First and foremost, know that no one is perfect, and we do the best we can in every moment based on our own “arsenal” of life skill tools we have picked up along our path on this journey we call “Life”. We are what we live, meaning we learn early on in our childhood from our parents, teachers, and other family members and friends. When we are born, we are like a sponge and pick up any good (and bad) traits and beliefs from the people we are associated with. It’s not until we get to be around 8-10 years old, when our cognitive brain kicks in and we start to develop our own decisions and beliefs around what has been presented to us from birth. But, the early years still do play a part in forming our mindset, beliefs and values.
We all make mistakes along the way, and the best way to look at these mistakes is to learn from them. Making mistakes contributes to us becoming a better person – stronger, more resilient and helps us become a problem-solver. Plus, how do we know what we want in our life, if we never have conflicts or negative experiences? Life is a process of learning and growing! By making mistakes, it helps us to think logically to then make wise choices and decisions – which in turn builds self confidence and nurtures belief in our abilities.
Secondly, and just as important, is to know that your behaviors are separate from you, as a lovable, worthy and valuable human being. You are loved (unconditionally) for who you are, NOT for what you do. Always remember, making mistakes does not detract from your inner worth! Look at making mistakes as learning opportunities. Allow life to serve you as a constant ‘laboratory’ for growth and evolvement.
Expect this separation from your parents. Whether you have a loving, non-judgmental relationship with your parents, or are unfortunate to live in a dysfunctional home environment, YOU deserve to feel loved and respected – no one can damage our self-esteem unless we allow them to do so! You are important and worthy of love – KNOW THAT!
This is “Psychology 101”.
But, here is another tip to build your self-esteem. It can be very difficult, and it may not be your automatic response, but when your parents treat you without respect and say (or do) harsh things to you, try and put yourself in their shoes and realize that every moment they are doing the best with what they know. I know this may be a ‘hard pill to swallow’, but whether or not you know how your parents were raised (a loving or dysfunctional environment), they very well may be repeating the same cycle. They don’t teach parenting skills in school, and just as I mentioned earlier, we are not born to hurt people and do bad things….these traits and behaviors are learned from the type of environment we are raised in.
I am not saying it is acceptable to treat you in an unloving, abusive, and disrespectful manner….all I am saying is to try to have a little empathy for them. 99% of the time, an angry word or action is really about that person who is upset, with only 1% being about the person being attacked.
Empathy is about possessing an appreciation (or understanding) for what it’s like in the other person’s world, or view on life.
By doing this, it will not only help build your self-esteem (because you know you are worthy of respect), but you will realize that how they are treating you has literally nothing to do with who you are, and will build your resilience to not take things personally. When people do or say mean, hurtful things to us, these comments or actions have more to do with their perspective on viewing a harsh and competitive world (in their mind’s eye), based solely on the way they were raised and continue having experiences that damage their mindset and viewpoint on how life is supposed to be — than an attack on you.
By learning to be more empathetic to others, this will help build your self-esteem and not be at the affect of the words and actions of others, taking it personal. Those who possess empathy can interpret life’s events from a perspective that is free from upset. This fuels your Personal Power, whereby you will be more in control of any assault on your self-esteem.
Having your Personal Power intact allows you to detach from another’s upset without needing to react to that person in an automatic and negative way out of habit or a need to protect yourself. You can respond intentionally and without the negative emotion by default (or knee-jerk reaction) that damages relationships and causes communication to suffer. As a result, those possessing empathy are much more personally effective and display greater charisma than those who react at the slightest provocation.
Personal Power at its best!