26 Dec Feel better about yourself in just 4 steps
via the Huffington Post by Tchiki Davis
What gives you a sense of self-worth?
Data from my well-being survey recently revealed that positive self-views (or feeling good about oneself, a general belief that we are good, worthwhile human beings) were the best predictor of happiness—even more so than 19 other emotional processes including gratitude and strong personal relationships. Positive self-views emerge from self-esteem, self-acceptance, and self-worth, among other things.
Why are positive self-views so essential to well-being? Because these views not only affect how we feel; they also affect our thoughts and behaviors. When we feel bad about ourselves, we unconsciously act in ways that end up confirming our beliefs. For example, if we feel like we are not good enough for a good relationship, a good job, or financial stability, we stop pursuing these goals with the intensity required to reach them, or we sabotage ourselves along the way.
So how do we break out of the negative cycle? Below I highlight four ways that you can start to promote positive self-views and begin to change the patterns of your life.
1. Figure out your needs
When we don’t feel good about ourselves, it’s easy to think that there’s something fundamentally wrong with us; it feels deeply rooted and unchangeable. In reality, though, we may have failed to clarify (and then pursue) exactly what would make us feel like a person that we could love.
People tend to feel badly about themselves when they feel powerless to get their needs met—so you can start this process by figuring out what your needs are. But be careful: It’s important that we don’t start demanding that the people in our lives fulfill our every want. Rather, clarify for yourself what you need. What people, places, or experiences are must-haves to live a fulfilling life? What aspects of your life—if removed—would leave you without a sense of purpose? Really think carefully about this and try not to consider others’ needs right now.
Now, every person has different needs. For example, many people feel that they need to have children; this is one of those things that they need to do in this life to feel whole. Other people need to travel. I personally need to love what I do for a living. Without this, my life would feel meaningless to me. But everyone is different.
If you’re having a hard time figuring out your needs, just reflect on times in your life when you weren’t thriving. What was missing?