Believe in Yourself! A Self-Care
By Cheryl Saban, PH.D.
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you one of your biggest fans? Do you think you’re capable and
worthy? Would you pick yourself to be on your team? If you answered
‘no’ to any of the above questions, you could use an attitude
change and a healthful infusion of personal esteem.
Self-esteem is described as confidence in one’s
own worth or abilities, and pertains to a personal appraisal of
ourselves. Yet, unfortunately, we often make this evaluation based
on cues we receive from society. In other words, we look to others
to establish who we are, how we should behave, and how we’re valued,
even though this societal reflection won’t be an accurate indicator
of what you’re made of.
Trying to measure up to a dominant mindset, antiquated
cultural rules, or stigmatizing stereotypes that don’t serve you
well isn’t the best plan. Using such subjective measuring devices
may also explain why you don’t always feel like a good fit. Bottom
line, try not to rely totally on the outside world to validate
you. A better option is to equalize the playing field by believing
in, and validating yourself.
By the way, if you’re concerned about spending
too much time and effort on numero uno, try remembering that you
can’t be of great help to others if you don’t care much about yourself.
Believing in yourself doesn’t mean you’re conceited, overly self-centered,
or narcissistic. It’s simply part of an overall self-care strategy
for wellness and contentment. It means that you recognize the true
who of you – your core being, the special present of your presence
– in other words, your innate worth.
Belief in yourself isn’t just a good thing to do;
it’s a survival skill. And giving yourself a pat on the back for
being a sentient being with ability, heart, potential, and immeasurable
possibilities, is directly related to your quality of life. You
need to feel worthwhile. You need to believe that you can affect
circumstances and situations in your life in order to have the
confidence and courage you’ll need to meet the many challenges
But, okay, that said, how do you start believing
in yourself when you’re so used to being a non-believer? How do
you begin to care about being you, if you’ve become habituated
to feeling so hopeless, or helpless that you project the message
that you don’t care at all? The short answer is, by taking personal
responsibility for doing so. Class dismissed.
Okay, so perhaps it’s not that easy. And it would
be truly disingenuous of me to trivialize the difficulties many
people face – and that is not my goal. Still, those who study happiness
state that the only way to be truly happy, is to decide to be happy.
It starts with you - your own perceptions of you, your abilities,
and your potential. Actually, nobody else can truly devalue you,
This power is entirely yours, and is manifested
by an attitude you come up with in your own mind. You can thank
Victor Frankl, among others, for proving this. Dr. Frankl was a
holocaust survivor who realized during his captivity in Auschwitz
that the only thing his captors couldn’t take from him was his
mental life – his spiritual life. He was able to find meaning even
in the most painful of situations. Though this is perhaps an extreme
example, you can try to follow his lead. Choose your thoughts –
change your attitude, and decide to believe in yourself. You’ll
soon attract a happier experience into your personal universe and
feel energized with a sense of freedom and independence.
Belief in yourself may begin as a small light at
the end of a tunnel - a glow, a feeling of hoping, and then knowing.
It’s an awareness that though you can’t change any of the facts
of your life, you can change the way you think about those facts.
Once you have the attitude that you’re worth the
effort, you’ll find it easier to start taking care of you. Eat
responsibly, treat your mind and body to regular exercise and take
time to enjoy nature, and breathe fresh air. Listen to soothing
music, read interesting books, take warm baths, listen to the sounds
of nature, and laugh belly laughs. Cuddle up with someone you care
about, get and give plenty of hugs, compassion and empathy, and
honor and treasure your family members. These are all important
activities for wellness.
Remember that your body is a temple, and you are
a treasure. You are unique, precious, and one-of-a-kind. Believe
that you have a right to be here; that you are worth the effort
of saving, educating, healing, playing with, working with, loving,
and sharing a lifetime with.
Say the following words like a mantra. “I believe I am worth believing
in.” Say these words every day. You’ll be amazed how the universe
will contrive to make it so.
CHERYL SABAN, PH.D.
Cheryl Saban is a writer, social activist, psychologist, and
philanthropist. She is well-known for her dedication to pediatric
medical research, foster care, education sponsorship, and affordable
health care for everyone. Dr. Saban is the author of WHAT
IS YOUR SELF-WORTH? A Woman’s Guide to Validation (Hay House;
May 2009), for which she appeared on many national television
and radio shows, including Today, The Early Show, The View, Larry
King Live, Charlie Rose and Jim Bohannon Show. She has written
many articles about women, children, marriage, parenting and
socio-political issues and is a regular blogger for HuffingtonPost.com.