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Thursday, 7 August 2008

Self Esteem

The following information is from Nathaniel Branden's Psychology of Higher Self Esteem wildly paraphrased and interpreted by me.

What is high self esteem?
(a) the feeling of personal competence
(b) the feeling of personal worth

I always thought my self esteem was fine because I feel completely competent and worthy in my job, relationships and finances. The only problem seemed to be with my body image.

Ask yourself the following questions to determine the areas where you may need to examine your level of self esteem -
- Am I able to earn my living doing what I enjoy?
- Do I know how to give and receive love?
- Do I have wonderful friends?
- Do I take good care of myself physically?
- Do I earn an income that is appropriate for me?

Obviously I have problems with the taking care of myself physically. My binge eating is destructive physically and emotionally.

What is the cause of my problem?

Do I feel I am competent at eating well and losing weight? Do I have the skills and experience necessary to achieve this?

Well, yes - I know how to, and have been able to lose weight in the past, so I can do it again.

Do I feel I am worthy of a super lean, athletic, body ... ahhhhhh ... herein lies the root of all evil.

The concept I have of myself has been unable to embrace a higher level of success.

"I've already broken enough limitations - I am a fraud, I am an impostor, this is not my destiny, this is not my story. I am a fat chick who has never been good at sports. I am just pretending to be an athlete."

The brakes I have been putting on my success are not my ability or skill, but my self concept. My view of myself can barely accommodate where I am now without going to a higher (or lower LOL) level.

But guess what? I have limitless potential. I am worthy of this purpose. I am already living a lean athletic life. All I have to do is believe in myself and take what is rightfully mine.

I am becoming aware
- that I am worthy of a good life
- I have the skills I need to reach my goals
- I am allowed to take care of me without feeling guilty for being self absorbed
- My view of the world is different to what my parents taught me
- There is no shame or immorality in being sexually attractive
- I can forgive myself for feeling guilty for not being who my parents want me to be
- I can heal my suppressed feelings of abandonment (I was adopted) my giving myself the love and belonging I felt I missed when I was a child/adolescent
- I can embrace the voices in my head, and listen to the whispering wisdom of my inner sage
- I can be whatever I want to be
- I can never be perfect but I can be my best
- I am accomplishing my purpose already - I have already done most of the hard work
- I can live consciously
- I can live a truthful life
- Only I can decide how to act and how to think
- I deserve to be happy
- I like who I am
- I can change anything I want to
- I am allowed to change my mind
- Johnny Depp wants me bad

Obviously I have uncovered a lot of baggage that I was pretending I didn't have. There are some real issues that have been fueling my self sabotaging eating behaviour (you knew that all along didn't you Kitty?). At this point, I don't feel like I need to do anything more than acknowledge and deconstruct my irrational beliefs now I know where they come from. It helps so much to know why you feel and think a certain way and how that drives your behaviour.

How is your self esteem?


  1. Ah, the old not worthy... I've been trying to beat that one for a while now. Still working on it.

  2. Your thought process is almost identical to mine at the moment. I'm working hard on it right now.

  3. Katie, the day you wake up and accept yourself and like what you see no matter what your size is will be the day when you will be one step closer to lifetime mastery over your weight.


  4. Great article! Thanks.