Learn to value yourself and live a life you love
Updated: Mar 3, 2022
I thought about what I could share to help you make the most of your life. This is my starting point...
Maybe you have a lot of money, a prestigious job, fancy car, hot date, a family...or perhaps you have none of those things. Either way, you could still love your life or be dissatisfied with it. What we see on the surface of each others lives doesn't tell us about the person within.
This is important to me - how we think and feel about ourselves and what we do with those thoughts and feelings. How we see ourselves has a major impact on how we live our lives and how satisfied we are with the life we live.
Initially I thought the reason I love my life so much was about the balance I have - a lovely home life including plenty of time with my son; a work life I enjoy where I feel a sense of purpose and have time to make the most of life away from work; I do the things I want - like training to become a life coach...and coaching people who want to achieve their full potential. However, the more deeply I thought about it, I arrived at the conclusion that it's how much I value myself that enables me to live my life how I want to. One way of thinking of this, is that I have high self-esteem.
What self-esteem means to me
The dictionary definition of self-esteem is ‘a feeling of being happy with your own character and abilities’.
Self-esteem to me is about accepting, valuing and being kind to myself. It helps me to do many things, including being kinder to others; trying things even if they’re scary; being confident in myself; and saying no.
It's not that I don't care what other people think, but I'm confident in myself and I decide whose opinions matter. Of course I want my friends and family to like me, I want my colleagues to enjoy working with me and I want my clients to feel like they’ve partnered with someone who’s supporting them in moving towards their goals in an enjoyable way. However, I don’t change who I am to make this possible, I’m comfortable with myself and I’m at my best by being me. If someone chooses not to like me, that's okay...I still like me.
We are all different, with different views, beliefs, experiences and likes, so if we try to fit in with everyone we come into contact with, we can lose ourselves. Instead, I simply choose to be me.
My self-esteem journey
I haven’t always had high self-esteem and I'm not sure I ever thought about it in that way, although I could see the various thoughts and behaviours that I now know were impacting on my self-esteem. Some of my experiences - including coming from an underprivileged background, not doing well at secondary school, experiencing negative relationships, not feeling that I belonged, all led to a general sense of insecurity. The thoughts and behaviours I had include comparing myself and my achievements to those of other people; being a perfectionist; working too much; being a people pleaser. I no longer do these things and if any thoughts pop into my mind that would have led to those behaviours in the past, I'm good at facing them and sending them on their way. I don't need to compare myself with anyone else, all I need to do is be me, keep learning, developing and living my life to its fullest. The saying 'every day is a learning day' is absolutely true. Not a day goes by that I don't learn something new.
One change that's had a major positive impact on my confidence is that
I've stopped comparing myself with other people
and I've stopped, trying to live up to what I think other people's expectations are. Instead, I live a life that makes me feel good, I do the things I want to do and I realise the only person that can hold me back is me.
What I've learnt over the past decade or so of reading, learning, experiencing and reflecting has helped me to realise where I was, where I am now and what all of this means to me. I hope what I share reaches people who want some ideas, tips, support or coaching to help them live the life they want. We can all live the lives we dream of, we just have to believe in ourselves and start by taking that first step towards where we want to be.
How can this help you?
When I thought about why I value myself, so many things came to mind. I didn't think it would be helpful to have a seemingly endless list, so here's what I thought would be most helpful to share and talk about:
spheres of control
sense of purpose
Perhaps you already practice some of these things; have thought about them in the past and then forgotten about them; and perhaps some are new to you. I'm inviting you to take what’s helpful to you and give it a go.
The journey to a life you love isn't always easy and it can take a long time, but there's something wonderful about feeling this way and I wish more people felt this too. That's what led me to be a life coach. Coaching is a powerful way of helping people to get from where they are now to where they want to be in a way that's best for them. I'm keen to help as many people as I can onto a path they truly believe will lead them to realise their full potential.
Over the coming months, I'll write about each