People don’t really understand self esteem in my opinion and in our culture, it’s little wonder.
Often I hear “I have low self-esteem” or “I lack confidence”
There are two reasons for this.
Those are toxic shame and trauma.
There is never any other reason for true low self-esteem.
Let’s say you don’t like how you look.
If you were brought up in a healthy family with good emotional support and positive self-regard, it wouldn’t matter what you looked like, nothing would make you feel bad about your looks.
We may have insecurities and everyone will to some extent, however these don’t plague us unless we’ve had a significant separation from our key caregivers in childhood leading to a separation from ourselves and therefore vulnerability to further trauma, bullying and low self-esteem.
Shame is when we feel wrong for breathing basically and this is the result of childhood abuse or emotional neglect. Shame is like seeing the world through a black filter which is opaque but always makes everything feel shitty and miserable. A common symptom of shame is always feeling to blame when someone is upset, or something goes wrong. People pleasing is another sign. The filter of shame becomes a system through which we process all our other emotions.
Underlying all depression and anxiety is usually shame and small t trauma.
Again, most people don’t realize this
They think “I had a good childhood” or “I got 3 square meals a day and no one ever laid a hand on me” or “us kids had it okay, Mum and Dad loved us”.
You may have been loved, but unless you grew up in an emotionally articulate and energetically healthy family system, chances are your childhood is influencing your feelings about yourself now in ways you simply may not understand.
Our bodies don’t lie and if you are wrestling with some of these issues, it’s not because there is anything wrong with you and I promise you, it can change. And I don’t mean put a band aid on it and call it good. There is no false positivity here. I mean by doing steady, consistent work on yourself over time, with good support and the right tools, you can feel differently on the inside.
We have neuroplasticity for a reason, and we are always prompted to seek help/support at the perfect time for us.
So, what are some basics for changing self esteem in the New Year?
Remove stress and tolerations
What are those things that stress you out and drive you up the wall day in and day out, or weekly, that you are ignoring, pushing down and putting up with?
Maybe it’s certain people who drain the life out of you, an unhappy marriage, something in your physical surroundings that is annoying, or constant prompts from your soul that you are suppressing and ignoring because they aren’t convenient. (Perhaps listening to them doesn’t fit your plan for yourself). I get it, I’ve been there…
Identifying and removing tolerations is something which I support people to do for themselves. It’s horrible living a gap between how you want to be and what’s going on and this inauthentic existence is draining and stressful. I can help show you what to do.
(And just to be clear in the above example (of an unhappy marriage), I don’t mean leaving the relationship necessarily, I mean doing the work on yourself to find out what you really want, healing your own internal issues such as unresolved depression, anxiety or childhood issues that may be impacting on things and finding a clear way forwards that feels aligned and true for you!)
It’s impossible to be true to yourself and your own energetic frequency when we are hemmed in by ‘stuff’. How can you think clearly or function effectively when your physical environment or even your internal one is chaotic?
Maybe you have compulsive thoughts, negative thinking or just never feel relaxed in your own body, or maybe you live in a home where there is ‘stuff’ around you from your entire lifetime which no longer serves. It’s pretty hard to gain traction going forwards in a new or even same but better direction, when we are literally bogged down.
We are energetic beings and clutter is a huge restraint and block on us reaching our highest possibilities and self-expression. Being surrounded by beauty, flow and a pleasant environment is essential to creating harmony and success.
Hold ourselves in high regard
Do you keep choosing relationships that don’t serve you? Are you never properly well? Do you just dislike yourself inside, no matter what you achieve? Does your current life feel unfulfilling?
Do you like being with yourself, or are you never present and always avoiding this? Are you constantly scrolling social media, shopping, binging on Netflix, exercise or even food to change that discomfort inside? Are you addicted to alcohol, or maybe you just can’t really feel happy, even when you know you should?
It’s tough to acknowledge any of these things, however, this is always the first step and it is possible to change them completely. With new tools and perspectives and expert facilitation, it becomes possible to release your baggage, adapt your habits, behaviors and outlook, recreate your sense of self and show up in the ways you desire, instead of creating your life accidently, or feeling like you’re never connected to spirit or your purpose.
Maybe you dismiss what you are good at, as ‘anyone can do this’, or maybe you can’t take a compliment. Perhaps you are really upset and jealous when others around you are winning. This doesn’t make you wrong, it makes you human and it means you are lacking certain skills and perspectives that can help you be the one to thrive and get the most from your life.
Cultivating good self-care
When I began my journey into liking me, I was in the thick of it, so I tried to come at my healing from as many angles as possible, as I sensed I needed to. I was ill with CFS, I was highly anxious and relationship avoidant, I had buried trauma and shame aplenty and I was often alone as it was all I knew how to do, to create safety. However, I longed to be with amazing people who would value me and with whom I could share fun and wonderful experiences.
I was very masculine with myself and quite survival based. I couldn’t be gentle, soft or kind with my body or myself in my thoughts, it was ruthless self-discipline or nothing. I was lacking much in the way of comfort and would have frequent nightmares, I attracted bullies, was always broke and noticed I couldn’t receive much of anything, because my self-worth was awful.
In other words, I really had my work cut out for me!
I began slowly with gradually improving the living environment I was in, making it more pleasant and creating better systems and ways of doing things to free up my energy and I began seeking out as much healing as I could. By this, I mean going to classes, workshops and private sessions, no matter what it took to find the money or get myself there. No matter how tough it was, I never gave up, I was always reading and studying on Youtube how to be and do better, I was trying to find my answers as to what I was missing.
Eventually all that work would pay off and ultimately (I never saw this coming) I would end up being streets ahead of many people in terms of self-awareness and insight. I spent 2-3 hours every evening listening to the best and brightest minds on the planet. Once I figured out my own trauma and found satisfactory ways to release it, I was able to soar in some ways quickly, but it also took time to integrate. Because I worked in a multi-faceted way, the improvements, (once I reached a certain tipping point), began to dovetail together to benefit me, but none of this took affect until I released my shame and trauma.
Good self-care isn’t bubble baths and facials as the marketers would have you believe. That’s a load of horse shit. Good self-care is providing for yourself the environment, creating the support and making the choices you need to have the life you really want. It’s being safe, having a healthy, energized body, being connected to your soul purpose, to others, to your spirit and to the planet.
It’s understanding your own suffering and being able to catalyze that into something valuable and cultivating habits that allow you to function as you wish and become who you want to be in the world.
It’s sensing your own value and uniqueness, owning it and being comfortable in your own skin. It’s about developing self-awareness, self-mastery and the resilience to handle whatever life throws your way. It’s also about self kindness and compassion, qualities which can be difficult to connect with in the beginning, which I assist my clients to develop.
The popular myth of Self-Loving
“If you’re in the middle of hell, keep going”
This is a bit of a fraught subject and is often mis represented and mis understood by people who haven’t had significant challenges, who often loudly advise those who have, to do more of this.
Traumatized people can’t self-love, until they have healed their trauma/shame. What they can do is work on themselves, learn self-respect and self-honoring and take good physical care of their bodies while they heal and learn to trust themselves (and others) again. It’s that simple and it can be a slow, bit by bit process.
While we are in low frequencies, we aren’t a vessel for love to operate, we are survival based, so please stop telling people who can’t love themselves to do so! If you’re stuck in this conundrum, just keep going. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and trusting, knowing that you can create self-love eventually and your inner guidance system is there for you.
If I can accomplish this, anyone can and so can you. If you’d like my help in 2022 to change your life, click here.