This will be my last post for "Building Self-Esteem," and I want to leave you with three truths about self-esteem. It's been a little over a year since my introduction post, and what a year it's been. In addition to working through my self-esteem issues and sharing my stories, these posts have become a journal of my pandemic experience.
Self-Care - Building Self Esteem
Poor self-esteem can make it difficult to ask for help. You may feel that you are not worthy of other people's time and assistance. Maybe it's because you are not in the habit of prioritizing yourself and keep pushing your needs aside. Whatever the reason behind the difficulty, everyone needs help sometimes, and practicing how to ask for help is a good exercise to build self-esteem.
It's December, and it's the perfect time to plan for the next year by setting resolutions to help you reach all your goals, including building self-esteem. I made my living as a project planner, and today, I want to share my process for looking ahead at the changes I want to make and creating clear and realistic New Year resolutions that can help in the journey to stronger self-esteem.
When self-esteem is low, we often think we need to work harder and get more done to be a valued person, but the truth is, your self-esteem will grow when you find the beauty of doing less, not more. When I learned this lesson, nobody suffered from me doing less, and my self-esteem blossomed because I was more likely to successfully fulfill my commitments.
This Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, I am focusing on my self-esteem. On this holiest day for the Jewish people, we ask for absolution from wrongs we have done against others, but it is granted only if we first ask those people for forgiveness. Only then can we be forgiven on a higher level. Today I will ask myself for forgiveness for the ways I have wronged myself by allowing poor self-esteem to color my days.
Your journey to stronger self-esteem can take as little as 10 minutes each day. If you feel you have poor self-esteem but don't know what to do about it, try this simple exercise that takes five minutes in the morning and five before bed. Simply by committing to this small amount of time on yourself, you are building healthier self-esteem.
When self-esteem is poor, the risk of suicide is higher, and as a senior citizen living alone, I recognize that I am particularly at risk right now. The COVID-19 pandemic is causing older people and those with health issues to isolate, including me. Isolation can increase depression, which when untreated, can lead to thoughts of suicide. (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
I started doing monthly check-ins a couple of years ago when I first recognized that I had a self-esteem issue. Poor self-esteem often keeps us stuck in the past with regrets or pinned to the future with hopes and dreams. My monthly check-ins keep me grounded in the present and give me a realistic view of my accomplishments and productivity level, which keeps my self-esteem healthy. Before I started doing monthly check-ins, I lived with a never-ending to-do list which made me feel like a failure and less than enough.
When life overwhelms you and you have trouble keeping it together, understanding your why will help you get past the tough times and keep your self-esteem strong. If you have a good reason to keep on keeping on, it makes it easier to persevere through whatever you face. But, what makes a reason good? Understanding this point is key in your effort to build healthy self-esteem.
Building self-esteem is hard work. When your self-esteem is low, it can be difficult to act on plans that are specifically for your benefit. It may be hard because you don't believe you're worth prioritizing the effort or that you don't deserve the result you're aiming for.