Self esteem. This is something I’m sure BILLIONS of people struggle with. I know it is one of the worst things about me. It’s really hard to be positive about your life and confident enough to be assertive. Protecting yourself is next to impossible when you think you’re not worth protecting. Standing up for yourself against those who would tear you down is futile. You don’t feel worth anything. You’re not good enough for anything. You don’t deserve good things. It’s a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad feeling (I loved that book growing up).
Because of this complete lack of self esteem and self worth, I have the most impossible time with any and all conflict. I don’t know if that’s just me or part of the lack of worth in my head. I panic and clam up. With a husband that thrives on conflict sometimes, it has made for some really rough years. Thankfully though, with this group therapy as well as one on one therapy (and I guarantee my medicine), I’m finally starting to feel like it’s okay to speak my mind. I still don’t want to hurt people’s feelings, and that’s where the calm assertiveness comes into play that I’m learning. I’m lucky to have my sister who I feel is good at this (well, she does more of a sarcastic comment but she’s the sweetest and cutest, so it’s hard to get mad at anything she ever says) as well as my work wife who emulates this perfectly. I think the more I get used to standing up for myself, the better I’ll get at appreciating who I am and having self-worth.
In group, we often deal with self-esteem and so I have quite a bit of worksheets I’ve done on it. Some of my favorites I will post here.
Daily affirmations I have seen work wonders on people, though I haven’t had a lot of practice using them and having them help me. I need to write them on sticky notes or post this page all over my house. Practice makes perfect. This bill of rights is also wonderful and makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside, if you aren’t arguing with it inside your head like I do. Hopefully I’ll continue to improve.
Now this final thing is one I REALLY struggled with during group. We were to put down 5 things we appreciate about our life, and then 5 things we appreciate about ourselves. I’ve been trying for months to find a few core things about myself that are from ME only, not influenced by anyone else, that I am proud of and can hold onto. Who I am. What I am proud of. I can find three. Those three are better than the nothing I had before, but it’s still miniscule to what I should have. I’m not going to lie, it’s REALLY hard to post this with my answers on it. If I’m going to be open and honest, I have to be open and honest. You may be able to tell that I struggled with the last few answers. I’m thankful for Halloween, yes. It’s my most favorite. But come on, I could have pushed to find something else. And thankful for my beautiful shoes? ABSOLUTELIY. I love shoes. But…I could have searched deeper to find something inside of me that I liked. Alas, this is what bad self-esteem looks like.
The strangest thing is that I thrive and love finding good in others and that’s something I’m proud of. I believe everyone has good in them and things that are worthy of being loved, no matter who or what they are. I just have a hard time applying that same philosophy to myself.