Category Archive: Confidence and Self Worth

  1. Perils of Comparitis

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    The way we see ourselves generally determines not only what makesus happy, but how happy we are.

    Today, I went for a walk in the forest. A path I had taken many times but always enjoyed.

    Sun was just peeking from behind the clouds, a slight breeze wafted, and my dizzy dog was running ahead, sniffing the air and looking out for deer as he always did.

    I found myself smiling. And that set me wondering about what it is that truly makes us happy with ourselves.

     

     
    Is it based on our values, our self-image or is it about what we have and what we do.From all the women I have worked with, self-image is one aspect that affects or has affected all and often not in a positive way when we first met. I call this comparitis.

    Of course,we may all have different answersto the question.And these will depend on the values by which we live and what we have decided is important to usand how we see ourselves in the world.

    But if we have a poor self-image, reflected in low confidence, self-esteem and self -worth, then to be happy will be remarkable difficult.

    It is true that to a degree we all learn to compare ourselves with others. And when we are young that is often done for us. We are taught from parents or guardians who criticise or from peers who seem better dressed, better looking, better achievers at school. And so we all learn to compare.

    With that, comes judging and it is when we judge ourselves too harshly that it becomes a path for negativity.

    So if your learning started with ‘Why cant you be more like Sandra, she passed all her exams this year’ or ‘Don’t dress like that you look cheap; then we start to build from this remarks.

    They may have been well intentioned, but they are sowing seeds that can impact us for years to come.

    And we have just started to contract Comparitis.

    As time goes by, we become more self conscious. We start to measure ourselves against others.

    Our self awareness develops and we might think ‘she is much prettier than me’ or ‘she has much nicer clothes and she is slimso she looks good’

    Quite soon this can translate to ‘I’m fat, ugly, never look good in my clothes’

    We are comparing ourselves with aspects that we see as ones we aspire to but cannot reach, and we develop feelings of inadequacy, low self-worth and low confidence.

    Now, many of us bury some of these feelings early on. But then life experiences start to arrive and not all are positive. We allhave storms to weather and depending on our coping skills, do so with more or less success.

    Sometimes we do compare ourselves favourably but if one day we find ourselves feeling vulnerable and do longer measure up well in our own estimation then things can change.

    So living with Comparitis –comparing ourselves with others and as a result, believing that is how others judge us can lead to pain and tears. A life unfulfilled.

    So what can be done.

     

    Let me offer you a couple of suggestions.

    Firstly, for almost everyone, it is not possible to simply ‘think positive’. And the reason for this is that self-confidence, worth and self-esteem are based on feelings which are very powerful.

    Itcan well be that logic will tell you we cannot all be asslim as a celebrity or find wealth and success without effort, no more than we can all win the lottery. But feelings are more powerful and they can dictate how we see ourselves.

    One

    Looking at yourself with kindness, calmly and objectively. On what are you basing these feelings.

    Start by telling yourself that we are all unique. We are all different. We are wonderful as we are. Use some affirmations and practise these daily.

    You could use some of the affirmations in the Resources section or you can use your own. Also focus in your strengths and good points. You could use a simple diary to write down things you have done well and good things you might have done that day.

    This can be as simple as helping a friend or neighbour. Then translate this into your strengths eg I am kind and considerate to other people.

    Or it could be that you have mastered a skill or new piece of knowledge. This can be recorded as ‘I am enough, I am smart enough and I am good enough’.

    Whatever you do choose to be kind to yourself and to be objective. Make use of your logical mind.

    Two

    Often we look at someone who we believe is prettier, has a perfect figure or a successful life. Then we compare ourselves and usually find ourselves coming up short.

    In fact, we are only comparing ourselves with what we see on the outside. So while it is true that there will always be someone who is more beautiful, richer, more successful or who appears to be in control of a privileged life, this may not be their reality.

    We are comparing what they are able to project to the world with our internalised feelings and thoughts. And that is not being kind to ourselves.

    We don’t know what is happening in their lives. Yes, they may look good but they may also be extremely miserable. They may have money yet be unhappy.

