A Self-Esteem Booster

building confidence celebration confidence intentionally imperfect perfection perfectionist self-esteem self-esteem booster Oct 03, 2021
Image includes blog title - The Art of Living a Perfectly Imperfect Life. A blog for anyone who wants to be able to make mistakes and still sleep at night.

I’m a mom of a daughter and it’s amazing at the young age books and articles on self-esteem for girls are marketed. The new age-targeted for when girls become critical of themselves is age 8.  Age 8 - Yikes!   Initially, I was skeptical but then I began to think about myself, my friends, my coaching clients and realized that self-esteem struggles are quite pervasive.  I did a quick survey of a few of my coaching clients (with their permission of course!) and 100% of them said that they struggle with self-esteem.   100% - yikes!   


How do you rate your own self-esteem?  Where would you place it on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest?   If you landed on a 6, why not 7?  If you landed on a 3, why not 4?   Do you have a clear idea of how you determine your level of self-esteem or did you go with a gut feeling?   Self-esteem is a bit abstract and hard to pin down in specifics.   It seems to be easier to name the components of self-esteem - confidence, courage, self-love, self-respect, self-belief, worthiness, etc. I could keep going here but I think you get the idea.  At seeing that list, no wonder it is hard to describe how we land on a number.  


What if we choose one of the components and work on that piece of the self-esteem pie?   It seems that the components are tied together.  When we build our confidence we become more courageous.  And to become more confident we need to see our worthiness and self-love.  It’s a bit of a web when I started drawing lines to demonstrate how the different components are linked to others.  The good news is that there is no wrong place to begin to build self-esteem if all of the components are linked.  The bad news is that if one area is lagging all of the components are linked.  Perhaps this is why so many people report low self-esteem, because of its complicated intersection of so many feelings and beliefs.


Confidence kept standing out to me as a way to influence our self-esteem. External praise and affirmation may seem like a great place to become confident.  If our parents or teacher tell us they are proud our pride can swell.  If a coach congratulates us for our contribution to the game we may feel more confident for the next match.  If we receive praise or recognition of any kind it can boost confidence, but it fades.  When the affirmation comes from an external source it does not seem to have the same longevity.  In fact, it leaves us wanting more and more and more.  When we are craving and desiring that outside affirmation it does not improve our self-esteem but deplete it because if we don’t get the affirmation it can send the message that we are not worthy as discussed in The Negative Effect of Ability-Focused Praise on the "Praiser's" Intrinsic Motivation: Face-to-Face Interaction by Kakinuma K, Nishiguti F, Sonoda K, Tajiri H, Tanaka A.


In comparison, if we give ourselves affirmation and praise, it has a  longer-lasting effect. But how often are we doing this?  And what have we defined as praise-worthy?  With a perfectionist mindset, we set standards high which probably means our celebrations are far and few between.   Celebrations might only exist when we complete a task or even when we hit a high mark.   If affirmation and praise lead to confidence however and we are rarely offering this to ourselves, it seems as if we are limiting our own self-esteem potential.  We are missing out on an opportunity each time we overlook an opportunity to affirm and celebrate our effort.  When we recognize effort as worthy of affirmation we can find a celebration every day.  


I began to look at ways we could incorporate this celebration into an average day.  It’s not like we can get flowers delivered or get balloons or pop bubbly every day although sometimes they may be just the thing you need to celebrate.  I want you to get a notepad and pen or your Rocketbook or notes app and I want you to set a timer for 5 minutes.  I want you to think through all of the things that have made you smile in the past week, month, year, 5 years, lifetime.  This is a rough draft so no editing. If it comes to your mind then write it down.  The more ideas the better.   Don’t stop.  Keep going the entire 5 minutes as it may take a few seconds or maybe a minute for your brain to get warmed up.   After the 5 minute timer, then go back through & categorize. 


This exercise just proved to yourself that you do know how to celebrate.  You do know how to reward yourself.  It’s a matter of actually doing it.  So look at your week through a new lens. A lens that sees and recognizes effort.  A lens that sees the sweat, the determination, and drive when you tackle everything from washing dishes to writing proposals for your job to caring for your child.  There is no effort too small to acknowledge and celebrate.  


Follow me on Instagram @renewcoachingnw as I’d love to see your celebrations. 

What would you say if I told you that spending 5 minutes per day supporting your mental wellness could improve your gut health? And 5 minutes per day helping your gut health could improve your mental health?


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