It can be hard to love ourselves. We work and work to feel successful but others may not share our sense of accomplishment. Once we decide that others think we are not good enough, we find ourselves on a slippery slope. Doubt turns to fear and aggressive behavior. As we continue down the hill, we find our success and positive sense of self dwindling. Fortunately, there is a way to solidify a sense of accomplishment without basing it on material things. Of course, switching to adaptive behaviors is not easy, but the work is totally worthwhile!
The first thing to realize is gratefulness for material things is necessary. Gratefulness, opens the floodgates of abundance in your life. However, basing self esteem and and worth on material items is a foolish choice. When you base your worth on what you have rather than who you are, you will have to bully others for recognition. In the end, bullies are shunned and the material things their lives are built on turn to dust. In the same way, gratefulness and not self esteem should come from pride in one’s education level, career success, achievements of children, and so on. Personal accomplishments are signs that you have self control, the ability to follow through, and when you sow gratefulness, abundance will follow. If the items you are grateful for are removed/rendered unusable from/in your life, you will receive something better.
So, if self esteem is not based on things or accomplishment, what should self esteem be based on? In truth self esteem should be based on character. How you conduct yourself with others? If you are always looking for information to undermine others, you are in danger of harming yourself. What messages do you send yourself concerning your behaviors? Do you make excuses or a fearless moral inventory? Do you ask God/your higher self/the universe for direction or do you use your feelings to direct your actions? If you are doing anything besides patiently waiting for direction, you will end up in places that cause needless suffering.
Here are a few suggestions for building your self worth on character:
- Love yourself warts and all. Yep, you will never be perfect. You do not have to change unless the changes will end suffering in your life. If others insist on forcing you to change, weigh the cost and benefits for yourself and only change if you feel directed to change.
- Be clean in your dealings with others. If you find yourself exercising ulterior motives or refusing to change yourself, you need to slow down, take notice, and ask for direction. Truly powerful people do not have to run others down to feel worthwhile.
- Practice self care. Make your home and work environments peaceful and inviting. Take breaks when you need to. Set good boundaries. Do not interact with people who work to make you feel small as a means to their end.
- Spend every day finding yourself abundant and practicing gratitude. Be thankful for small things like medications, socks, and the ability to breathe.
- Realize you have a unique purpose. When you do not see the rewards you are after materialize, know that you simply need to seek the next step. You are already abundant. Trying to force outcomes will take you down dark paths.
All the best to you!