“Healing doesn’t mean the damage never existed. It means the damage no longer controls your life”
Having low self-esteem can make life a struggle is so many ways. It impacts your mood to the point of feeling low, anxious, frustrated, and stressed. You will find yourself being led by fear and your inner critic. You will be behave in ways that do not align with who you are at your core; you people please, put other people’s needs above your own, you crave & seek validation from outside of you, you put things off, you avoid doing new things or being out of your comfort zone, you overthink every conversation and you are critical towards yourself.
Life is short, and you are as valuable and as equal as all the people you put above you. Building your self-esteem is going to help you reclaim your sense of self. It does require you to release old stories and experiences that you have held onto, and it does take passion, drive and willingness to face varying levels of discomfort.
I can tell you from my own experience, taking these steps to build your self-worth is going to better your life, protect you from much of the BS we experience in life, love, & work and most importantly it is going to allow you to be able to FEEL more balanced and proud of the life you choose to live.
That is what happens when you become the leader of your life.
I have had a few questions recently about self-esteem and it has high-lighted to me that people still feel alone, like there is something fundamentally wrong with them and even holding a solid belief that they are unable to change.
Low self-esteem is undervaluing yourself. Whether it is how you were taught to live, or beliefs you have picked up along the way, the bottom line is, you do not see that you are worthy.
Healthy self-esteem does not make you ignorant, it simply means that you are able to identify your strengths, uniqueness, and lovability even when you experience setbacks, stressors, rejection and uncertainty.
Living with good self-esteem won’t ease all of life’s difficulties by any means, but it will give you the strength needed to navigate through them. And as a bonus, it will lead you to take more risks and do things you dream of, because you are able to keep perspective and not personalise the outcomes that do not go your way.
Working with Carly Ann
I offer a 1:1 package to dive into the foundations of building self-esteem, letting go of the baggage, seeing your patterns for what they are and setting you up to live life on your terms and boundaries! DETAILS HERE
Sign up to my 16 week Coaching program Follow Your Fire – In this container you get it ALL. Healing, connecting with inner GPS, learning to love yourself and learning how to be brave in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire! Details HERE
Boosting Your Self-Esteem
I want to give you some practice tips that you can use to start boosting yourself self-esteem today. Below are just 3 life shifts that will help you break free from the cycle of low self-worth:
- The Art of Self-Acceptance
That’s right, a core mind-set transformation goes against the norm – it has you saying and seeing the good things about you. People can go on thinking this is conceited or cringe, but that comes at a harsh price when it comes to your self-esteem.
If you tend to hold a low opinion of yourself, it can feel alien and unsettling to begin thinking well of yourself. So don’t be put off by the struggle, you can work through that, with persistence.
The more you practice self-acceptance exercises, the easier it does become. You definitely have to push through the resistance at the beginning. Dig really deep and force yourself (in a totally compassionate way!) to focus on strengths, qualities and positive aspects of yourself.
You do not have to ignore the negatives, nor will you because you’re human. However, adding some positive focus will bring about some pleasant shifts in your life.
Ideas include: Recording things you do well each day, making a list of past achievements, accepting compliments when they are given.
- Changing the Bottom Line
In Cognitive Behavioural Therapy the ‘Bottom Line’ refers to the core negative beliefs you hold about yourself, which ultimately underpins low self-esteem.
These are often beliefs you learned as a child, not always, but much of the time that is the case.
Your bottom line is kept in check with your coping strategies, or at least this is what your coping strategies are attempting. However, life is life, and you cannot always protect yourself from an activated bottom line. To do that, you will have to stay in a space so safe it is suffocating.
When you experience rejection, failure, and shame, your bottom line is activated, you will go into a spiral of critical thinking and doing anything to avoid or change whatever it is that has triggered you into this state – most of this time, this is without doing what is actually best for you.
The beliefs you hold about yourself, shape how you show up. Many of you will not have even considered that these beliefs are untrue. So, it’s time to take a new approach and see yourself through fresh eyes.
Ideas Include: Record the negative stories you tell yourself and pick out the recurring patterns to begin challenging, create a brand new bottom line and repeat it to yourself on the daily, practice treating and speaking to your life like you are a good friend.
- Healing Your Inner Child
Providing your inner child, the love and compassion they always needed and deserved is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.
This work is part of the deeper healing compared to the above-mentioned. It is one thing to recognise your bottom line and another to heal from what has kept it going in your life.
Experiences in childhood and adolescence are often at the heart of recurring and/or persistent problems. Children have needs and when they are not met, a child will pick up ways to cope and live their life, which is understandable.
The issue being, as you move into adulthood, you often continue to live by the same rules and strategies you learned as a child. Hence, they no longer serve you.
Connecting with the inner child is a powerful way to nurture and provide the love, support, and knowledge that you needed then.
Being angry or resentful towards not knowing what you know now, does not help you and actually keeps you stuck.
Inner child work is something I do not tend to teach in a quick Facebook Live or a Blog post, this work is reserved for inside 1:1 or coaching programs because I believe it needs that sort of container. Still, there are soft steps you can take to connect with your inner child that I have listed below.
Note, this can be deep and unpleasant work, especially if you have a history of trauma. You can do this work with professional help or if you are already having therapy, then let your therapist know about your interest in this work.
Ideas to try: Write a letter to your younger self, write a letter from your younger self to you now, look at a picture of you as a child and send the love and message he/she needs.
If you are serious about making shifts in your life, then it is time to get real with yourself and question why you are not allowing yourself to be fully seen.