Module Fifteen SELF-ESTEEMIntroductionYou can’t touch it, but it affects how you feel. You can’t see it, but it’s there when youlook at yourself in the mirror. You can’t hear it, but it’s there every time you talk orthink about yourself. What is this mysterious but oh-so-important thing? It’s your self-esteem!What is Self-Esteem?To understand self-esteem, it helps to break the term into two words. Let’s look at theword “esteem” first. “Esteem” is a fancy word for thinking that someone or something isimportant or valuing that person or thing. “Self” means just that—yourself! Puttingthese two words together equates to how you see yourself and how you feel about yourachievements. Self-esteem isn’t bragging about how great you are. It’s more like quietlyknowing you’re worth a lot (priceless, in fact)! It’s not about thinking you’re perfect—because no one is—but knowing that you’re worthy of being loved and accepted.Why is Self-Esteem Important?Good self-esteem is important because it helps you to hold your head high and feel proudof yourself and what you can do. It gives you the courage to try new things and thepower to believe in yourself. It lets you respect yourself, even when you make mistakes.Good self-esteem is also the ticket to making good choices about your safety, yourfeelings, your health—your whole self. Good self-esteem helps you know that every partof you is worth caring for and protecting.Influences on Self-EsteemSelf-esteem, sometimes called self-image, is that internal picture we hold of ourselves—itis who WE think WE are. There are a number of factors which influence one’s self-esteem. Among these are: • Temperament—your inborn, natural tendencies. Temperament combined with one’s life experiences equals personality. A person who is naturally shy may change his/her outward behavior to appear outgoing, but the basic temperament toward shyness always remains. • Upbringing and parental message • Childhood peers • Self-talk • Teachers • Other family members • Adult peers • Significant others • Media
2 • Authority FiguresTips for Boosting Self-Esteem 1. Ask yourself, “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Don’t waste time or energy worrying about potential problems; take action on what you have control over and minimize risks for what you don’t. 2. In doing something for the first time, imagine that you have already done it. VIVIDLY imagine your success. 3. Find someone who is already confident in that area and copy them. Model their behaviors, attitudes, values, and beliefs. 4. Use the “as-if” frame. Act “as-if” you are confident: fake it until you make it! 5. Ask yourself, “Will this be such a big deal in the future?” Keeping things in proper perspective diminishes fear. 6. To get what you want, ask for it. Believe people want to help you if they can. 7. Disarm the negative self-talk. Imagine a volume control and turn it down—or off! Imagine Mickey Mouse is criticizing you. List three good things about yourself and three things that make you feel good. 8. Learn to say “NO!” You are not alone, or crazy, or a bad person, or need to feel guilty because you say, “No.” None of us are any good to anyone else unless we do what is right for us first. 9. Learn to listen to your inner self. Your instincts are usually your truest guide to your truest self. As you honor yourself, you reclaim your personal power. 10. Choose how YOU want to spend your time and how YOU want to live your life. Not only is it all right, it is imperative that you question the things you do and consciously choose how to spend your time and energy. It’s your life. You can live it by design or by default. Either way, you only live once.Changing Your Self-EsteemChanging your self-esteem means changing how you see yourself. It involveschallenging the beliefs you have about yourself. Try these steps: 1. Sit down and write out the key points you believe to be true about yourself—all the things that influence how you act and feel; they can be both negative and positive.
