Part of developing healthy self-esteem is making a commitment to yourself not to try to please the world. Someone has said that the one magic key to personal fulfillment may be forever illusive, but the sure key to failure is to try to please everyone.
Rather than chasing temporary emotional rewards by playing games with the truth, you can learn to stand up for what you believe, speak the truth in love, live through stormy times with energy and joy, and little by little rewrite your life script.
If you wish to live out your giftedness and become strong again -- strong enough to take you from exhaustion to emotional health -- then it's critical you make the time to learn and adopt the vital skills of a person with healthy self-esteem.
Below are eight traits of people with healthy self-esteem:
- They live with an attitude of humility. When our gifts and talents are discovered by others, our self-esteem immediately feels the positive thrust of that affirmation.
- They speak the truth as they see it, without fear of rejection and with no intent to harm others. Speaking the truth lovingly is not dependent on whether the recipient is able to hear it. It is never part of our life's assignment to mind other people's business.
- They know how to separate feelings from the message being delivered. Those with good levels of self-appreciation will find it progressively easier to separate emotions from the content of another's communication and will recognize the importance of differentiating between the two in their own communications.
- They recognize the role that emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt play in people's lives. They no longer take their anger, fear, or guilt at face value but instead learn to look beneath the surface to determine the reason for and source of those emotions.
- They don't follow the followers. It's like the time-keeper setting his watch by the clock in a jeweler's window so that he can blow the lunch whistle exactly at noon, only to find out that the jeweler was setting his clock by the timekeeper's noon whistle. This is another example of followers following followers.
- They look for reasons to release others and believe in the ability of others to make decisions. We can help those we love by believing in their abilities and encouraging them to use their gifts. Persons who have healthy self-esteem themselves are better able to respect and appreciate the abilities and skills of others.
- They are accountable in word and deed for what they say and do. Can people count on us when we say we're going to do something? When we make a promise, do we do our best to keep it? Becoming strong again means taking full responsibility for our actions, which quickly builds self-esteem.
- They know the past is the past and the present is the present. They recognize that to be emotionally healthy they must move from victim to victor. The strong person with a growing self-esteem is the one who refuses to let the past control what happens today.
Heightened self-esteem comes about by continuing to take those baby steps, then making small decisions and seeing small results. As you continue to do this, you will challenge yourself to climb higher mountains and take even greater risks. These are your building blocks to help move you from stress, burnout, and emotional exhaustion to personal freedom and an abundant life.