Monday, January 30, 2012

Self Esteem... Kick it UP a Notch!

My definition of self-esteem: "An emotional state of mind that is affected by everything around you; the emotion responsible for both success and failure." Synonyms: Confidence, Belief. 

We are all born with it... unscathed self esteem , a very strong confidence, a belief in ourselves that we can be heroes, warriors, princesses, mermaids, ballerinas, etc., etc. So... WHAT HAPPENS? Well, just out of toddler-hood we begin realizing moments of fear, we face competition, ridicule from people our own age and even our peers. We are made fun of, laughed at, and told the things we want to do and become are silly...impossible... or some other false nonsense by people who have failed, been let down, not accomplished what they had hoped at one time or another...and gave up. The vicious cycle of negativity is meant to chew us up and spit us out; and usually it does.

Not everyone is able to ward off these negative energies, even when they WANT to. They are programmed so deeply that it is like pouring alcohol into open wounds to have them read a book on positive thinking and actually believe what they are reading is true and possible. They can post sticky notes all over the house with positive affirmations and still walk around with a hanging head and never believe they are of any value no matter how many compliments they get. It's sad, but true. It works for some and not for others.

Have you ever given a compliment to someone such as "wow, you look great" and they come back with something like, "oh goodness, I look awful, I have gained ten pounds and my hair is turning gray." Or better yet, have you BEEN the person that is guilty of jack-slapping a compliment given to you? That my friend, is damaged self esteem... disbelief and lack of confidence. I know... I used to be a jack-slapper. I had a hard time taking a compliment, I almost always unintentionally offended the person giving it by contradicting it with some ridiculous negative belief of myself. I have also had a problem asking for help because for many years I felt that was admitting I could not do something, which in turn made me a failure. ( PS> I am still working on this one) This false belief stemmed from an experience years ago when I got pregnant a few months after graduation. My Dad told me I would end up on welfare and never achieve my goals, and although I decided to prove him wrong as soon as the words left his mouth, a part of my mind was programmed to believe that asking for help was admittance of failure; and it's not. ( he was not abusive... he was upset.) However the words did abuse my mind, and words and experiences abuse our minds EVERYDAY! We must empty our mental suitcases and clear our heads of the "stinky clothes" each and every day in order to overcome and keep our self-belief as high as we can.

After 21 years as a cosmetologist I have counseled hundreds of clients.... I feel like a well trained race horse on the subject of Psychology. For years, I have read books on the human mind, how it works and how things affect the way our brains are programmed. I have learned how to read a person in minutes... because I have to. I meet strangers all of the time and I must in minutes know how that person will react to something I say or do, and I must know what they need, because I can tell you... it's not always just a hairstyle. Many times it's a friend, an ear... an opinion, a shoulder... when other times it's to feel beautiful, sexy, handsome and simply worth a damn. It always makes for an interesting day because it is forever changing, and almost always rewarding for me to give them what they need and watch them walk out with a smile. I must admit that at times it is hard not to absorb everything being the kind of compassionate person that I am, but I am always "in tune" I promise you that!

My hope today is that instead of living in a world of hopeless dreams, impossibilities, shattered memories and useless people, that you choose to KICK IT UP A NOTCH and do everything you possibly can to live your dreams, see life as a world of opportunity and possibilities, realize that NOBODY is useless if someone believes in them, and that memories are there to help us grow even when they are bad ones. Last but not least, if someone pays you a compliment today, tomorrow or next week, just say thanks and smile...

Have a fantastic Monday everyone!