Tag Archives: self worth

Self-Compassion: You Owe it to Yourself

Most people intuitively understand compassion when it comes to others who are suffering, but self-compassion is generally harder to grasp.

The Opposite of Self-Compassion
The Opposite of Self-Compassion

Self-Compassion: You Owe it to Yourself

When you see someone who is suffering or struggling and your heart reaches out to them, whether you act or not, you feel a tug of discomfort (whether you reach out to help them or not is another part of the complexity of compassion) and you sympathize or feel their pain, that is compassion.

When you yourself are struggling, your first reaction might be to turn to self-deprecating humor or to think how stupid you are. That is the opposite of self-compassion.

What Is Self-Compassion?

Self-compassion is when you recognize that you are human and not perfect, and you quit judging yourself for it. It’s when you give yourself a break.

There are three elements to being self-compassionate, mindfulness, an awareness of your common humanity, and self-kindness.

How Treating Yourself With Compassion Affects Your Life

Putting aside the self-judgement and recognizing that everyone has problems, everyone makes mistakes, and no one – no one – is perfect, lets you begin being kind to yourself.

If you bump your head, for example, and you call yourself a dummy for it, you are literally telling yourself that you are dumb – for something almost everyone does from time to time.

Judging yourself harshly, even when you use humor, it’s still negative, keeps you in an emotionally beaten state, and learning to respond to your humanity with kindness lets you recognize your worth and it lets you open the door to a healthier, happier life.

How to Treat Yourself With Compassion

If you catch yourself in the act of negative self-talk, stop – just stop – mid-sentence. Then, tell yourself the exact opposite of the negative thing you started to say. (Say it out loud if you are in a place you are comfortable doing that.)

Think of something you would absolutely love to have someone do for you – then stop waiting on someone else and tell yourself you are worth it and do it for yourself. This doesn’t have to be expensive – it can be as simple as giving yourself a foot massage after a hard day.

Write some simple affirmations about your self-worth and self-esteem and list some things you do well – and read them to yourself several times a day – out loud when possible.

Surround yourself with positivity as best you can. Read books that inspire you, visit websites like this one to find positive messages, and try to find positive people to include in your life – but don’t sweat it if you can’t find any – because you can learn to be a self-compassionate person with or without anyone else, and you are worth the effort.

Building Self-Confidence Helps Build Healthy Relationships

Being in a relationship can (and should) boost your self-confidence, but that’s not always how it works for people entering a relationship with low or damaged self-esteem.

Self-Confidence and RelationshipsIf you go into a relationship with low self-confidence, first, you’re more likely to doubt anything positive your partner sees in you, and also, you’re more likely to choose  a partner who is negative – who also has a low self-esteem level – and who reinforces your negative self-perception.

According to Dr. Alice Boyes, poor self-esteem and a lack of self-confidence can cause low-quality relationships – with less love, less trust, more conflict, more ambivalence, and less stability.

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”                                – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Why Building Self-Confidence Helps Build Healthy Relationships

“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”   – e.e. cummings

Build Healthy Self-ConfidenceBuilding your self-confidence helps you build healthier relationships, and it’s kind of like the saying on airplanes for emergencies – about putting on your own oxygen mask first because you can’t help anyone else if you can’t breathe.

Can you be in a relationship if you lack self-confidence and have no sense of self-esteem? Of course! People do it every day – but the quality of your relationships will most likely suffer under the weight of the negativity you experience on  a personal level.

Simple Confidence Boosters

“If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”   – Thomas Alva Edison

While others can do positive, confidence-boosting things for you, and you for them, no one can build someone else’s self-confidence – by it’s very definition, self-confidence is an internal, personal evaluation of self-worth.

You can do external things for a quick self-confidence boost, like getting you hair done, or working out, or putting on a new outfit, but don’t ignore the value of making internal changes, too, because they provide a longer-lasting confidence boost.

There are many ways to build a foundation of healthy self-esteem; for example: help someone else, make a list of things you are grateful for, make a list of things you are good at, write down small goals you can quickly achieve and check them off as you do them, learn something new, or do something you’ve always wanted to do.

It’s hard to build a healthy relationship on the foundation of an unhealthy self-image, but it’s so easy to take advantage of things you can do to be more confident.

Empower Yourself: How to Stop Thinking Like a Victim

Have you ever doubted yourself, or felt like happiness and being treated well are things for other people to enjoy?

Victimization: Victory Over the Victim Mentality (Hope for the Heart) Have you ever thought things would finally be okay in your life if some external thing were different, or if someone else would only… ?

Many people don’t process this type of thinking as feeling or thinking like a victim, but that is exactly what it is, and it’s a cycle you can break by recognizing it and tackling it head on.

Victimization or Self-Victimization?

Victimization often begins in childhood, through abuse or bullying, where the child’s self-esteem becomes compromised.

This leads to an adulthood where the childhood victim begins to victimize himself or herself with constant affirmations of not being good enough or of deserving bad treatment.

The cycle of self-victimization then repeats over and over until it is recognized and new, positive affirmations of self-worth are instilled in the mind of the (past) victim.

How to Stop Thinking Like a Victim

“A strong, successful man * is not the victim of his environment. He creates favorable conditions. His own inherent force and energy compel things to turn out as he desires.”  – Orison Swett Marden

No one could, or should, ever deny the validity of a pattern of self-victimization that began when someone treated you horribly, but it’s up to you, as an adult, to break the pattern and stop the cycle of victimization by choosing to stop the negative self-talk that is holding you down.

Empower Yourself

  • Become aware of negative self-talk: This type of self-talk includes anything that is a put-down to yourself, including seemingly innocent self-deprecating humor.
    • You can’t stop doing it if you aren’t even aware you are putting yourself in a negative pattern.
  • Examine the truth behind negative self-talk: Things like, “I can’t do anything right” or “I always screw everything up” are rarely factual, because no one does everything wrong.
    • Though those statements develop as affirmations over time and they do eventually emerge as personal truths – but they can be changed.
  • Don’t let anyone else plant negative statements in your mind: It’s really common for people lacking in confidence to surround themselves with narcissistic people who maintain the imbalance in a relationship with a victim.
    • If you can’t physically leave the person, then, at least refute the negative things they say inside your mind, and replace their words with your own, positive truths.
  • Write down some simple positive affirmations about things you do:  Whether it’s making a great dish of pasta or being kind to animals, write down some good things about yourself and look at it several times a day, and read your positive self-talk affirmations aloud at least once a day.
    • If you catch yourself engaging in negative self-talk, then stop right there and review your positive affirmations.

If you are really struggling with self-esteem issues or are in a dire situation, and you need more than a bit of motivation from an article, it’s okay – and wise – to seek professional help to begin a new, healthy lifestyle. The information presented here is to help you find the motivation to start feeling empowered, but it is not intended to be a substitute for professional help if it’s needed.

Note: I would like to add ‘or woman’ to the above quote – where I added the * – for the purpose of this article – since Orison Swett Marden was a turn-of-the-century writer – when most everything was presented in masculine terms.