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Be a More Positive You

Be a More Positive You

Everyone struggles with low self-esteem at one time or another. You lose a job, fight with a friend or a marriage ends; you gain weight, notice a new wrinkle or someone makes a comment that really hurts.

Suddenly, you’re feeding yourself negative messages—“I’m old,” “I’m fat,” “No one will ever love me.” Usually, you can bounce back from setbacks and your internal dialogue changes for the better, but when you get stuck in those negative messages, your self-esteem can plummet right over a cliff. When those poison prose start driving your bus, it’s time to look at ways to turn things around.

Stop the madness. Quit being mad at yourself. Whatever ways you’ve failed or let yourself down, the first thing you need to realize is that you’re not perfect and the last thing you need to do is get down on yourself about it.

End the stinking thinking. In 12-step programs, they refer to “stinking thinking” as those times a person dwells on the negative. When all you tell yourself is that you’re not good enough, pretty soon you’re going to believe it. The next time you feel inclined to put yourself down, say “STOP” out loud and end the negative rant.

Talk yourself up. Maybe it sounds a little like Stuart Smalley of SNL fame, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me” but internal messages have a powerful impact on your self image. Make a list of those things you actually like about yourself instead. Are you a great cook? Got a witty sense of humor? Have lovely hair? List all your good qualities, then put them on post-it notes where you can see them and read them ALOUD every day.

It’s not fair to compare. Like it says in the old devotional, Desiderata, “If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.” In other words, stop measuring yourself by another person’s yardstick. You are an individual with unique gifts to offer the world. When you compare yourself to others you’ll either end up feeling smug or depressed. Neither one is good.

Be as kind to yourself as you would to any friend and you’ll find you’ll like yourself more with every passing day.

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