As you recognize and use your gifts, you develop a better self-image, higher energy, and increased good humor. Part of developing self-esteem is making a commitment to yourself not to try to please the world. If you wish to live out your giftedness and become strong — strong enough to take you from exhaustion to emotional health — then it’s critical that you make the time to learn and adopt the vital skills of a person with healthy self-esteem
8 TRAITS OF THOSE WITH HEALTHY SELF-ESTEEM
1. They live with an attitude of humility. When our gifts and talents are discovered by others, our self-esteem immediately feels the positive thrust of that affirmation.
2. They speak the truth as they see it, without fear of rejection and with no intent to harm others. Speaking the truth lovingly is not dependent on whether the recipient is able to hear it. It is never part of our life’s assignment to mind other people’s business.
3. They know how to separate feelings from the message being delivered. Those with good levels of self-appreciation will find it progressively easier to separate emotions from the content of another’s communication and will recognize the importance of differentiating between the two in their own communications.
4. They recognize the role that emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt play in people’s lives. They no longer take their anger, fear, or guilt at face value but instead learn to look beneath the surface to determine the reason for and source of those emotions.
5. They don’t simply follow the followers. It’s like the timekeeper setting his watch by the clock in a jeweler’s window so that he can blow the lunch whistle exactly at noon, only to find out that the jeweler was setting his clock by the timekeeper’s noon whistle. This is another example of followers following followers.
6. They look for reasons to release others and believe in the ability of others to make decisions. We can help those we love by believing in their abilities and encouraging them to use their gifts. Persons who have healthy self-esteem themselves are better able to respect and appreciate the abilities and skills of others.
7. They are accountable in word and deed for what they say and do. Can people count on us when we say we’re going to do something? When we make a promise do we do our best to keep it? Becoming strong again means taking full responsibility for our actions, which quickly builds self-esteem.
8. They know the past is the past and the present is the present. They recognize that to be emotionally healthy they must move from victim to victor. The strong person with a growing self-esteem is the one who refuses to let the past control what happens today.
Rather than chasing temporary emotional rewards by playing games with the truth, you can learn to stand up for what you believe, speak the truth in love, live through the stormy times with energy and joy, and little by little rewrite your life script.
SOURCE: Chapter 2: “The Long Journey from Darkness to Light” in How to De-Stress Your Life by Gregory L. Jantz, PhD., founder of The Center for Counseling and Health Resources Inc.
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