Recovering from Self-Esteem Rollers

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If it’s not clear from the word, your self-esteem originates from within, not from others. Accordingly, it isn’t anyone’s right to take it away from you. But we let it happen.

If you’ve been overweight for a portion of your life, it’s likely that your self-esteem has taken a hit. From personal experience, I think the impact is greater if that period included your childhood or teen years; but then again, kids are resilient. The feelings of being unworthy have built up because we allowed the negative talk of others (I call them esteem rollers) to create a mental picture that we’re not whole or complete. Our need to belong has been thwarted.

Changing our outside by getting in shape doesn’t magically fix the internal wiring. You may notice that you still have a difficult time taking a compliment; it sounds contrived or forced. Or maybe you go fishing for compliments? These are just two signs that you may still be entertaining those negative thoughts.

The concept of self-esteem and the psychology behind it is pretty deep. Numerous researchers have spent their lives documenting their findings. I’ve done a fair amount of reading on the topic and have helped a number of individuals examine their perceptions. Below are just a few things I’ve learned that help rebuild self-esteem.

Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

There will always be someone that’s thinner, stronger, faster, richer, smarter…. Don’t drive yourself crazy by pining for what you don’t have. Instead, be grateful for what you do have.

Practice Positive Self-talk

Like, love and respect yourself. It’s that simple.

Don’t Look for Acceptance from Others

You can’t look for your self-worth to originate from the approval of others. You do need to be self-accepting. I’m not saying to give up on becoming the best version of you possible; you just need to acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses and own them.

Focus on What Makes You Special

Revel in your difference; it will likely be what draws others to you.

Surround Yourself with Supportive People

Create a support network of people you trust and that appreciate the authentic you without judgement. This will give you the true sense of belonging we all desire.

Take Care of Yourself

Eat right, exercise, and do what’s right for you.

Discover your Life’s Purpose and Make it Happen

This last one is probably the most difficult. For some reason, people have a hard time contemplating the fact that there’s likely a specific purpose for them. Something they are uniquely designed to contribute to this world. It takes a lot of introspection, but finding that purpose and pursuing it seems to be the vitamin B-12 for self-worth.

Regardless of where you’re at in life or what events may have caused the negative images that degraded your self-esteem, know that it’s completely in your power to recharge it. After all, it belongs to you.

Photo credit: dan taylor / Foter / CC BY

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