What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.  ~Henry S. Haskins, Meditations in Wall Street, 1940,

Self Esteem really comes down to how you feel about yourself…. your personal evaluation of your own worthiness. Self Esteem has to do with your sense of self, your beliefs about yourself and how you feel or emotionally connect to yourself. Sounds pretty simple right? Well then what constitutes low self esteem? And why do so many people struggle with it? So much stigma, hurt and negativity surrounds many of us that it’s a wonder anyone feels good about themselves.

I had  a conversation with an 18 y.o young woman who is very close to me today, I told her “You need to learn to love yourself.” Her reply was “I don’t know how”. At one time I struggled with self love and acceptance until I realized that I really did not have a good enough reason to feel bad about myself. After some reflection on my own journey to self acceptance and self love, I told her.

1. Learning to love yourself is a process, it doesn’t happen overnight, it takes lots of practice.

2. Learning self love means being willing to begin the task of identifying things about you that you like. Do self inventory…. make a list. As they say, “everyone is good at something…”

3.Rather than beating yourself up and wallowing in self pity, choose to focus on the positive and fiercely accept those things that you may not love so much.

4. Recognize that self acceptance does not equate to settling or complacency. You can still work to improve those things that are within your power to change, e.g., more education, weight loss, your inner circle, taking control of your health, etc.

5. Good self esteem means that you accept that you aren’t perfect, and when it’s all said and done… you are absolutely okay with this knowledge.

6. Embrace your uniqueness, realizing that there is nobody in the world just like you.

7. Spend some personal time getting to know you.

8. Develop a filter that allows you shut out negative interference from others.

9. Affirm your own mantra…. If you say “I’m okay and I’m good enough”, you may just believe it.

10. Choose to refuse F.E.A.R. – false evidence appearing as real.

12. Choose to be around like minded people that affirm & love you just as much as you love you.

13. Know that you have been granted the opportunity to reach for the stars….

14. Know that this world is full of examples of people just like you, who refused to be boxed in by others. They stared their obstacles in the eye and pushed right through them.

15. Look at yourself in the mirror…. smile or make a silly face.

16. Give yourself a break and a much needed hug.

17. Set boundaries with others and refuse to accept behavior that is disrespectful and unloving

It gets better….