We are often told not to speak negatively about others, rather to instead allow–or sometimes challenge–ourselves to speak favorably about them. However, in order to successfully and genuinely speak positively about others, we first require a healthy self-to-self relationship.
A trend persists in which people inflate or deflate images of themselves. A healthy ego sometimes turns into an air of arrogance most likely compensating for insecurities, and a flirtatious self-deprecation into an issue of low self-esteem. An unhealthy self-image reflects on and affects how you treat the people around you. By loving and nurturing yourself, you are more capable of nurturing members of your community. Healthy communities begin with healthy individuals.
So how do you develop a balanced self-esteem?
Tip: Don’t downplay your accomplishments.
When you get that job or promotion, celebrate! Even if it isn’t your dream job have the self-respect to say, “Hooray! Here’s a step on my journey.” Or, if that’s too cheesy, try, “Yeah! Maybe I’ll get the next step up next year!”
Tip: When you say, “I Feel,” make sure that the next word is a feeling.
Following the words, “I feel” with an actual feeling helps you validate yourself as an emotional being. When you do not follow the introduction with an actual feeling (“I feel like it doesn’t make sense”), you are less direct and less honest. Sometimes it takes a moment to think of the actual feeling, but it proves more useful and truthful.
Tip: After a hard day, write down one thing you did well and one thing you have to work on.
Writing down at least one thing you did well helps validate you and encourages you appreciate yourself as you grow. Writing down a thing that needs improvement is helpful because it’s always good to acknowledge mistakes. However, be sure to write the aspect that needs work in a positive tone. This way, you can focus on the idea of working to do something rather than not to do something. Negative language is never constructive.
Tip: Don’t let your self-image be determined by physical standards.
Don’t make negative remarks toward yourself when you look in the mirror. This serves no one. Instead, celebrate your body and its capabilities. Nourish it with healthy food. Exercise, but not angrily.
Tip: Ask for help.
Asking for help does not make you weak. It acknowledges that you need support, guidance, answers and it also validates the helper as part of a community. Furthermore, accept help sometimes when it is offered.