Monday, 2 March 2015

Self Esteem Journal

For the past week I've been keeping a Self-Esteem Journal. It wasn't planned, but there I was browsing different online sites and I came across this.
With 3 daily questions, the worksheet is designed to help boost confidence by focusing on success and achievements. 
So I thought, 'Hey, no harm, I'll give it  go.'

And I did. For the past week I've been filling in sentences that start with 'I felt proud when...'/'Today I accomplished...'/'I felt good about myself when...'

Which is actually pretty difficult. On the average week (the non-Self Esteem Journal week) I can be pretty hard on myself. I think we all can.
'Oh I should have said this'. 'I could have done that better'.

Keeping this journal really highlighted to me how much I use words like 'should', 'would', and 'could'. How much of my evenings on an average week are usually spent re-evaluating the day's events in a negative and self-defeating way? Too much.

Saying 'I'm proud' shouldn't be a shameful phrase. And yet I've always felt like a bad person if I congratulate myself, or feel a sense of achievement. A week of completing sentences that focus on positives has changed my view on this. You need to think/say/feel these ways about yourself to have a sense of self-worth. (Something I have no qualms about admitting I often lack)
And you can feel this way about the smallest of things.
On Saturday I had fun when I watched movies. It's true and it's that simple.
Other days, I was proud of someone else. Or witnessed positive things.

Celebrating and recognising what made you feel happy, proud and good about yourself is an important part of defeating negative self-talk and identifying triggers. Normally, my answer to how my day went is 'Grand. Nothing exciting happened.' I can't find a single positive thing to say in favour of the day. But with a little help from my journal, I was forced to evaluate these little achievements and celebrate them.

Of course, it will take continual effort to erase the problem of talking myself down. That battle is not won quite yet.

But taking time at the end of each day to reflect on the positives has proven a very useful and important tool for me over the past week.

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