Hi everyone! I'm pleased to have wrote another article in The Natural Living Journal regarding self-esteem and communication. The full FREE journal (online version) can be found here. My article is on page 16, but of course I'm sharing it below as well...Enjoy! =)
How are you talking to yourself today? Better yet, how are you letting other people talk to you? For a long time, I always let other’s opinions and actions dictate my own. They would guide my conversations and make me feel like I wasn’t good enough if I didn’t act a certain way, which left me having low self-esteem. I wanted to speak up but didn’t really know how because of being afraid of hurting their feelings. It diminished my confidence and made me doubt my self-worth. It was a cycle that needed to close to say the least. In reality I was hurting my own emotions by holding back and not standing in my power. The fear of not fitting in was all too real, it was horrible. There’s no other way to put it.
What did I learn and still learn each day because one never stops learning? Communication is key! How we give and how we receive messages influence our own behavior. Communication is crucial to our well-being and helps others see our value. How we are feeling can be expressed through our communication. Even if it’s nonverbal, we are still communicating.
In this article, we’re going to focus on the impact of our messages and how they can affect our self-esteem. Believe it, people we spend time with are impacting our lives. In some way, shape, or form, they can bring out the best or the worst in us. I would choose people who bring out the best in you, because ain’t nobody got time for the worst. Life is too short!
Aren’t you tired of feeling like the little guy getting stepped on? I know I sure was. It hurts to even think about myself with such low self-confidence. I heard once on a motivational speech that if you hang around with losers, pretty soon you’ll start acting like one. It’s bold, but it’s the truth. Be careful of who you spend your time with.
If people are true friends, they will respect you. They will be able to talk openly and honestly how they feel, and not shun you for doing the same.
Take for example, you’re a person who hates drama such as people acting overly emotional and “acting out.”. But you’re surrounded by nothing but drama every time you and your pals hang out. To each his own, but I can absorb other people’s energy easily. If I’m around too much negativity, it makes me upset.
If all that my friends want to talk about is drama, it leaves me feeling empty. I want conversations that are empowering, uplifting, and make me think a little. This helps my self-esteem, and I think it will help yours too.
It’s not to say I don’t want to help my pals, quite the opposite actually. I absolutely love helping others and am a firm believer of “doing unto others as you would want done onto you.” But I’ve had to learn when to communicate my feelings and when to take a pause. And pausing is OK! Sometimes that is when we learn the most. Remember, you are of value, your time is valuable, and to speak with love. I’ll leave you with these three tips to help raise self-esteem and have better communication overall.
Practice ACTIVE listening: This was an aspect I had to train my ears and my mind to do. When we actually listen, we learn a lot about a person. We live in a day full of texting even at the dinner table, taking selfies on the whim, and updating our status like it’s a popular news story. What does that do to our non-verbal communication? It’s making it nonexistent. What does that do to our self-esteem? It can deplete our self-worth when we’re not being paid attention to fully.
Speak Up: Just because we all don’t agree doesn’t mean that we should shy away from speaking our piece politely. It will be heard. How someone takes it, that’s on them, not on you.
Practice body language: Make eye contact, smile, nod, etc. It ALL counts! You’ll start making meaningful relationships this way. The next time you get ready to communicate, take a moment to recognize what is happening, see if it’s benefiting your growth, and understand you are powerful!