Does it feel like your self-esteem yo-yos? Join the club!

It wasn’t until I started studying to be a counsellor that I really needed to put myself under the microscope and work out who I was. Little did I realise what an internal journey this would take me on and the massive changes it would make to me as a person and my life as a whole. But one of the biggest changes has been my levels of self-esteem.

Before I go any further though, let me explain what self-esteem is, because it might not be a term you’re familiar with or you might not appreciate the different things it covers. I imagine, most of us think of self-esteem as confidence and they do get used interchangeably. But, as I’ve worked in this area more, I’m starting to see that self-esteem is so much more than just feeling confident. Mind, the mental health charity agrees with me on this.

According to Mind it’s not only about your confidence. It’s how you:

  • like and value yourself,
  • show kindness to yourself.
  • move past mistakes and are able to forgive yourself.
  • are able to believe you’re good enough
  • know you deserve happiness.

Now for those of you that have read my blog for a while, you’ll recognise this list as things I have talked about in the past. And for those same people, you’ll also recognise that these are the things I have struggled with. 

My self-esteem has definitely taken an absolute kicking, thanks to my back story and frankly, why wouldn’t it? You’d have to be a bloody robot not to be affected by your own reasons for ending up in the situation where you don’t have the family you dreamed of. It can leave you feeling that you’ve hit rock bottom. 

But here’s the thing, I was there for a while and on more than one occasion. When I had my miscarriage, when I was told there wouldn’t be any children and then the last time after the hysterectomy. And because the last one represented the line in the sand, it felt all the more painful, because there simply wouldn’t be a miracle baby. All hope had gone and it was a dark place to be. But, even after that, I’m still here, maybe not exactly the same person, but nevertheless, still standing. And you can bounce back too. 

That’s not to say you and I won’t get knocks to the confidence, because we will. Pregnancy announcements, can just send me on a bit of a spiral and spending time in the presence of children, any children, leaves me painfully aware of the emptiness that not having a family has left behind. However, I do bounce back sooner, because I’m able to look at myself and know that despite all these setbacks I am able to value myself and take care of myself when I need it. Underneath it all I’m able to see that I deserve to be happy. And so do you!

You may not feel the same now, and you might not be able to say hand on heart that you look after yourself to the best of your ability. You might not be able to look at yourself in the mirror and say that you like or love yourself…yet! But you will one day, and it all starts with you realising your own worth. 

*source: Mind [online] https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/self-esteem/#.XHzNzVP7RsM

If, I was to ask you what you felt about yourself and whether you’re good enough, would you be able to see what you're worth?

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