All too often our self-esteem is hinged on things outside of ourselves and outside of our control. How we feel on any given day may be dependent on receiving praise from our parents, having our friends validate what we think or say, or hearing that our partners are attracted to us. These external validations often makes us feel good and seem to boost our sense of self-esteem.
Now, there is nothing wrong with another person’s kindness making us feel good inside or putting a smile on our face. Where it becomes problematic is when we have moved past appreciating these pleasant exchanges to depending on them. Just as easily as someone’s affirmations can brighten our day, we often let other’s negative comments pull us down. We have no control over what someone will think of us or say to us in any given moment. Therefore, if we are dependent on others to make us feel good we give up control over our own mood and give that power to others.
SELF-esteem is truly something we need to create by our SELF. Often, we can strengthen how we feel about ourself by speaking or behaving in ways that fill us with a sense of integrity. We can challenge ourselves to make choices we feel good about. The beauty about self-esteem is that no matter what is happening around us or within a given relationship, we can choose to nurture it by thinking, speaking, or behaving in estimable ways.
“I have learned that self-esteem is just that—self-esteem. Not wife-esteem or lover-esteem or even sponsor-esteem. It has to come from me, not from other’s opinions of me. And the way to gain self-esteem is by performing estimable acts…” ~Courage to Change (One Day at a Time in Al-Anon II)