Like me, you probably push forward, reaching for lofty goals: some attainable, some not. That’s great. We all need to pursue our dreams.
But how do you react when falling short of your own expectations? Do you bully yourself by engaging in negative self-talk? Do you believe you’re unworthy of success?
We may routinely tell ourselves, “I didn’t try hard enough,” “I wasn’t’ driven enough,” or even “I wasn’t smart enough.”
Well, I’m here to say, “No more ‘not enoughs!’”
The first step in improving our self-esteem is understanding why we’re unkind to ourselves.
4 reasons you may be too hard on yourself
For many of us, there are multiple reasons we mentally beat ourselves up.
Fear of egotism.
Once I justified my “I’m not good enough” inner dialogue by adopting the mistaken belief that if I truly loved myself, I’d be egotistical.
But egotism is quite different from self-appreciation. Egotism elevates us above others in our own minds and makes them feel less important than we are. It drives a play for power, for supremacy. Self-love, on the other hand, empowers us to embrace where we are and who we’ve become. It leads us to be more accepting of others and where they are in their lives.
Desire to prove our worth.
As a child, I knew when the Most Divine visited me (detailed in “A Reluctant Spirit”). Feeling God’s presence made me strive to be my best, so that I could feel deserving of the Creator’s attention. When I’d make mistakes, I’d convince myself I wasn’t worthy of the Great I Am’s love.
This same scenario can be driven by the need to receive the approval of a parent or mentor. To have someone important to us validate that “we are good.”
Surviving an abusive relationship.
Abusers destroy the self-confidence of the people they target. Even years after leaving these tragic circumstances, survivors may still cling to the notion that they’re deficient. Whether the abuse is inflicted by a parent, mate or even an employer, the overwhelming negative energy can make it difficult for survivors to recognize their own strengths.
Accepting others’ judgment of us.
A friend of mine was traumatized by her high school teacher making her read in the front of the class when she didn’t know how to read. Classmates ridiculed and taunted her with snickers and whispers. She quit high school. Later, she spent years teaching herself to read. Now in her 40s, she said that she’d always felt stupid and was shocked to realize that she will probably earn an “A” in college English.
Like many, she allowed the negativity of those who didn’t know her or her situation, form her own opinion of herself.
Why it’s important to love ourselves
“If you want to enlarge your life, you must first enlarge your thought of it and of yourself. Hold the ideal of yourself as you long to be, always, everywhere,” wrote Dr. Orison Swett Marden, founder of Success magazine.
Dr. Marden’s point of seeing your potential is key to fully appreciating yourself.
Negative self-talk stunts our ability to achieve our dreams. It fosters a perfect environment for a self-fulfilling prophecy, one where we halfheartedly work toward our goals sure that we’ll never reach them. Then once we give up, we use that failure as further proof that we’ll never be good enough.
Self-esteem strengthens our connection to the heavenly realm
When we view ourselves as a creation of the Most Divine, it’s incompatible for us to believe we aren’t good enough. God knows what the Great I Am has created and this most powerful energy would not make someone who cannot thrive and be successful in their own special way. God doesn’t make mistakes.
In addition, when we view ourselves as unworthy of the Universal Power’s attention, we pull away from the divine instead of gravitating to the source of unconditional love.
Psychics have long believed that how we view ourselves is critical to developing and strengthening our intuitive abilities. Carolyn Myss said this on SuperSoul Sunday: “Self-esteem is the source of clear intuition. The key to clear intuition is a respect for yourself. If you don’t have that then you’ll never trust yourself. You’ll always be vulnerable to negotiating your honor.”
How to stop negative self-talk
Try these affirmations each time you’re unkind to yourself. This exercise helps you to focus on your strengths instead of your perceived shortcomings.
- I love myself.
- I accept forgiveness.
- I am a unique creation of the Most Divine.
- I am a kind person.
- I am a loving person.
- I am enough, just as I am.
Have faith that you’re as you are supposed to be, quirky characteristics and all.