom, she most likely says, “I wish I could cook better.” Or when her boss praises a project, she probably responds, “It wasn’t very hard” or “I got lucky!” They will feel it’s necessary to constantly reassure Shari or will stop giving her any compliments.

How we increased her self-esteem can work for you, too.

Start by writing down your strengths, your accomplishments, your good qualities.

Ask others who know you well to tell you the positive things they see in you – write down what they say. Read these lists every day.

Choose a few positive affirmations like “I am valuable and deserve to be loved.” “I like and respect myself and feel better about myself every day.” When you notice you are saying negative self-talk say “Cancel” and “Thanks but I’m not interested!” Some clients find it useful to wear a rubber band on their wrist and snap it when they start their negative self-talk.

Set goals for yourself and celebrate when you reach them. The very act of setting goals can raise your self-esteem and confidence.

Remember, when you feel good about yourself you tend to be the very best person you can be. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.”

Dr. Susan Murphy is a life and business transformation coach who has published numerous books and worked with many Fortune 500 companies. She is available at Live Well Clinic by appointment – 760-771-5970

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