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EThe vital ingredients of self-esteem and how they all work together (Part 1)

When it comes to building up your self-esteem, there are number of vital ingredients or components that help you to lay the foundation so that you can build upon it. The wonderful thing is that when you start to develop and improve these components, they have a knock on effect by helping to improve other areas. Each of these components help to build your confidence in you and to regard and treat yourself as being a worthwhile and valuable person – yes, self-esteem in a nutshell.

In this class (which unfolds in three parts), I want to give you an overview of these components and you will see as each week unfolds how each of these areas is delved into and expanded upon.

Boundaries – respect, limits, listening to yourself

This won’t come as a surprise to you if you’ve spent more than a hot minute over at my site Baggage Reclaim. Boundaries are basically like each person’s personal electric fence. They communicate your limits, alert you to inappropriate or downright dangerous behaviour and situations, work with your comfort levels and provide much of the foundation that your self-esteem rests upon.

You may have heard me mention with regularity, love, care, trust, and respect.

Boundaries are what each person uses to treat themselves and others with respect. It’s where self-respect, general respect and integrity comes from. If you have little or none or people you engage with have boundary issues, you will run into problems. Big ones.

Boundaries also communicate vital information that helps you to make judgments, decisions, use your gut, and basically trust yourself and others – listening to yourself.

Actions feed off boundaries and anything that anyone thinks that they can be or do around you, whether it’s for the first time or a repeat performance, is based on whether you maintain your boundaries. Remember though, even if someone busts boundaries, it doesn’t make you responsible. What you decide to do after a test of boundaries is where your self-esteem comes in. Blaming yourself is not what you should do.

Also remember: Someone doesn’t really know how you will react to their boundary bust until it happens. In a lot of cases, it’s chancing their arm.

Healthy Beliefs – capabilities, perspective

Beliefs are ideas that you believe to be true, although they are not always absolutely true which is all the more reason why you need to be careful of what you carry around with you.

Unhealthy and unrealistic beliefs greatly affect every area of your self-esteem, especially boundaries and trust.

Whatever you think you can and can’t do and be, is linked to your beliefs – if you’re ‘down’ on you, you’ll limit yourself.

You will also find that beliefs greatly affect your perspective and when you run with unhealthy and unrealistic beliefs, you end up in a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is because we unwittingly adjust our mentality and subsequent actions to reflect what we predict is likely to happen in any given situation, which of course is based our beliefs.

Beliefs affect self-esteem so greatly because they are often treated as ‘super true’ and unchangeable which in turn creates helplessness.

By changing your beliefs, reflecting it in your actions, by for instance having boundaries or trusting yourself, your self-esteem will rise.

Trust – judgement, decision making, listening, watching, capabilities, perspective

Having faith, basically belief, in who you are, what you will do, and what you can expect from yourself is of course tied to your beliefs. How you see things, what boundaries you do or don’t have will be very much based on experience – you might take the fact that something happened where you let it slide and take that as the gospel according to you on how the world is and your future.

Trust is also about having faith in other people’s actions. Low self-esteem means that we’re often all too happy to place faith in others because we don’t trust ourselves. They’re given reliable status when they haven’t actually consistently and over an extended period of time proven themselves.

Trust also comes from listening and watching – they give you evidence on whether to increase and roll back trust. Do not discount what you feel – that’s like saying “I don’t give a damn about me. Shut up!”

You can only have confidence in you if you will invest the trust in you. If you don’t have the trust, you don’t have the confidence which means you can’t have the self-esteem.

Trust actually comes from acting – taking action, making decisions and letting things unfold instead of being uncommitted and waiting for someone else to act instead so that you don’t have to trust.

Your life will change dramatically when you believe in you so that you can trust you. You can only feel worthwhile and of value, if you, the person who owns you wholly and solely deign yourself with your precious trust.

Responsibility and Accountability – decision making, judgement, perspective

If you don’t trust you, if you don’t have boundaries and you also stick with beliefs that keep you stuck in a position of being helpless, you’ll lack ownership of your life, although you may end up taking ownership of other people’s stuff.

You also have to trust people to get on with owning their own stuff instead of making your life about only being able to be happy or to move on when they take ownership.

When you have low self-esteem, you tend to have little or no boundaries, feel helpless and even victimised, but aren’t recognising that part of being responsible and accountable for your life is about having boundaries. It’s important to note again though that not having boundaries doesn’t mean you are responsible for someone else’s behaviour.

Responsibility and accountability let you have perspective. Blame removes perspective and definitely isn’t responsibility.

By having boundaries, you take responsibility for you, you also trust yourself by making decisions, using your eyes, ears and other senses to make judgements about what you want to be involved in and so you get to be in the driving seat of your life and know that if and when others let you down, you will be alright because you’ve got your own back.

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