Way East of Flat Rock Road
31nd May 2012
Returning from Louis morning walk yesterday the words ‘self-esteem’ caught my attention. Clarabella always has Radio 4 on, from the moment her alarm goes off at 06:45 until usually around 18:30pm when she gives the radio a break.
It’s funny because it’s on even if she’s not in the house. Louis is in fact the most intelligent dog in Devon due to his constant exposure to current affairs and breaking news that Radio 4 is famous for.
You’ll remember I said that the words ‘self-esteem’ caught my attention. As a person who has experienced the self imposed limitations that this condition brings about it’s a subject that is very close to my heart. Plus as you’ll know if you’ve read Smiling From The Heart I cover how to develop bullet proof self esteem and the importance of self compassion.
The guests on the radio were discussing ‘negative body image’, in children, and self-esteem. But what really captured my attention was the idea that good education can only follow from a core of healthy self esteem.
Before I knew it I was transported back 30 odd years to my own school daze. Believing that I was always ‘one down‘ on everybody else I would never raise my hand in class. Even though I pretty much always knew the correct answer.
I could go on, but this isn’t about me and how it took me decades before I could learn to feel well about myself. No, it’s about you and how what I’ve learned can be of benefit and value to you.
I’d like to share with you an article I wrote for this months edition of ‘West Of The Exe‘ a local publication that I contribute to and use to raise the awareness, in Devon, of the brilliance of Qigong =) It’s short, it’s sweet and it’s to the point. Because I only have a very limited amount of space. If healthy self-esteem is of interest to you, if you don’t feel well about yourself, I hope you will find it of value.
Here it is:
However, whilst researching the material for my new book: Smiling From The Heart I discovered a much healthier way of looking at self-esteem and I’d like to share what I found with you now:
“You are worthy because you are human.”
This is the only qualification you require for healthy self-esteem. It’s not about how much money you have, how many qualifications you have, how many ‘toys’ you have, how thin you are or how great you look.
Healthy self-esteem is all about recognising that as a human being you were born worthy and then holding yourself in high regard because of this. Yes, you have made mistakes but you are worthy because you are human. Being human isn’t a character defect, it’s a blessing. That’s it, end of story.
Unhealthy self-esteem is when you forget this and think (for whatever reason) you are ‘one up’ on someone else. When you catch yourself saying (or thinking) things like:
“You’re stupid, lazy, a loser, you don’t know how to…”
– you’ve just gone ‘one up’ and this is called ‘Grandiosity’.
Some of you reading this article are more likely to see yourself as being ‘one down’ than everyone else (it was certainly my default setting for decades). It’s likely you say things like this to yourself on a regular basis:
“I’m stupid, lazy, a loser, I don’t know how to…”
– this is called ‘Toxic Shame’.
Healthy self-esteem is about realising that you, me, and everyone – we are all on the same level. We are all worthy. Let go of grandiosity, free yourself of toxic shame and hold yourself in high regard in spite of the mistakes, screw-ups and errors you have made.
Healthy self-esteem comes from inside of you. It’s not something that I or anybody else can take from, or give to you.
In my book: Smiling From The Heart, I cover this subject (and many more) in much greater detail. It completely sold out in the first three days. So, I’m getting more printed in June and if you’d like to be notified when it’s available again please visit:
Remember: “You are worthy because you are human.”
Marcus James Santer