“Hello Me. We need to talk. It’s just not working, so I’m breaking up with you.”
It’s a bit absurd when you read that sentence. Yet often we neglect the one relationship we just can never end or walk away from- the one with our self.
The relationship we have with our own self worth is a fundamental premise by which we live our lives, as you are in relationship with yourself 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. You are the one person you can’t “have a break from” or leave at home for the day while you go to work, or even break up with. We take our selves with us where ever we go- no exception.
So the quality of our day to day life is very much dependent on the quality of the one relationship we will always have, and this relationship is expressed as our self esteem.
When we esteem something, or hold it in high regard, we value it and demonstrate that value through how we behave towards it, how we look after it and speak about it.
Our sense of self worth is about how we esteem ourselves. In other words, our self-esteem is reflected in the way we demonstrate what we believe our worth is.
We do this through the way we look after ourselves, the way we relate to ourselves and how we talk to ourselves. We also show this to the world by the way we dress, the company we keep, and the way we engage our work.
- Do you have a good relationship with your self?
- Do you believe that your self has worth?
- And how do you define that worth?
- Is it a given, in that you were born a valuable human being, or do you define it as being something you have to earn, and have to deserve?
Relating to your Self
Have you ever been in the presence of a couple who are arguing? They visit you for dinner, but the tension in their relationship is palpable, and you can feel the stress and ugliness in the vibe between them. Those two people are not having fun, and it can dampen your time with them too.
The same happens with the relationship we have with our self. If we’re not valuing and respecting our self, if we’re talking badly of our self and our abilities, and degrading and being all round unsupportive and unloving, that has a consequence. Not only do we feel the vibe with our self, but others we engage with often sense it on some level as well.
Turn it around, and think of how you enjoy the company of a couple who get along, who support one another, who love one another and share encouragements. They model too that they can disagree with one another, and can hold the other accountable to maintain their role in the relationship. And on the whole, they show respect to and value one another.
And so too when we value our self, when we can love our self and accept our self with our flaws, and yet still encourage our self to be better and grow, we can have fun and enjoy our own company. And others tend to want to spend time with us and our vibe too!
Your worth is a given
This fun and loving kind of relationship with our self starts with knowing that our worth is a given. When we acknowledge that we are innately a worthy person, who may have some flaws in how we express our worth with others and in the world, we can come from that place and go out to encounter the world and add value.
It is a distinctly different approach to believing that our self worth is conditional on what we do and that we have to prove that we have value, before we can relate to ourselves in a positive way. When we see that we come from value and can express or not express it (your choice), and can develop skill in how we express it, life has a very different quality.
High Self Esteem then starts with the idea that we have self worth which has no conditions attached to it. And so we can value and love our self, and encourage our self to add value to the people around us, to contribute at work, and to leave our mark by sharing our given value.
We then do so with the aim of continually improving our ability to express our worth, rather than pushing ourselves to work to some unattainable high standard in an attempt to prove our worth, so that then we can be of value to those around us, and be accepted.
Our view of self esteem affects how we relate to others
This idea not only influences our relationship with our self, it also will influence how we see others. If we see too that their value as unconditional we will tend to become cheerleaders, encouraging them to do better at what they do to share their value, rather than unconsciously asking them to prove their worth to us through what they do, so that we will accept them. And at the same time trying to prove to them that we have worth, so they will accept us.
How we relate to our self impacts how we see the world. And it affects how we build relationships with others. So next time you spend some time and money on developing your relating and communicating skills, notice too how what you learn can be applied to the key relationship in your life: the one you have with yourself.
And decide that your worth is a given, and so are other peoples, and notice how your relationship with yourself grows in the most delightful ways, and overflows into your other relationships too.
About the Author:
Telana is a Self Esteem Myth Buster and Personal Coach, and is offering a self esteem course for professional women who feel self conscious, and want to find their way to express themselves in their work and personal lives.