“How do I improve my self-esteem?” is not an uncommon question from my clients. A lot of us struggle with self-esteem and self-worth at some point in our lives, if not life-long issues. Self-esteem and self-worth are often used interchangeably. They are similar but with some differences. ‘Self-esteem is what we think, feel and believe about ourselves, while self-worth is the more global recognition that we are valuable human beings worthy of love’ (Hibbert, 2013).
1. Understand the key element to healthy self-esteem
Healthy self-esteem can’t last without healthy self-worth. For example, a math professor in a prestigious university might feel s(he) is not confident in a relationship. So, a person can have high self-esteem in one area of life but not so much in other areas. And self-esteem can be boosted by temporary success in a career or finance, but it will disappear if it is not founded on healthy self-worth. Some think self-worth is about their monetary value, but it is nothing to do with externalities.
Both self-esteem and self-worth have the word self. So, fundamentally, this is about the relationship with one’s “SELF.” Then we have to ask ourselves, what is “SELF”? This is the spiritual aspect of you. It is the formless within you that never changes, unlike our body. This SELF is the wiser version of you. It has a deeper understanding of who you are and the world around you. It doesn’t worry about man-made social or cultural norms. This SELF understands that we are connected to everything in the universe, and it knows that each human has a life path that is totally unique.
Nature is a good example. Nature wastes nothing. Everything has a role to play in nature and knows how to create balance. Nothing is meaningless in nature. We are also part of nature. This means every person has a particular role to play and to contribute to our universe in their unique way. None of us are the same, and the wholeness of all of us together is combined into oneness.
Our SELF knows this and has the wisdom of how we can express our genuine selves, not the one imposed by family or society. So, to have healthy self-worth and self-esteem, it is critical to develop a deeper relationship with SELF based on this understanding. From my clinical observation, quantum jumps in life happened when clients fundamentally shifted their relationship with SELF. This is the most important aspect of healthy self-esteem and self-worth.
2. Understand the obstacles to healthy self-esteem
When working to improve self-worth/self-esteem, one should understand that we might be obstructing our SELF from childhood memory and experiences, especially traumatic ones. Unconsciously, these learned behaviors and beliefs impose limitations on oneself. Recognizing these patterns and bringing new awareness to them is an important element to heal self-worth/self-esteem.
3. Recognize hidden patterns and beliefs
One way to learn about your patterns is to look closely at your body. It doesn’t lie. Whatever we may have repressed is buried in our body. Whether you have an ache, pain, or an actual illness, it all comes from your SELF being at DIS-ease. It is a sign that you are not in tune with your SELF and perhaps even trying to be in tune with somebody else’s while ignoring your own. Maybe you're resisting your SELF because of social and cultural pressure. This kind of work could reveal years of conditioning and suppression.
4. Release these patterns and beliefs
There are many ways. You can release them through common methods like affirmation, visualization or vision board, etc. Meditation is an excellent way to become familiarized with your SELF and bring awareness to the hidden beliefs and patterns. Modalities like BodyTalk are designed to speed up the process of releasing these obstructions and hidden patterns.
Finding your SELF and having healthy self-worth/self-esteem is like a rebirthing process that first requires healing. There is no quick solution to achieve healthy self-worth/self-esteem. It requires daily practice.
To learn more or book a session to discover the hidden barriers hindering healthy self-esteem/self-worth, feel free to contact me