    They may even look at us and wish they were more like us. The things that really matter and that make us truly unique and wonderful are not our looks or our figures.

    So, by all means, we all want to feel and look good. But that will come from the inside. We will all age, and our bodies will age with us. So concentrate thoughts and feelings on how you feel in terms of your confidence and empowerment.

    Use your ‘Wise mind’ to be kind to yourself, rather than measuring against other people.

    Last Words

    Simply telling yourself you are as good as anyone and as worthy of a fulfilling empowered life but to make changes to thoughts and feelings –to break that circle you need to do more.

    Using calmness, kindness, and searching inwards are first steps. My guide to Self Confidence may also help you.

    Many people find their calm and their kindness through mindfulness meditation which helps us to being non-judgemental.

    You are wonderful and unique, a special person. If you need help and support, reach out and use the resources available.

    You could also sign up to receive news of courses.

    Remember, we are here to help support you to become the empowered, bold and confident woman you were born to be.

     
    With love,

    Ellie

    © Ellie Appleton www.elliescommunity.com

  2. Do we need to judge on merit?

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    Meritocracy; A word from Latin and Greek roots, a meritocracy vests power and recognition on those who have talents, are achievers, make an effort and win success.

    By contrast, if someone is not talented, successful and achieving then more and more they are seen by modern society as failures.

    Just as an elephant could not climb a tree, so we are not all born (in fact few are) to be successful achievers with talent and power.

    And yet more and more people yearn for fame and success at the expense of a life well-lived. We feel we have failed if we are poor if we do not measure up to social expectations of achievement.

    Why do we inflict this on ourselves?

    Anxiety about status and fear of failure grips us in its negative and often downward cycle. And yet we wonder why emotional and mental poor health is rapidly increasing.

    Why do we do this to ourselves

    Believe me, there is another way.

    We can avoid much of the stress and anxiety if we practice Kindness and Acceptance of ourselves.

    It has become harder and harder to accept and live with gratitude for the way we are, and for those things we have, and which are all around us.

    And yet without we make life hard and judge ourselves harshly.

    We are already unique –every single one of us. We are already special in our own way. We may not have fame or have achieved a hugely successful career.

    Does that really matter?

    No. What matters is our ability to see the beauty around us, to find pleasure in the simplest of acts or things around us. And to practice gratitude for all that we are.

    The world is a wonderful place. If you have ever stood under the stars or listened to early morning birdsong, then you have just a glimpse of its riches.

    So, for your own sake, take time to notice what is around you, to breathe the fresh air and see the seasons unfolding. Be kind to yourself, and take strength from your uniqueness.

    Notice the good things that happen, the times when you could say,‘thank you’ –to others, to the universe, for the small things that make you smile.

    It is not difficult, its just that we have mostly lost the practice. It is about appreciating the moment, reminding ourselves of the positive things in our lives. And not letting worry crowd them out.

    You can find joy in a walk in the park or woods, noticing and really listening to music –all sorts of things can be your source.

    Try to take just four or five minutes out of each day to empty your mind of those days to day concerns, and just concentrate on everything positive and good, however small.

    I promise you, it gets easier with practice. If you like you can keep a gratitude journal, many people do. There is a template in Resources.

    And remind yourself that power, success and fame are not the sources of self-worth or happiness –these come from within.

    With love,

    Ellie

    © Ellie Appleton www.elliescommunity.com

  3. Mr and Mrs Robin

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    Today, I was watching our resident Robin family busy in the garden. So tiny and unprotected Mr Robin busied himself looking for food, hopping from place to place.

    Always stopping to look round perhaps for cats, danger, something else, but always alert.

    I watched him visibly seem excited when he found some of the bird food, he must have called to Mrs Robin because although I couldn’t hear she very quickly joined him.

    As I watched I thought how he hopped around with purpose, occasionally flying up to a tree branch or to the fence, always looking out, yet brave and confident and working with a purpose.

    And I thought just how much we could take from nature, and from what birds and animals all around can teach us. To us, Robin is small and fragile,one of our tiny garden birds constantly seeking food.

