self esteem

How to avoid criticism damaging your self-esteem

For me working upon my self-esteem has been one of the most difficult and yet rewarding endeavors I have ever undertaken in therapy. One of the biggest lessons I learnt was that my character and my character alone was how I should measure how to view myself. Once I realized this everything else fell into place.

 

I finally understood that criticism, if founded, means I have done something wrong not that I am something wrong. Once I reached this understanding the impact upon my life was profound. I used criticism as a trigger to put things right if I had wronged anyone and to correct my behavior in future; rather than berating myself for messing up, I celebrated it as an opportunity to grow.

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What’s in it for me? The transformative power of kindness and its inextricable link to long-term happiness Part Two

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Last week we explored the health benefits of kindness. This week we examine the different types of kindness and how to foster greater kindness within.

 

Types of kindness

 

Kindness can be either spontaneous or planned. Spontaneous kindness usually results from a need we see in others in the moment, like offering to carry an old ladies shopping bags when we can see she is struggling or asking a friend who looks upset if she wants to talk or if there’s anything we can do to help. In any given day there are many opportunities to show spontaneous kindness. Once we consciously look for these opportunities and act upon them when they arise, we develop a deeper sense of fulfillment and happiness in life.

 

Likewise kindness can also be planned. For example, for my parents 40th anniversary I sent them on honeymoon as they had never had one when they first got married. This was a meticulously planned event but nevertheless it was an act of kindness. The joy I felt in knowing that my parents had a luxury trip away – the type of holiday they would never have planned for themselves – was immense and made me feel incredibly happy.

 

How to foster greater kindness within

 

Empathy

 

Try to see things from others perspectives and understand that we are all united in so far as we all endure struggles and battle with our fears. If you don’t feel empathic towards others initially you can prompt loving feelings by being kind first, as often when we are kind, feelings of empathy naturally follow.

 

Be kind to yourself

 

Remember that you are just as worthy as everyone else. Take time to practice being kind to yourself too. Often this involves dismissing negative thinking and working on your self-esteem. If you find that you are continually failing to be kind to yourself, read my article on self-esteem and my more advanced article on self-compassion.

 

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An Authentic Life: High self-esteem – the trademark of an authentic person and how to harness it

When we think of an authentic person we naturally think of someone who knows what they want out of life, someone who knows who they are and is confident in themselves. It then follows that such a person would have a relatively high level of self-esteem. Oxford dictionaries online defines self-esteem as:

 

 “Confidence in one’s own worth or abilities; self-respect”

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Need a hug? Why compassionate self talk works!

I have to admit, the first time I used compassionate self talk I was totally embarrassed and self-conscious. Even though I said it in my head I couldn’t help but feel silly. And then the strangest thing happened. I actually felt soothed, I felt understood and cared for. If you are anything like me you may think it is silly to comfort yourself as you would a friend in your own head but there is no doubt in my mind that it does indeed work, in fact, it’s very effective.

 

The next time you are feeling down, stressed anxious or are just going through a tough time try saying to yourself phrases like those you would say to a friend. I have listed some below to help you get started and give yourself that all important emotional hug!

 

“I know you are struggling right now but I want you to know you are loved and I care about you and I will support you through this”

 

“Trust me that even though it may not seem as if things will get better they will”

 

“You are a wonderfully strong person and your inner strength will get you through this”

 

“You have all the skills you need to become stronger and more resilient as a result of this experience”

 

“It’s ok that you’re feeling upset, confused, hurt, lonely… I am going to be here so you won’t have to go through this alone”

 

What soothing words would impact you the most when you are next feeling upset or hurt? Have you ever used compassionate self talk before? Are you planning to use it in future? I’d love to hear from you so please comment below to gain encouragement, insight and support from our community.

The Many Roads To Happiness…

 

“People take different roads seeking fulfilment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.” H Jackson Browne

 

Whilst there are certain universal principles which lead to greater happiness, like living in line with ones values for example, the path to happiness is just as unique and varied as each of us. Although our humanity unites us all, we each have idiosyncrasies and distinctly individual likes and dislikes. What brings me laughter and joy, another may not even find funny, and so it is with happiness. Even the basic principles of happiness, like living by ones values, are different for everyone. What struck me most about readers’ comments was the diversity of them, however, this should not really have been surprising when considering the wide spectrum of human nature.

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Fantastic New CD’s Now Featured on ‘Further Reading (and Listening)’ Page!

Hi All,

 

Check out the fabulous new CD’s on my ‘Further Reading (and Listening)’ page! Whether you are struggling to move on after a separation or the loss of a loved one, you want a mindfulness meditation CD which all of the top therapists recommend, or you want to use the law of attraction to manifest more success in your life, you can find something on our page that’s just right for you.

Simply scroll to the bottom of the site to view ‘Recommended Books and CD’s’ where you can select the CD’s by genre, or go to our ‘Further Reading (and Listening)’ page and select page 4 to browse through our new selection of CD’s.

 

Enjoy!