3 2. Challenge each item on this list. Is this really true? Do I feel that way, or is this based on my perception of how I think someone else feels about me? Have I given this too much sway in my life? How important is this to me? 3. Develop a new list of beliefs. Imagine that you get to move to a new place where no one knows you. How would you behave differently in these new circumstances? 4. Begin to implement these new behaviors. Reinforce to yourself that this behavior is you—not what you said or were told before. 5. Take time to change. Beliefs about self don’t change overnight—but the effort is worth it to create a new healthier, happier, and more confident YOU!ConclusionBy focusing on the good things you do and all your great qualities, you learn to love andaccept yourself, and that’s the main ingredient for strong self-esteem. Even if you’ve gotroom for improvement (and who doesn’t?), realizing that you are valuable and importanthelps your self-esteem to shine. I Dare You From Oscar BruceI DARE YOU to resist the pressure to become ordinary and to ignore those who give youtheir version of why you cannot rise above mediocrity.I DARE YOU to free yourself from the shackles of your past conditioning, to break thechains that bind you to false beliefs about what you can do with your life.I DARE YOU to aim at something worth of the best that is in you. You are a better,more capable person than you have experienced so far, or that others have led you tobelieve you are.I DARE YOU to go after what you want, pursuing what is important to you. A life thatsatisfies is impossible without a sense of achievement and fulfillment.I DARE YOU to think bigger, to act bigger, to become bigger. There are no limitationson dreams.From Norman Vincent Peale:Have great hopes and dare to go all out for them.Have great dreams and dare to live them.Have great expectations and dare to believe in them.
4 MY DECLARATION OF SELF-ESTEEMI am me.In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me. There are persons whohave some parts like me, but no one adds up exactly like me. Therefore,everything that comes out of me is authentically mine because I alone chose it.I own everything about me: my body, including everything it does; my mind,including all its thoughts and ideas; my eyes, including the images of all theybehold; my feelings, whatever they may be: anger, joy, frustration, love,disappointment, excitement; my mouth, and all the words that come out of it:polite, sweet, or rough, correct or incorrect; my voice, loud or soft; and all myactions, whether they be to others or to myself.I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears.I own all my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes.Because I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with me. By doingso, I can love me and be friendly with me in all my parts. I can then make itpossible for all of me to work in my best interests.I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other aspects that Ido not know. But as long as I am friendly and loving to myself, I cancourageously and hopefully look for the solutions to the puzzles and for ways tofind out more about me.However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think and feelat a given moment in time is me. This is authentic and represents where I am atthat moment in time.When I review later how I looked and sounded, and what I said and did, and howI thought and felt, some parts may turn out to be unfitting. I can discard thatwhich is unfitting, and keep that which proved fitting, and invent something newfor that which I discarded.I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do. I have the tools to survive, to be close toothers, to be productive, and to make sense and order out of the world of peopleand things outside of me.I own me, and, therefore, I can engineer me.I am me and I am okay. Copied from the poster “I Am Me” by Celestial Arts
5 SOURCESThe Essentials of Credibility, Composure, and Confidence, Skill Path Seminars, 1996.Life Strategies: Doing What Works, Doing What Matters, Phillip McGraw, HyperionPress, 2000.Self Matters: Creating Your Life from the Inside Out, Phillip McGraw, Free Press, 2003.Web Sites:http://www.brelaxed.co.uk--“Self- Esteem” by Michelle Pearson, 2003http://kidshealth.org--“The Story on Self-Esteem” by D’Arcy Lyness, Dec. 2002http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles:“FAQs on Self Image/Self Concept, by Hal Warfield“I Dare You” by Oscar Bruce“Say Yes to You” by Julie Fuimano“Seven Helpful Tips to Immediately Increase Your Confidence” by Kent Sayre“Stages of Learning to Say ‘No’” by Donna Birkhttp://www.ucalgary.ca/~egallery/volume2/small.html“Addressing Body Image, Self-Esteem, and Eating Disorders” by Kelly Small, A PeerReviewed Journal, Vol. 2, No. 2, March 12, 2001.
6 Module Fifteen Evaluation Self-Esteem1. Write 2-3 positive characteristics about yourself including: a. 2-3 physical attributes b. 2-3 personal characteristics c. 2-3 skills/talents2. In your own words, define self-esteem.
73. List three reasons why self-esteem is important.4. Name four factors which influence self-esteem. Beside each, give a brief statement as to how you think this influences self-esteem.
85. List three tips for boosting self-esteem. Describe how each might be beneficial.6. What are the five steps for changing self-esteem? Briefly discuss each.7. What three suggestions would you give to one of your tutees who has difficulty with low self-esteem?