I believe self-esteem is the core of getting well. I had to work on this after leaving home and going to college. I didn't know it at the time, and I had no mentor or instruction manual to follow, that self-esteem was so important to all aspects of one's life.
The entire program was about building self-esteem, essentially. Self Esteem, a pwerful concept and foundation to our well-being. I cannot recall if Brian Tracy actually used the term self-esteem, but throughout the video, at it's core is self-esteem. In his other programs he does talk a lot about self-esteem. A good book to check out of his, that captures a lot of what Al-Anon discusses from a different vantage point is Maximum Achievement.
Self-esteem is the idea or principle in esteeming yourself. It is considering yourself as a valuable, likable, worthwhile human being. It is you about yourself. Not how others think about you. Otherwise it would be called "other-esteem."
The concept of self-esteem is a psychological concept and it has been called the greatest discovery in mankind. Self-image is closely tied to self-esteem. Self-esteem is how good you feel about yourself. It is the emotional quality of your personality. It is the key to happiness and personal effectiveness. The more you feel good about yourself, the more enthusiasm, energy, effective and optimistic you are.
The two keys to self-esteem and the feeling you have about yourself. First is how valuable and how much you like yourself as a person. You cannot have high self-esteem if you are constantly tearing yourself down and beating yourself up for every little or big thing you did. This is not to say, you should not feel bad or have remorse about saying or doing something [My opinion only. There are some readings that say remorse and guilt have no useful purpose at all. My point is here, is that I believe not feeling bad about saying or doing something stupid or hurtful is callous or uncaring in some way. But how long you dwell on it is the point].
You can have innumerable setbacks, failures and difficulties, and still feel good about yourself. In fact, having difficulties and overcoming them, and looking back to see how much you've grown and how far you've come, can be a big boost to the self-esteem.
Second, another part of self-esteem, is how well you do something that is important to you. For example, you may be really good at work. If you are good at work, it can spill over into other areas of your life and uplift how you perform in these other areas. This is more of a competency based factor. It can be work, a hobby, a sport, it can be a skill, or any area where you are receiving some feedback.
While this second part can have an outside influence (being the highest sale producer or we won the tennis match) it should be really interally driven.
Here's why; If you derive your value from someone or something else, it's great when they say, "Good job." But what if they say nothing? Or, if they say, "You suck." We become an emotional wreck.
We become emotionally dependent upon their approval. Do you know what I am talking about? I think we all do.
These two things reinforce each other (how well I like myself and competency).
I am a big believer in self-esteem. In fact, I can trace a lot of my unhappiness to times when I felt bad about myself, or didn't like myself too much for something I did or how I behaved. Or I relied on outside "approval," the pat on the back, so to speak and it didn't occur.
In the book, Courage to Change, an Al-Anon approved book, I looked at the index this weekend, and self-esteem has references to 15 different sections in the book.
I have several Al-Anon books. I will be honest here. I was pissed off and resentful that I - I - ME, I had to read these because of my spouse's drinking. VERY RESENTFUL. To the point to where, I didn't. Until I HAD to read them because I speak this Saturday at my Al-Anon meeting.
I realized after reading this book in a way that I had not considered before, that the book is really a self-help book, a self-development book, a psychology book for me to use. It I struck the work "alcoholic" and it's variations, out of several sections, it really is a self-help, instruction manual for dealing with life's problems, people, and building my self -confidence. [That too is another story to write about. But I mention this only in case you are like me and say, "Why do I have to . . . ].
So, how can we MAKE ourselves like ourselves more??????
The word "make" is probably not the best word. Choose "help" or "get" or whichever word that works for you. But the point is - How do improve our Self-Esteem?
This is the last thing. If you read and reread and write out the Just For Today messages, these are all self-esteem building exercises. You can click on the Just For Today here or above. Or go to the side panel on the right where I have a link to them already for you to use at any time.
I hope this note finds everyone well.
PS - I think I am going to use "Self-Esteem" as the main point of my topic this Saturday at Al-Anon. Either Self-Esteem or Resentment.
Any thoughts as to what people would like to try to work on? Let me know.