I have heard people saying some negative things to others and to themselves. “Your dark.” “You’re not good enough.” “You are worthless.” “You are not that pretty.” “And you are the ugly twin.” Would you feel comfortable reading what you just read out, to your sister or brother but as if it was about her/him?
We are so quick to judge or be unkind to ourselves. I think we sometimes forget how harmful that can be. So I want to dive straight into it. Define in your own words, what self-esteem is to you? You would say – “The way I feel about how the world views me.” “If you look yourself in the mirror and you are happy with what you see.” “You just have to know that you are important and that you matter.” “How much confidence you have.” “The way you carry yourself around in life.”
Okay, another one. I once asked some people to tell me a situation where they have struggled with their self-esteem. One answer was – “I have an identical twin. She is smaller than me. She doesn’t have a gap in her teeth as I have. I kind of grew up comparing myself to her. I lose a lot of self-esteem there, and I shouldn’t, because she is my best friend. She would never put anything wrong on me. There is nothing on her there. But that is where I lose my self-esteem.”
I heard that and felt really sad. I told her, and I tell everyone who thinks that way. I’d love for you to think about some thoughts you have had that have negatively affected your self-esteem. And actually what I want you to do it write them on a piece of paper.
Write down the voice that you have heard in your head, or something you have said out loud to yourself when you have had that experience of negative self-esteem. Don’t worry take your time, there is no rush at all. I know there will be a lot that you would write down. Some might even cry when they do that. But you should definitely write them down and read them to yourself.
Now how does that feel when you read that to yourself? Sad? Negative vibes? Now see that is what effect we have on ourselves. We can be so harsh on ourselves sometimes. We judge ourselves so badly. I am sure when you are reading that it is so harsh to hear it as well. We are so busy saying it in our head, and it is so normal there. But when you verbalize it, it gets a lot scarier. It is excruciating when we say that to ourselves.
Now I ask the question again – Would you feel comfortable reading what you just read out, to your sister or brother but as if it was about her/him? No right. May I ask you why? Because it is not nice to say all of this to someone else. It’s crazy, right? We would never say those things to the person we love but we can say these things to ourselves all the time.
There is a lovely saying – Treat others like you want to be treated. But perhaps we got it all backwards? Maybe it should say… Treat yourself with the same love and respect you want to show others. Spread positivity. We need this now more than ever.
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