There are many pathways to self esteem. it is not something that develops overnight or as a result of any single insight, decision, or modification in your behavior. Self esteem is built gradually through a willingness to work on a number of areas in your life. This post considers – in three parts – a variety of ways to build self esteem.
Most important to your self esteem is your willingness and ability to take care of yourself. This means first that you can recognize your basic needs as a human being and then do something about meeting them. Taking care of yourself also involves cultivating a relationship with that part of yourself known as the “inner child.” your inner child is a place inside that is the origin of your needs. it is a playful, spontaneous and creative side of you – yet it also carries any emotional pain, fear or sense of vulnerability you acquired from your childhood. By becoming a good parent to your own inner child now, you can overcome the limitations and deficiencies of your upbringing years ago. a popular saying these days, “it’s never too late to have a happy childhood.”
The post taking care of yourself focuses on this theme of taking care of yourself. It begins by enumerating a variety of dysfunctional family situations that can cause low self esteem following this is a discussion of basic human needs to help you identify those needs which are most important to address in your life right now. finally a variety of methods for cultivating a relationship with your inner child are offered. learning to meet your needs – to care for and nurture yourself – is the most fundamental and important thing you can do to build your self esteem.
the following post is an extension of the previous post. finding support and intimacy in your life is obviously a major part of taking care of yourself. Other people cant give you self esteem, but their support, acceptance, validation, and love can go along way toward reinforcing and strengthening your own self affirmation. This part is divided into four sections. The first addresses the importance of developing a support system. The second presents ten conditions that I feel are critical to genuine intimacy. The third section offers a discussion of interpersonal boundaries. Having boundaries in your relationships is essential both to intimacy and to self esteem. A final section underscores the relevance of assertiveness to self esteem.
Part 3 presents four additional aspects of self esteem:
Although these pathways to self esteem are diverse among themselves, they can all be viewed as an extension of the basic idea of taking care of yourself.