Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Taking Care of Myself

‘Givers’ are people whose joy and fulfillment comes from supporting those around them, and I am definitely one of these folks.  As a ‘giver’ I often put my wants on the back burner and prioritize the needs others.

Recently I’ve come to realize that, as important as it is for me to be supportive of the people in my life, it’s equally important for me to make sure I put myself into the mix.  When looking at what others want, it may not always be the best decision for me to subjugate my needs to theirs.  There are times when my needs are as important, or even more important, than those of others.

I used to think that putting my needs first was a form of selfishness, which has a negative connotation that implies a disregard for other people.  However, taking care of myself has nothing to do with others.  The reality is that when I take care of something that’s important to me I’m being self-nurturing, using self-respect and valuing myself.  It’s not saying I’m “better than”, it’s saying I’m “equal to”, and therefore deserve the same consideration.

When I choose to take care of myself, I’m replenished and have more to give to others.  Once my needs have been addressed, I’m energized and ready to focus on giving even more to my family, friends and clients.

As they always tell you on an airplane, put the oxygen mask on yourself first, before you help others.  If you don’t, you won’t be in any condition to help anyone.

So, this month I’m reflecting on ways to be aware of my needs, give them the respect they deserve, and find ways to balance them with the wants and needs of the people in my life.

Please share with us how you take care of yourself.  Your thoughts could be just the inspiration someone else needs.

If you’d like to learn more about how to take care of yourself, Click Here.

If you’d like to have a free consultation with Sandy, Click Here and put Consultation in the subject line. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Why Self-Esteem?

A couple of days ago someone asked me why I chose to write a book on self-esteem. It was a good question that made me pause for a minute. I realized there are a couple of answers to this question.

The first one is that there was a time when I had very poor self-esteem. When I was a child I perceived my little sister as the “perfect one”. She was cute, smart, funny, and everybody loved her. I probably resented the fact that she came along when I was two and “stole” my parents’ attention, so in response, I became angry and inadvertently drove people away.

My parents were loving and fair, but as we all do, I acted on my perception and decided that because they spent more time and attention on my sister (as is necessary with small children) I wasn’t as loveable and valuable as she was.

This was the beginning of 25 years of feeling “less than” others. I decided I wasn’t as loveable, valuable, capable or competent as everyone else, and this became a self-fulfilling prophecy. I didn’t know how to make friends, and my grade school years were mostly lonely. High school was slightly better, but I still didn’t value who I was.

After many experiences in which I was successful and people appeared to like me, I began to realize that I am OK and actually have much to offer. By the time I was in my 30s I also understood that the opinions of others do not define who I am. I decided that I’m just as loveable, valuable, capable and competent as others, and that I’m OK. This doesn’t mean I’m ‘perfect’, but I’m the ‘perfect’ me, and there is always room for growth. It means that I can love myself, even with all my imperfections.

However, I still remember how painful life was when I didn’t value myself. So I went to school, got an education in psychology and became a Licensed Professional Counselor. My goal was to support, inspire and empower people so they would never have to feel the way I had when I was a child.

In my counseling practice it became clear to me that the people who have positive self-esteem have an easier time dealing with whatever life brings them. Those who feel they are loveable and competent are able to cope with life’s traumas and move on. Those who don’t love themselves seem to struggle.

I wanted to help people avoid the pain that I experienced in my early life, so I decided to write a book and create a program that helps people rediscover the amazing person they’ve always been. The result is Feeling Good About You, and The Feeling Good About You Breakthrough program, which over the years have been the platform for people to reconnect with the incredible person they are.

So that’s my experience with self-esteem, and why I’m so passionate about helping others.

What is your story about self-esteem? Please share, and let us know how your level of self-esteem has affected your life.