Mirror, Mirror On The Wall
In my last post entitled ‘Would You Flunk The Test?’ I feel like I skated over something that I consider to be absolutely essential for great mental health and general success and happiness.
Not putting yourself first can reduce self esteem as we look for external validation in order to decide whether we are worthy of love and compassion or not.
This is not a good strategy, because it’s out of your control and your happiness is dictated to by the vagaries of others.
Every time I send out a newsletter I get a dozen or so e-mails back thanking me and telling me that the post made a positive difference to the person who had read it.
There have even been occasions with a real good missive where I have had closer to 50 people contact me.
The e-mails are welcomed, appreciated and very nice to get. After all, I do what I do to help others and it’s great to know it’s working for some people.
However, I read them once, reply to thank the person who went to the trouble, and then (for the most part – I do keep a few), delete them.
It’s Time To Move On
I don’t dwell on them and they don’t really effect my mood in any significant way.
This almost indifferent approach is intentional and the reason is this.
If I take them as being important to what I do, then I must by definition take any criticism just as seriously.
Both can, if I let them, influence how I write, and they are only a tiny sample of the people who read each article.
I have no idea what the other 99% are thinking or what their opinion is, and that’s fine because it’s really none of my business.
Primarily I write for myself. I write on topics that interest me, I use humor that makes me laugh and I use bad language in exactly the same way as I would in real life – presuming I wasn’t trying to give traffic directions to a car full of hearing impaired nuns that is.
Technically speaking I’m not a great writer, but I am good at telling stories and delivering messages in a way that most people can digest.
The Importance of Self Esteem
Self esteem is such an underrated commodity.
People think that loud, arrogant and brash people are afflicted with too much self esteem, but usually the opposite is the case.
The more arrogant somebody is, the stronger the chance they don’t like themselves that much and are over compensating in the hope that others will not notice their shortcomings.
There’s a fairly well known exercise in self development that I still use a decade or more after I started coaching.
The reason I use it, is because it’s a great indicator of what a person truly thinks of themselves.
You may be familiar with it, but it bears repetition and I’d also encourage you to try it out.
Mirror, Mirror On The Wall
Stand in front of a mirror, look at yourself and simply say, ‘I love you’
Don’t laugh, don’t be sarcastic and don’t worry what others may think if they saw you.
If you can do that without a problem and presuming you don’t stand there admiring yourself for two hours, in which case you may have a tad to much self esteem, well done, you’ve nailed it.
If you laugh because it’s silly then you are probably suffering from low self esteem because it isn’t silly.
So say it again.
If you laugh again or feel slightly anxious by what you consider to be this flagrant act of tomfoolery.
Say it again.
And again and again.
I don’t care how many times you have to say it to elicit a flat response (presuming it’s not days and you are suffering from severe dehydration and the cat is trying to eat you), just do it.
Eventually it will feel normal to accept that you love yourself. And that is a good thing because you most definitely should.
Maybe you know you could do this easily. If so, well done, but give it one go just to make sure.
But if the thought causes you discomfort or even blind panic then you really need to do it.
So go on, be off with you, you have some loving to do.