Memory For Mommies

... Cutting through the Fog of Motherhood

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Five Keys to Improving Your Self Esteem

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Keeping your self esteem intact is never easy for a mommy.  It seems like every day there’s something that tears at your confidence.  Whether it’s the children interrupting the routine, or no one doing what they said that they were going to do, or the day falling apart because of various issues, things can quickly wear on your belief basis and make you feel horrible about yourself. According to Dr. Melissa Stoppler, low self-esteem compromises our emotional readiness to handle the challenges that invariably come with daily living and therefore increases our experience of stress. Stress has been found to be a contributor to memory loss.

In today’s environment people deal with their self esteem issues in many ways. Some people take medication (including many moms) to help them deal with their self esteem issues. Some people go on drinking binges. And some just continue to beat themselves up. 
 
While every approach has its place, there are things that you can do to help you build your self esteem. Here are 5 steps that you can take to help improve your self esteem.
 
1) Take a Self-Esteem Inventory – Dr. John Grohol, Founder of Psych Central states that before you tear yourself apart, you have to spend time acknowledging not only your weaknesses but also your strengths. Grohol recommends getting a piece of paper and drawing a line down the middle of it. On the right-hand side, write: “Strengths” and on the left-hand side, write: “Weaknesses.” List 10 of each. Yes, 10. That may seem like a lot of the Strengths side if you suffer from poor self-esteem, but force yourself to find all 10. If you’re having difficulty coming up with a whole 10, think about what others have said to you over the years. Once you have evaluated your strengths and weaknesses, then you can set aside a plan to begin to address your areas of improvement.
 
2) Challenge Your Inner Critic – We all have that voice in our head that tends to tear us down. It tells us that we’re stupid or that we can’t do something.  Sometimes it can work for us in getting things done, but most of the time it just makes us feel horrible about ourselves. We have a choice to listen to it or stop it. Noted Author and Founder of the Positivity Blog, Henrik Edburg recommends that you that you minimize that critical voice and to replace it with more helpful thoughts. One way to do so is simply to say stop whenever the critic pipes up in your mind. You can do this by creating a stop-word or stop-phrase. As the critic says something – in your mind – shout: STOP! Some people say: No, no, no, we are not going there! An alternate solution is to come up with a phrase or word that you like that stops the train of the thought driven by the inner critic like “Stop! I’m awesome!” Then refocus your thoughts to something more constructive. Like planning what you want to eat for dinner or your to-do list for the next day. 
 
3) Increase Your Exercise – According to Jane Sills of OLWomen.com, exercise is not only great for your physical health but it also improves your self-esteem, confidence and self-image in a very short period of time. In a survey by Michigan State University, it was found that about 86 person women not only exercise to get healthy and lose weight but also to improve their confidence levels and self-image. Regular exercise gives you a sense of control on your emotions, feelings and health. You don’t need to do intensive exercise in the beginning. You can start with a brisk walk everyday in the morning and gradually move to next level.
 
4) Stop Comparing Yourself to Others – One of the biggest issues that most of us have is comparing ourselves to others.  Competing and comparing to others tends to create huge disappointment and is almost impossible to effectively do. The reason it’s so hard to objectively compare to another is because each of us is unique. We have our own set of factors, issues, and unique lives. A more productive approach is to measure your progress against your own goals and objectives. Measuring your your progress against your own objectives allows you to see progress. Once you begin to see progress against your goals and objectives your self-esteem begins to improve.
 
5) Set Realistic Expectations - In our 2006-2008 Mommy survey, 75% of the moms stated that they couldn’t live up to their own expectations. Nothing can kill our self-esteem like unrealistic expectations. For instance, if you expect every day to run perfectly with all the moving parts in your life or that you’re going to control your child’s life from the time they wake up until the time they go to bed, then you probably need to revisit your expectations.  Physicians state that when we set realistic expectations in our life, we can stop berating ourselves for not meeting some idealistic goal. The key is to revisit your expectations on a regular basis. By the way, don’t assume that all your expectations are unrealistic. You probably have some that are very realistic and some that need to be adjusted. 
 
Apply some of these steps to your daily life. You’ll feel better about yourself, lower your stress, and reduce some of that forgetfulness. What do you do to improve your self esteem? For more information on improving your self esteem and/or memory, contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
 
 
 
 

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