How To Be Your Own Cheerleader
Self worth, esteem and confidence are all tied up with each other. If you don’t believe you are deserving of the good things that can come from trying, then you don’t try. If you don’t try, you don’t get the experience of growing in skill and therefore confidence. If you don’t have moments of experiencing that spine-straight confidence, it is hard to build a general sense that you are capable (esteem). With poor worth and esteem, we waste a lot of time being scared, self doubting, and ambivalent. We also lower standards for ourselves, so our friends and lovers may not be the cheerleaders we deserve.
There are a few teachings for which I have been grateful and that I continue to try to absorb, share and implement. They didn’t all come from teachers.
I worked with young people who used drugs. They put themselves at risk multiple times a day when injecting drugs unsafely. The biggest barrier to shifting the risky behaviours was that their self worth had been injured by development trauma and discrimination. They didn’t think they deserved to be infection-free, or even to live. What helped them care about themselves was having the opportunity to help others, and to experience more love and compassion from me, peers, and my colleagues. Once they were able to believe in a better future for themselves, they would use substances more safely.
Knowing that self esteem suffers under criticism and indifference, we have to create a protective bubble of love and self compassion. We need to seek people who support us, and we need to learn to be our own cheerleaders. From compassion will come more clarity about what you want. Desire will grow from clarity, and motivation will grow from desire. From there, every courageous action will build on our confidence, worth and esteem. The work starts inside before it ever becomes concrete, observable actions.
Some of the teachings I’ve learned from clients, healers and coaches have become core mantras. Feel free to turn these statements into “I” statements and put them on a list of affirmations for yourself. Speak your affirmations out loud for a more powerful effect.
As you contemplate making change, ask yourself, Do I believe I deserve it? Do I…