Ladies, we are made of various notes. We all have layers to who we are, and they are settled on top of a soulful core. And believe me, I know firsthand that getting to that core is not an easy task. If you're a soul-seeker set on living your absolute best life, then you know what I mean. Some call it mixed up or wayward when you're in a constant state of change, and to be fair that’s one way of looking at it. However, y'all know my stance by now, and I pose a different viewpoint on the subject. I view people as simply that—people. We're complicated at times, and at other times we're full of clarity. We're all layered in different ways based on our experiences in life. Our many notes create a beautiful song if we just listen to them. The highs, lows, crescendos, falsettos . . . even the extra long riffs like the sistah singing in the gospel choir. All long and drawn out, taking us on a hilly ride, but ending at a beautiful destination.
One of my goals for this blog is to help women achieve the highest esteem possible—to achieve your best self, to sing your song! The inevitable trials of life can chip away at you, and often make the loveliest of people forget who they are. Those high-pitched screeches in life can cause your head to spin, and subsequently drown out your good notes. This is where you might find your self-esteem declining.
Having a healthy self-esteem by far doesn’t look the same for everyone. This we know. Still, there are some tell-tale signs of alert that show when our self-esteem is injurious. If you’ve been reading my previous blogs, then you know how much I enjoy literature. And over the years, I’ve read plenty of books on self-esteem. One of my favorites, Self-esteem is the New Black by Monique Mays, details how to build yourself to a point of feeling and doing your best. Then of course, as I’ve shared before, my own life experiences have taught me to love myself to the utmost, and ultimately helped me become a better woman, wife, and mother. Chile, I've even learned to have more compassion for folks, even the ones I don't particularly like. And as kind as I try to be to others, whew honey, please know there are individuals in this world that my spirit just rejects.
However, as I love myself more, shortcomings included, I am less bothered by anyone or anything. Peace at its finest. And I can assure you, whoever you want to be in this life will be rooted in how you truly feel about yourself as well. For this blog, I’ve created a short checklist to help us recognize what an unhealthy esteem can look like. Take or leave what you need, but whatever you do, read the list with a honest mind and heart. I say this because we tend to do what protects our own feelings, and sometimes that includes self-denial of what we really think/feel. So be real as you read over the list, and remember that change starts in our minds first, way before the action can occur. Unhealthy self-esteem can look like:
I criticize myself on a frequent basis: This looks like, standing in the mirror pointing out all the things you dislike about your appearance. And I'm here to say, girl, stop it! Love the body you live in, and if you want to improve something, let it be for your own good; not based on the current trends, or someone else's opinion.
I compare myself to others in real life and on social media as I scroll: This one is self-explanatory, and it happens so often that you may not even realize you're doing it. If someone is on a trip to France and sharing the pictures online, you suddenly just have to plan a trip or you'll feel less adequate.
I often worry about what others think about me, and I base my actions on those assumptions: An example would be, when you find yourself staying in toxic relationships just to prove a point to others (never mind how unhappy you are, you have something to prove so you're all in). In my DeeJayyyy from TikTok voice, "Don't do dat!"
I am a people-pleaser: Simply put, this is doing what you think others expect of you, while negating your own wishes/needs. And yes, this includes friends, family, and lovers as well.
I don't feel accomplished unless someone commends me: This could look like, you've worked hard on a project for work, or even putting together a family event, and you are satisfied with the outcome. However, if no one else mentions how great of a job you did, you question yourself.
I see the glass as half empty and struggle to have a positive outlook: Your first mind is to find negativity in something/someone. Even your conversations are based in negativity. Usually, these are the people who enjoy gossiping about other people's pain. "Oooh, girl did you hear about what happened to ______?" If you stay initiating the latest tea, you, yourself, are likely in pain. Think about it.
There is no one way to live life; no monotonous tune we all have to share. But if you're a reader of EpitoME, I assume you must be a lover of peace. And to obtain peace in our lives, we must first feel our best, and be confident that we deserve to feel that way. My hope is for all obstacles to be broken down so that we experience the freedom of simply being. So, sing your song, Beautiful! Rewrite the notes as often as you need. Just remember to maintain a smooth bassline built from confidence, and the rest will play out as it should.