Is Self-Esteem the New Bad Word?

When I’m walking, I make it a point to think about my life. I check in with myself and ask how I’m feeling, what creative juices I want to explore, or what is there for me to be doing. I even pray to all the Spirits watching over me to let me see, hear, and feel what I need to be tending to. Yesterday on my walk I was hit with the question that I’ve asked myself for many years when working with others around their emotional health and well being: Why don’t we do what we know? The answers can be so clear but people often don’t follow them. I can describe many instances that this takes place in people’s lives but I won’t – instead I encourage you to think about ways you don’t do things that would better serve you in your life.

It’s not because you are too busy, or don’t know how. So what is it? Why is it this way? Why continue to sabotage yourself? Joseph Campbell says, “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” This is so meaningful to me. I’m called to help people be who they are, because they have that right as it is their privilege in their lifetime! It brings sadness in my heart because I know so many people struggle to be who they are! I’ve witnessed this too many times, from my childhood to the present as a professor, psychological practitioner, and a middle-aged woman.

There are many reasons why people can’t be their true selves but my goal is to help them shed the things that have caused them distress so much that it has frightened them into sacrificing themselves. I help them explore those wounds and mend them. Part of this mending is building their self-worth, their self-esteem. This foundational work can’t be bypassed even when people want to because everything they do is a reaction to how they feel about themselves- their level of self-esteem. It’s an important piece for healthy living and well-being. I teach individuals to face the truth of how they have been living each stage, welcoming the true self to surface, be set free to live authentically. I soul search as I work. I’m trying to connect the true essence of the being in front of me. This transformation is beautiful to witness. For those who I can’t witness, I created a tool for you to witness yourselves. You have to make your transformation a priority and order your personal copy of my book, Journaling: A Workbook to Transform Your Self-Esteem.

Someone shared with me that she wanted to buy one of my self-esteem journaling books for a friend but she was afraid that the person would take it the wrong way because the word, Self-Esteem, is in the title. So, self-esteem is now a “bad” word? She went on to say if the title was different, then maybe she’d buy it. Maybe? Maybe what? This is the problem with society today. We have to cover up the truth. We don’t speak the truth. We tiptoe around it. My experience has proven to me time and time again that many mental health issues are due to individuals squelching the truth and not being authentic! This takes a toll on the mind, body, soul, and human spirit. What do you do when you see a friend drowning (metaphor)? Do you ignore it and say they’re not, or do you reach out and say, “I see you’re drowning and I’m concerned about you.” If you dare to go further you can offer to help. Wouldn’t you want this as well, instead of the people around you watching you drown? My book is about helping people stay afloat, making sure they are on their true path, honoring their true selves. This takes place as a result of taking the journey through the book. Bottom line, it’s a tool for self-exploration. We could all benefit by taking time for this!

So, my walk inspired me to offer you this challenge: Your challenge, if you’re willing to take it, is to rate your self-esteem. (As a reminder, self-esteem is the measurement of your self-worth, which shows up in how you carry yourself in life. For example, do you berate yourself, are the choices you make lead by fear or shame, have you settled for being unhappy, do you confront the things that bother you…). For the scale, 10 is high and 1 is low. Then based on that number, choose a rating that you would like to achieve in the future. What are you doing to make this happen? Now get a notepad and answer the following questions: If your self-esteem was higher how would your life be different? What are the things you would be doing or not doing? How would you be happier?
May your exploration be insightful.


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