In the Part 3 of this series, we explored the differences between self esteem and self worth based on what is INSIDE versus what is OUTSIDE of us. We looked at how our qualities of BEING are fundamentally different than qualities of HAVING or DOING. The next step in to boost self-esteem from the ground up is to unflinchingly see who we are, and accept every bit of it.
When we take a look within, we find beauty and strength and wonder. We also imperfections we don’t like. We find limitation and pettiness, and everything we like least about others! By honestly answering the questions in the previous blog post, some perceptions we have about the way we experience or operate in the world will feel neutral. Other responses can feel enthusiastically positive for some and overwhelmingly negative for others.
A holistic healing practitioner is likely to view these positive, neutral and negative beliefs a client has as important factors in overall health. The ways we operate in the world are very closely tied to our self worth. Optimal health depends our our capacity to make peace with our limitations as we celebrate our strengths. Self acceptance truly paves the way.
Self Acceptance Is Key
A resilient self worth is one that accepts the reality of all of the positive, neutral and negative characters. Each person can picture an intricate tapestry of self. Perhaps the red flowing down one side represents anger or courage. Just beside it may be a green or purple pattern of envy or jealousy. Those colors blend around a golden yellow of joy and the capacity to inspire others.
Every tapestry is unique, and every single one has a mix of colors, representing a mix of strengths and weaknesses. In the same way that a healthy person cannot choose to ONLY feel happy emotions of joy and excitement while ignoring anger or fear, it is not healthy to accept only the positive aspects of self while denying the weaknesses.
An authentic sense of self worth is one that understands that flaws and failures are part of the human experience. Goals of perfection are unrealistic. For each person, the true self has some mistakes and limitations woven into the tapestry. There are NO exceptions to this because no person is just one thread, just one monochrome tapestry. Every human has flaws.
Self Compassion Is The Doorway
Self compassion and forgiveness for past mistakes and failures are part of the journey. People who work with a health and wellness coach or explore a holistic natural therapies may be encouraged to use statements like these:
I see that I am not the best self that I have wanted to be.
I accept that I have flaws and failures, and that I have and will make mistakes.
There are parts of myself that are embarrassing to me.
I can take comfort in knowing that I am human like all the people around me.
I accept that this is how I am. This is me.
I take hope in understanding that my courage in facing how I am helps me improve.
By taking the courageous step of looking within unflinchingly, the subconscious drives that come from hiding and avoiding can drop away. There can be great relief in realizing that these forces no longer are holding sway. There is great strength in this kind of completely honest assessment. Only through this honesty can the negativity fall away.
I see that this is who I am. I see that I can live with this.
By accepting the truth of who I am, I now stand in truth to reach for a better me.
The result of this process to boost self esteem is the emergence of self compassion. When we have a good sense of self worth, we treat ourselves with tolerance, respect, kindness, and compassion. We reach for our best and forgive our own failures. Compassion comes from a caring of self. The caring of self comes from acceptance. The acceptance comes from self knowledge. In a beautiful chain, we grow.
Learn more about self-esteem and self-worth in my publications.