In today’s world being successful is considered the key to happiness, whether it be in a personal life or professional one. We live in a very competitive society where there is a lot of emphasis on being strong and confident. We are expected to conquer and push ourselves in very stressful situations that requires confidence and boldness. However, this does not leave room for a lot of us who struggle with low self-esteem.
Having a low self-esteem means constantly doubting yourself, always over thinking and a lot of self-limiting beliefs. There are many factors that can contribute to having a low self-esteem such as, having an early negative childhood experience, being bullied at school or living in an abusive relationship.
Living with self limiting beliefs takes a toll on our mental health. It keeps us in unhealthy and toxic relationships where we start settling for less than we deserve.
To change how we views oneself is a difficult and daunting process although not impossible. Surrounding yourself with supportive people and challenging negative thought patterns are some of the ways we can start building our self-esteem. Individual and group counselling can also offer support and strategies that can help develop a positive view of yourself.
“Each of us had great gifts, but many of us severely limit ourselves with negative attitudes about our potential” Gene R Cook
Why Self-Compassion is important
Self-compassion involves being aware of our own pain and suffering, and understanding that this is a hard, but normal human experience. Directing feelings of kindness and
care towards ourselves and focusing our attention and energy on how we might alleviate our pain, are also crucial components of self-compassion.
Self-compassion can bring great benefits for our mental health and well-being. Particularly, self-compassion can activate our soothing system, which calms the threat and drive systems.
Our threat and drive systems tend to be overactive for many of us much of the time, and responsible for the difficult emotions we may be struggling with (e.g., anxiety, anger, depression).
The opposite of self-compassion is self-criticism. This very negative thinking style often links to difficult emotions and mental health problems. Those who are highly self-critical particularly
need to develop the ability to relate to themselves in a compassionate way.
The Importance of Establishing and Maintaining Healthy Boundaries
The Importance of Establishing and Maintaining Healthy Boundaries
Setting boundaries is essential for both our physically and emotionally healthy. Creating healthy boundaries can feel empowering as we begin to recognize the need to set and enforce limits in our life. For some boundaries are to protect you (keep you safe). Boundaries can also help increase your self-esteem, maintain self-respect, and enjoy healthy relationships.
Unhealthy boundaries cause emotional pain. Emotional pain has many impacts that affect our well-being. A lack of boundaries is like leaving the door to your home unlocked: anyone, including unwelcome guests, can enter. On the other hand, having too rigid boundaries can lead to isolation where no o one can get in, and you can’t get out.
Identifying our Values we can better establish boundaries. When we think of what happens for us emotionally or physical when our values have been crossed; it looks a lot like what happens when someone crosses you boundaries.
Create space to self reflect on what you value and how you can establish and maintain healthy boundaries.
The building blocks of a successful relationships are: transparency, compromise and honesty. To make a relationship fruitful we have to put our best foot forward in order to make everything just right.
In these relationships we often begin to try to create deeper connections in order to make the person feel good by adapting their likes and dislikes. By integrating their hobbies, interests, and belief systems into our own selves is done to create harmony. In this cycle of pretending we begin to lose sight of ourselves and not recognize our own authenticity and individuality.
Women do these things not just for their partners but for their children as well. However, when children move on she finds herself alone and lost. Rediscovering yourself is not an easy thing to work through though it is worth the journey.
Eckhart Tolle: “When you lose touch with yourself, you lose yourself in the world”.
Life on Autopilot
Life has many ups and downs and in some stages it can feel hectic and chaotic. In order to prevent getting overwhelmed we create routine and structure in our daily lives.
Creating a comfortable pace where we start doing things from a very unconscious state of mind. Over time it becomes part of our life and a new normal living in this autopilot state.
With time it starts affecting our relationships. We start to feel stagnant and lose connection with those around us, causing for our relationships to get weaker. Living in this comfortable and predictable bubble can cause life to become dull and may result in losing interest in each other.
Being spontaneous and humorful is the key to keeping relationships strong and growing. Taking time out for each other, appreciating each other, being mindful and present are some of the key components of having a healthy relationship.
The human spirit lives on creativity and dies in conformity and routine – Vilayat Inayat khan
What is distress intolerance?
According to centre for clinical interventions, “Most people dislike feeling uncomfortable.
There are many ways that humans can feel uncomfortable: we can be hot, cold, tired, in pain, hungry, unwell, and the list could go on. The type of discomfort we will be talking about in these modules is emotional discomfort, or what is often called distress.