    Yet he goes about his tasks cheerily, cheeping from time to time, always confident he will find food for himself and his family.

    He looks for danger yes. But he does not fret over it nor hide away though he knows there are larger and stronger predators nearby.

    He is confident in his ability to deal with situations, and copes equally with our worst winter weather as with times when the ground is barren or when danger lurks.

    What can we take from this friendly little bird whom we take for granted as a garden visitor. That everything in his life is not always easy nor simple. Even in the hard depths of winter, he stays, brightening our gardens.
     

     
    And nor is ours. We do not always get what we want, and things happen. Sometimes life just does not work out how we would like it.

    But if we can hold on to our confidence and self-esteem, if we can appreciate the good things around us, then we too can have joy in our lives.

    And, by learning and living with gratitude even the harder times can be managed more confidently.

    Learning to live with gratitude and noticing what is around us is an important aspect of living a confident, empowered and full life.

    Just like Robin we can be more resilient and go about our lives happy in ourselves.

    My next post will look at what it means to live with gratitude and how this can positively impact us all.

     

    With love,

    Ellie

    © Ellie Appleton www.elliescommunity.com

  4. When we Sabotage our Self Esteem

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    How we allow ourselves to sabotage our self-esteem and why this matters.

    When we allow ourselves to hold negative beliefs, we sabotage self esteem and as these become entrenched, the adverse impact on our lives and happiness increases.

    We Can Take Steps to Change this.

    Often we find that we are ignoring the positives, those qualities and things about us that are good.

    For some of us, it can be a real struggle if asked to list our positive qualities to think of any.  And that sadly, is low self-esteem.

    Sometimes its because we don’t feel we are comfortable or we think, or have learned to think, that it is conceited to think about ourselves positively.

    Sometimes we have learned from criticism and from others that we are good at nothing, and we have no good thoughts about ourselves. We expect to fail or for things to go wrong.

    Part of this is we become conditioned, our brains only take notice of things that confirm a negative view of ourselves. It has become our ‘normal’ way of thinking to ignore our good qualities.

    It may come from making sweeping statements to ourselves – ‘I am always getting this wrong’ or telling ourselves what we ‘should’ have done.

    Collectively these thoughts can make us anxious, depressed, guilty – all aspects of really low self- esteem.

    An exercise to help you change this

    A Positive You Diary

    Here are some steps you can take to start making a difference.

    Step 1

    • Create a positive qualities list

    Write down all the positive qualities you can think of. It doesn’t mean they are things you do absolutely 100% of the time either – none of us are perfect, so be kind to yourself.

    Be aware and try to keep focussed, not letting yourself say that you don’t have any good qualities.

    These questions might help:

    What do I like about who I am?

    What skills or talents do I have?

    What are things I have achieved? (raised children, made a home)

    What do other people / friends say about me?

    If someone else was like me what would I think was good about them?

    ‘All that I seek is already within me’  L Hay

     

    You might want to ask a friend to help you with this – a good friend or relative would see our positive qualities and could help us.

    Here is a list of a few qualities you might want to use to get started:

    considerate resourceful organised strong
    adventurous appreciative funny loving
    responsible reliable well-informed good listener
    creative artistic friendly good friend

     

    Once you have done this, step 2 is

    • Start a ‘Positive You’ Diary

    Use this to note down examples of when you have demonstrated any of the good qualities you have listed in Step 1.  For example a time when you were considerate or a good friend to someone.

    It doesn’t matter if the examples are small or big, it matters that you notice them and then record them. Try to start noticing these on a daily basis.  Write what you did, and which positive quality it shows in you.

    This may need some time but it will make you aware and noticing those positive qualities, and help to rebalance a sense of self-esteem.

    ‘I believe in myself for who I am, as I am.

    I am enough’

    We all have days when we feel bad about ourselves. For most of us that is normal.  When it affects our lives and causes us to think poorly and negatively of ourselves, it is time to take action.

    Take action for yourself and let me know how you get on.

    With love.

    Ellie

    www.elliescommunity.com  ©

    For more support, my Self-Esteem guide is shortly to be available to members.