There are some women who seem to slip comfortably into their own skin and sashay through life without feeling even the slightest pinch of envy or self doubt. Then there are the rest of us who worry about what others are thinking, are scared to say “no” out of fear of rejection, compare our bums to Giselle’s and spend the morning-after the work happy hour recapping every silly remark we think we made to our boss who we are sure now thinks we are a total twit. And if you've just gotten divorce, it's not like your self esteem is at a high point. If you're running low on your confidence supply, don’t fret, simply read on to find out real-world ways to give your self-esteem a little shot in the arm.
1. The Road to Comparison is Paved with Pain.
Your friend, Sally is 28, gorgeous and is well on her way to the corner office while you are 33, in need of a makeover and wondering what to do with your life. You love her but avoid your weekly lunch because you always walk away feeling crummy about the way things have panned out.
Each and every one of us is on our own journey and just because romance comedies and magazines say one way is right doesn’t make it right for you. While a little competition can motivate you to be your best, standing around comparing everything from your thighs to your job title does little more than keep you in the position of being less than.
There will always be someone who is thinner, blonder, smarter, richer or whatever else but their successes do not make your life a failure. Each and every person is a culmination of all of their experiences, choices hopes and dreams. Instead of being envious get inspired! Ask friends and colleagues you admire to help you brainstorm ways to achieve your next goal and ask them what they feel your strengths and weaknesses are. You might find they admire you for things you’ve never noticed about yourself. 2. Stop Linking Your Worth to Your Romantic Status. Your little sister just got engaged while you’re going through a nasty divorce, a fact your Aunt Mae cannot seem to avoid bringing up every chance she gets. Self-Esteem Boost:
Tell Aunt Mae that you’d rather be happy flying solo than stuck with someone who didn’t value, honor or respect you and mean it! Regardless of how many diamond commercials and fairy tales we have shoved down our throats, the fact is that our lives have significance regardless of our romantic status. Ending a relationship is your right and should be seen as a positive when doing so allows you to be liberated from pain, dishonesty, disrespect, abuse or other negative feelings that violate your right to a happy, healthy, honest relationship. 3. Build Your Own Brand. You emulate the style of your favorite celebrity, sign up for the Series 7 because your best friend decided to and passed or rush into the salon to lop off your luscious locks because the bob looked so great on your trendy co-worker.
There is a great quote by Oscar Wilde that reminds us all that we need to be ourselves because “everybody else is taken.” Instead of snagging everyone else’s style or morphing into a lover, build your own brand by honing the many unique qualities that make you the interesting and irreplaceable person you are.
If you like to cook, invite people over to sample your dishes. Have a passion for politics? Volunteer for a local candidate. Get to know yourself and what you enjoy and polish up the traits and interests that make you the unique and special you are. 4. Silence Your Inner Critic. Whether its public speaking, sleeping alone in a new place, the dark, or taking another chance on love most of us have something that freezes us right in our tracks. Self-Esteem Boost:
While no one is suggesting you skydive to get a fear of heights under control, putting time aside to analyze your anxieties will allow you a chance at gaining a better understanding of them as well over how much power you hand over to them. Think of the worst possible outcome and then ask yourself how likely it is to happen. By taking small steps forward to conquer apprehensions you will only lift many of the limitations your fear inevitably places on your life but also have you feeling more confident and in control. 5. Create a Mantra. You’re about to give a speech that might change your career course. You’ve studied, practiced and look sharp and polished but thirty minutes before the meeting, the doubt starts creeping in. Self-Esteem Boost:
I knew a young woman who was going through a rough divorce and could barely get from A-to-B without sobbing so hard she could barely see a foot in front of her. One day, as she was walking to the supermarket, the tears started to flow and instead of falling down onto the sidewalk as she had done before, she started singing the first chorus of “I will survive.” “It sounds so corny but that was one of the most powerful moments I had experienced in a long time. The chorus became the song and by the end, I knew I would be ok for the rest of the day. It became my ‘go-to’ resource of strength,” she said.
Whether it’s a song, quote, sentence or word, find a mantra that will make you feel like the beautiful, capable, intelligent, unique person you are and say it in the mirror every single day until you believe it. The mind is a powerful tool, use it positively. Brenda Della Casa is the internationally published author of Cinderella Was a Liar (www.cinderellawasaliar.com) and a freelance writer and columnist who specializes in romance, lifestyle and wellness features. In addition to her writing, Brenda spent nine years interviewing thousands of men and women while casting some of television’s most well-known reality shows. Brenda's columns appear on and in Start Your Business Magazine, Iamstaggered.com, FiLife.com, Basil & Spice and Divorce360.com. She has been seen on The Today Show, iVillage Live and numerous other television and radio shows.Brenda has written for and been featured in dozens of publications including, Cosmopolitan, Psychologies, TheStreet.com, Men's Health, Hallmark, FHM, iVillage.com, Woman's Day, Cosmo Bride, The Mirror, The Sun, The NY Daily News, Health and Fitness, Fabulous, For Me, Company, Seventeen, Bliss, New Woman and many others. Her blog, Walking Barefoot can be seen at www.strollwithoutshoes.com
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