We may not like it, but experiencing uncomfortable emotions is a natural part of life.
However, there is a difference between disliking unpleasant emotions and experiencing unpleasant emotions as unbearable and needing to get rid of them. Being intolerant of experiencing emotional discomfort can interfere with living a fulfilling life, and can escalate any emotional discomfort we might be experiencing”.
Owning Your Part
This year has been very challenging, initially dealing with effects of COVID- 19 and now the focus has shifted to the events that initially sparked in the United States but have impacted the entire world.
As the citizens of this country we need to band together to work on ways to bridge these gaps of hatred. Together we can create a sense of peace and harmony that will help future generations to come.
This is the time to take responsibility and contribute in our own ways.
To break this cycle of mistreatment we need to educate ourselves and gain knowledge on these topics to understand the current events and put ourselves into the shoes of those who are treated unfairly.
By creating and passing on education in our homes and friend groups to stop the transmission of racism and become allies to all those treated unequally. We all have an opportunity to shape the future to one that we are proud to live in. The future that respects everyone regardless of race, religion, gender and sexuality.
“If you have a voice, use it.
If you have legs, stand up.
If you have feet, step up.
If you have each other, fight together.”
― Janna Cachola
Violence is a choice
Violence is an intentional choice to gain control. However, most people believe that violence and abuse happen because abusers lose control over their behaviour.
Abusers use different ways to manipulate you. They tend to show their power by unilaterally making decisions affecting you and your life. They may treat you like a child and even their possession.
Abusive individuals use different tactics to put you down and make you feel bad about yourself. Why do they do this? Power and control dynamics affect your independence and sense of self. If you are suffering from low self esteem and believe that you are worthless and nobody wants you, you will not leave them.
Abusers will do every thing to make you feel powerless like labelling, criticising and shaming.
An abusive partner may force you to ask permission for everything, even as an adult. They can push you to cut yourself off from seeing your family or friends to increase your dependence on them.
Remember, abusers are able to control their behaviour and they choose to be abusive. If you are in an abusive relationship or you know some body in an abusive situation speak up. You may need support to get out of the situation, and speaking up to people who can help you is the first step to taking control of your life back.
How to Deal with Insecurity
Dealing with insecurity in today’s complex environment can be very frustrating. Insecurity often negatively impacts your life and lead to depression and anxiety. Being aware of your insecurity, and examining the root of your insecurity is the first step to help yourself to deal with it. Recognizing situations that could potentially cause insecurity can help you to desensitize the process.
Where does insecurity come from? Insecurity may have various roots, often seen in people who are suffering from low self-esteem or poor social skills. Experiencing any kind of loss and change which requires a lot of flexibility and adjustment can also lead to insecurity. At this time, when Covid-19 is so prevalent, and we are all experiencing a high degree of uncertainty and change, insecurity can easily pop up.
Understanding which stressful occurrence caused that insecurity can help you to feel better because you will understand that you are not alone, and that these situations could cause any one feel insecure. Once you’ve identified your insecurity, taking small movements to deal with only small part of your insecurity is a positive next step in reducing the discomfort that insecurity can cause. Each time that you take small steps to adjust, outside of your comfort zone helps you to become more confident.
Also, seeing your glass as half full and changing your perspective but stopping any habits of judging yourself harshly is a big step forward in healing insecurity. Another factor that helps you to deal with your insecurity is in finding a new hobby or taking time to consciously recognize something that you are good at it. Both of these techniques help you to reduce your stress and increase your feelings of competency.
Self-advocacy is the core of empowerment. It is a skill learned over time that enables us to speak for our rights and make our own decisions. It can build confidence which is an important skill for success. However, sometime it gets contorted as being aggressive and self-promoting.
Men are encouraged to speak up and take a stand while the same cannot always be said for women. This is stemming from society’s way of looking at a woman’s role and what she has been moulded to embody through years of patriarchal beliefs and subtleties of oppression. We are expected to be modest and less assertive.
Women are great at advocating for others such as, their partners and their children however, they feel uncomfortable and avoid doing the same for themselves. More and more people are now recognizing this gender gap between women and men and the awareness is now being acknowledged. In the last few decades women have now began to speak up for their rights, taking a step in the right direction towards breaking down the barriers to create equality.
“We realize the importance of our voice when we are silenced” Malala Yousafazi