There is no question mark required. I am most definitely questioning my questioning.
In this “Lenten Letter” I am realizing a connection between several issues I am attempting to ‘give up’. My resistance seems to stem from my denying myself and remaining adhered to false labels and past identities.
That will be our focus on this edition of “Becoming Today”.
Here we go again! Struggling with an issue you can comprehend but still are missing whatever key component that is necessary to fully accept and act upon that knowledge.
You do a good job of keeping on a public face, eyes ahead, shoulders back and the rest of that Debbie Reynolds quote, however still your view of yourself has been lacking of late.
We know that negative self-esteem can impact every aspect of your life, including relationships, jobs and your health.The good news is you can correct your false views of yourself, as the following steps borrowed from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy will outline.
Identify Problem Areas: Think about the situations that deflate your self-esteem. Identify the triggers.
Pay Attention To Your Thoughts: Once you’ve identified a disturbing situation, you especially need to pay attention to your thoughts. This includes self-talk and your interpretation of what the situation means.
Ask yourself if this belief is true? Would you say it to a friend? If not, then don’t say it to yourself.
Challenge Your Negative Thinking: Be aware that long-held thoughts and beliefs can feel normal and factual, even though they are not.
Often these false perceptions are just opinions devoid of any truth. Then make sure you are not getting involved in patterns of self delusion or accepting falsehoods as the truth.
Some of these patterns to avoid can be:
- All-or-nothing thinking. Do not say to yourself, “If I don’t succeed in this task, I’m a complete failure and always will be.”
- Rejecting your achievements. Do not tell yourself they don’t count. Do not place false limits on yourself.
- Reaching a negative conclusion when evidence does not support it. For example, “They didn’t reply to me, so obviously I must have done something wrong.”
- Mistaking feelings for facts. Do not confuse feelings or beliefs as factual evidence. For example, “I feel like a loser, so I’ll always be a loser.”
Take Ownership of Your Thoughts: Rather than being overwhelmed by negativity, acknowledge its presence.
Accept it, then choose to empower yourself. Look at the reality and declare it will be no more. Work, take action, on those thoughts or feelings to be more “Becoming”.
Reflect on it. Process it and let me know how it’s working out for you.
While developing, nurturing and living with positive self esteem can certainly improve our outlook and view of ourselves, it does differ a bit from self-enhancement. That is a type of motivation that works to make people feel good about themselves in order to maintain self-esteem.
Self-enhancement involves making a decision. You make the choice to have a positive rather than negative self-view. As we’ve talked about previously, making a choice involves taking multiple steps.
First to decide you want to do something. Then to focus on what change is necessary, then committing to it. Before you then take action to actually do it.
Just a good intention or giving lip service to an idea, will not make it so. You have to complete the task, do all the hard work and then harvest the benefits. If you give up along the path then you will reap what you have sown.
Once you readjust your thoughts. Aligning them with your essential beliefs, then focusing on the positive is “Becoming” much easier.
Consider lessons learned. Plan to avoid falling into the same traps or diversions again.
Reward yourself. Acknowledge gains made. Give yourself credit for positive changes. Do the work involved and you will feel better because positive self esteem will firmly take root.
Then make the choice to join us again tomorrow for our next edition of “Becoming Today”.