Self-esteem is our sense of our own value and self-worth. Contradictory to what we have been led to believe, our self-esteem is not a stagnant way of being. In fact most people, especially women, experience fluctuations with their self-esteem.
Likened to an ocean wave when we are on the upside of the fluctuation, we feel confident, love who we are and see our own worth and value. However on the downside we will second guess ourselves, have doubt and be over critical of ourselves.
Such ups and downs are normal, in fact they are considered as essential as long as we manage them effectively. As we are reminded by the Yin/Yang symbol, dualities which are seemingly opposite or contrary are actually complementary and interconnected. Dualities in life, and they are everywhere, cannot exist without the other. Thus dualities ~ such as the ups and downs ~ are required to be whole.
The more acceptance you have that the self-esteem fluctuation happens, as well as understanding it is normal, the more likely you are to minimise the depth and frequency of the “wave”. When you can “ride the wave” you are able to allow flow and let go. When we allow flow we also allow synchronicity.
It is important to know and accept that when you are on the downside of the fluctuation (wave) this is when your negative emotions, baggage, “stuff”, things you’ve not dealt with are more likely to present.
What exactly are your emotions? “An emotion is a complex psychological state that involves three distinct components: a subjective experience, a physiological response, and a behavioural or expressive response.” (Hockenbury & Hockenbury, 2007).
The word emotion originates from the French word “emouvoir” which means to excite. As well as the Latin word “emovere” which means to move. Your emotions serve to motivate you to take action (move) towards things that excite you. Emotions also serve for you to take action in order to survive and thus keep yourself safe from danger.
Running from, not dealing with, or pushing your emotions away only makes them stronger and persistent in trying to get your attention. It’s the adage, whatever you resist, persists. Your emotions then control you, rather than you be in control of them.
Whilst it is important to take actions that build your self-esteem, it is also important to understand that the downside of the wave is an important time for you to undertake emotional spring cleaning.
When you seek to understand the reasons as to why the emotions are presenting themselves; by being compassionate and nurturing yourself you loosen their grip in order to achieve release and healing.
Ways to undertake emotional spring cleaning
- Acknowledge how you are feeling and what it is you are thinking or focusing on to make you feel that way. Consider is this just a “story” you are telling yourself and what evidence do you have that it is a truth? and/or what could be equally if not more so true
- Recognise what it is that you need right now and give that to yourself. Is it loving words of support from yourself? Is it time in nature? To go shopping and treat yourself? To take time out and go to the beach or to read a good book?
- Grab a pen and paper and write. Consider what event, situation, place or person the emotions relate to and allow the words to flow onto the page, getting raw and honest with yourself. How do you feel about what happened? What has been left unresolved? What was the impact? What were the negatives? and what were the positives (yes there will be some)? and what are the insights you need to release and let it go?
- Find a nice patch of grass or sand and stand on it barefoot. Connect in with the earth energy and imagine the negative emotions as well as anything that relate to them releasing from your body down through the soles of you feet into the core of the earth where this negativity will be transformed and transmuted.
When you can accept that your self-esteem will fluctuate and that this is normal, as well as be vulnerably brave to address and heal what you need to, you will find that you have greater distance in between the fluctuations.