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I made a conscious attempt to focus on my strengths: my talents, my experience and my knowledge. I didn't allow myself to indulge in negative thoughts. When I found myself musing about something less than "uplifting", I would redirect myself to something else. I gave myself no permission to have "pity parties."
I took to heart Thomas Carlyle's advice when he wrote, "Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what clearly lies at hand." I kept busy. I did what appeared to me as needing doing. I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do or how I was going to do it. The future was uncertain and for first time in my life I didn't have a plan. Like AA program, I took one day at a time.
And each day I did what I could to clean up my messes, make things better, keep my focus forward instead of backward and keep faith.
It was my faith in Universal Spirit that helped me get through this winter of discontent. I believe that everyone has a unique purpose and I was determined to discover my own. God doesn't make junk.
One of biggest awareness' I had during these dark times was that I WAS NOT my feelings. I HAD feelings, but they were not me. I also realized that I had cared too much about opinions of others. I still care; I just don't let it run me like it used to.
Some people believe that if you feel good about yourself, you'll do great things. That may be true, but I also believe that if you do great things, you'll feel good about yourself--and then do even greater things.
Taking these steps consistently over a period of years has enabled me to rebuild my finances, establish a career I'm excited about, develop a loving and committed marriage and, most importantly, restore and improve upon my self esteem. I'm grateful for process.
Self-esteem is an upward or downward spiral. What you do affects way you feel. How you feel affects things you do. The things you do affect what you and others think of you, which in turn, affects how you feel about yourself.
You're either building yourself up or tearing yourself down. There is no status quo when it comes to your self-image.
Michael Angier. www.SuccessNet.org Win-Win Way, PO Box 2048 South Burlington, Vermont 05407-2048 USA success@SuccessNet.org