There are a couple essential building blocks for nurturing healthy self-esteem. These are some pretty heavy concepts. Entire niches of psychological theory and orientation have been developed based on these concepts. I am going to keep this blog user-friendly and break it a few simple strategies for nurturing healthier self-esteem.
And it starts here:
Experiencing unconditional love and having a sense of unconditional worth allows individuals to explore and expand through emotional growth which fosters healthy self-esteem.
I am here to shout from the rooftops that we deserve unconditional love. You. Me. Every single one of us. I’m going to repeat this for those of you who received the faulty message somewhere in your life about unconditional love: You deserve to be loved; unconditionally.
Unconditional love is not based on external factors, such as: how someone treats you in a healthy or unhealthy relationship, how much you sacrifice for friends or family, your social status, your bank account, number of links per post or tweet, your job title, the car you drive, your body shape or size, etc.
You deserve to experience unconditional love simply because you are here on this planet. We all do.
Now, before you freak out; thinking I’m going to go all kumbaya on you and ask that you to show unconditional love to everyone in your life–I’m not. But I do want you to start practicing showing one incredibly deserving person in your life unconditional love. YOU.
It may be uncomfortable at first, especially if you have a smidge of people-pleasing in you. But I have an easy beginner’s practice based on Sharon Salzberg’s work:
Spend 15 minutes visualizing your good deeds or acts of kindness.
- Meditate (or simply think about) on one time you were kind, generous, caring, or selfless
- How did it feel before/during/after the good deed or act of kindness?
- Take a few minutes to journal (or simply reflect) that this is a concrete reminder of your goodness within
I am also here to shout from the rooftops that you have intrinsic worth and value. Period. Possibly exclamation point if thought, “yeah, but…”, when you read that.
Your worth actually does not increase or decrease based on external factors, such as: a bad choice/decision, how someone treats you in a healthy or unhealthy relationship, your bank account, number of links per post or tweet, your job title, the car you drive, your body shape or size…you get the idea, we literally just went over this with unconditional love.
You have intrinsic worth and value simply because you are here on this planet. Same as above.
Reflect on all the wonderful ways you are you. The good and the not so good. Remember: you have worth regardless of the not so good stuff. We aren’t flawed–we are human.
- What makes you unique and special? How do you express all that makes you an individual?
- Practice acknowledging and being accepting of those qualities about yourself that you don’t particularly like
- Don’t shame yourself or worry about if you “should” change; instead reflect on a positive thing about this quality
- Example: If your level of co-dependent tendencies makes you uncomfortable, what is a positive thing about that quality? You probably show empathy and compassion towards others
- Journal on this quote: “It is usually not thinking, or even time, that heals, but love” – Anonymous
- What area of your life is needing healing through love? Through self-love and nurturing?
When we have a solid sense of our unconditional worth and experience unconditional love; opportunities for us to grow seem to pop up without effort. Growth’s secret sauce is all in the process, the direction of our path, our journey. It isn’t necessarily tied to a destination. But we will experience greater life satisfaction because of it.
Growth can stem from various events and circumstances in our lives. Sometimes, growth can stem from our search for meaning and purpose for our life. Not sure what your “Divine Purpose” is for the time while you are here on Earth? Join the club. But maybe try to ignore the forest for the moment and just focus on one tree.
“Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence”, Henry David Thoreau
Try to be mindful as you move through your day
- Ask yourself: How can I make my world a better place?
- Can I pick up this piece of trash that isn’t mine? Can I offer a smile, a listening ear or encouragement to someone I encounter? Can I donate my time or money to a social cause? Can I use my creative talents to create a more beautiful experience for myself, for those I love, for my co-workers, for my community? Can I use my gifts and talents in a way that creates joy for myself or others?
- Reflect or journal on how rewarding it feels to be of service
- How has that sparked something within you that allows you to begin to see a new path for yourself? Or even the forest?
Are you needing to go into a deeper dive for shaking old self-limiting beliefs about unconditional love and worth, your path towards growth and building healthy self-esteem? I would love to work with you! Feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set up time to begin our work together.