Self-Esteem Is an Inside Job

Self-Esteem.

What do you think about when you hear that term? We often think about people who don’t feel too good about themselves. It’s often associated with women and issues around beauty and body image. The conversation about self-esteem isn’t new, but it’s still very relavent. Perhaps now more than ever.

A few weeks ago I was at a rooftop patio party surrounded by plenty of sunshine, food, drink, friends and plenty of attractive people. People of all shapes and sizes, with skin tones in shades of coffee, cinnamon, vanilla and chocolate skin all kissed by the beauty of the sun. People were dressed in their cute summer best; whether jeans and sneakers, shorts or flirty summer dresses – everyone looked fabulous.

I went to the ladies room and a beautiful petite woman who was five feet tall said she envied my height and wished she were taller. I thanked her for the compliment and told her I thought she was beautiful too. That she shouldn’t wish for something else because we all have our own unique beauty. I told her the irony was when I was a teenager I used to wish I was ‘short and cute ‘ At that age I felt uncomfortable and wanted to be small like all my friends. It wasn’t until my twenties that I learned to really embrace my height.

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You must behold your own beauty before anyone else does,” I told her.

Before I knew it we were in the midst of a ladies room conversation about beauty, self-esteem and the pressures of being a woman and trying to fit societal beauty standards. As more women entered they joined the conversation. Pretty soon the ladies room was full not just from the line from the stalls, but also from people who wouldn’t leave because they had opinions to express in the discussion.

It was so interesting that no matter how ‘put together’ these women appeared to be they all had some flawed perspective in how they viewed themselves.

I have a challenge for you to do. Today write down every negative thing you say to yourself. I want you to do that as an exercise. Write it on a piece of paper or jot it down in your notes on your mobile device; somewhere you can reference it again. At the end of the day I want you to read the list.

Do you see that self-esteem is an inside job? And you’re the CEO of it? Turn that around. Before you go to bed write down something positive to go against all the negatives you’ve verbalized through your day.

Read that positive list 5 times. Do this before you lay down so the thoughts resonate with you. Go to bed with a positive mind.

As women we tend to be most self critical with ourselves compared to how men are. That doesn’t mean there are no men with self-esteem issues, there just seems to be a significant gap in how many men struggle from self-esteem.

It was funny because this really became a ‘meeting in the ladies room.’ I hope that everyone there took something positive away from the conversation

Now you…go and become the beholder of your own beauty.

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