What does it take to moving from low self-esteem - to self acceptance

Posted by caroleeuits @caroleeuits, Jun 2, 2020

I was asked to talk about what self acceptance was to me on these pages – and I responded – see earlier posts in late May.

But what I want to also do is to hear is from youall and your journeying toward self-acceptance. I find that my own coming to self-acceptance is my own story – but what about yours?

What are the common threads that you have found within you that appeared and grew? What maked them grow – and what has thus happened through you – and those of others around you by their engagement with you? This is more about that internal process of becoming who you are now.

I see a lot of people read books – but I am guessing while they are valuable resources, your own life-quests tell more incredible journeys of how all the influences upon you have mattered. What is your journey to self-acceptance? Hangups? Ahaas? And finally, what are your-self discovered deep truths that empower your self-acceptance at the point you now are ?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Depression & Anxiety Support Group.

Hi @johnbishop,

That was a great article!! I especially appreciated the opening paragraph about factors that affect our self-esteem (or the way we see ourselves). Here is a copy of that section:

Self-esteem begins to form in early childhood. Factors that can influence self-esteem include:

"Your thoughts and perceptions; How other people react to you; Experiences at home, school, work and in the community; Illness, disability or injury; Age
Role and status in society; Media messages; Relationships with those close to you — parents, siblings, peers, teachers and other important contacts — are important to your self-esteem. Many beliefs you hold about yourself today reflect messages you've received from these people over time.

If your relationships are strong and you receive generally positive feedback, you're more likely to see yourself as worthwhile and have healthier self-esteem. If you receive mostly negative feedback and are often criticized, teased or devalued by others, you're more likely to struggle with poor self-esteem.

But past experiences and relationships don't have to be your destiny. Your own thoughts have perhaps the biggest impact on self-esteem — and these thoughts are within your control. If you tend to focus on your weaknesses or flaws, working on changing that can help you develop a more balanced, accurate view of yourself."

This represents the "bag" that we carry into our adult life. Taking out the garbage and making room for new thoughts/feelings is the work of an adult trying to develop healthy self-esteem!

I would enjoy hearing from others in this discussion group as to what has influenced your self-esteem both for the good and the bad? If you had poor parenting as a child, what are you doing to re-parent yourself as an adult?

REPLY
@hopeful33250

Hi @johnbishop,

That was a great article!! I especially appreciated the opening paragraph about factors that affect our self-esteem (or the way we see ourselves). Here is a copy of that section:

Self-esteem begins to form in early childhood. Factors that can influence self-esteem include:

"Your thoughts and perceptions; How other people react to you; Experiences at home, school, work and in the community; Illness, disability or injury; Age
Role and status in society; Media messages; Relationships with those close to you — parents, siblings, peers, teachers and other important contacts — are important to your self-esteem. Many beliefs you hold about yourself today reflect messages you've received from these people over time.

If your relationships are strong and you receive generally positive feedback, you're more likely to see yourself as worthwhile and have healthier self-esteem. If you receive mostly negative feedback and are often criticized, teased or devalued by others, you're more likely to struggle with poor self-esteem.

But past experiences and relationships don't have to be your destiny. Your own thoughts have perhaps the biggest impact on self-esteem — and these thoughts are within your control. If you tend to focus on your weaknesses or flaws, working on changing that can help you develop a more balanced, accurate view of yourself."

This represents the "bag" that we carry into our adult life. Taking out the garbage and making room for new thoughts/feelings is the work of an adult trying to develop healthy self-esteem!

I would enjoy hearing from others in this discussion group as to what has influenced your self-esteem both for the good and the bad? If you had poor parenting as a child, what are you doing to re-parent yourself as an adult?

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@hopeful33250, @johnbishop– Being the oldest of five I have always read that helped a lot with self esteem. In my situation I have always felt that to be very true. Not that I felt I received special treatment, but being the 1st seems to always have given me a healthy outlook. Years later as all us siblings would often gather for holidays, etc. I started hearing stories from my siblings that were so very different than my recolections? For awhile I would think "Oh that must have happened when I had left for college", but then be told, no, that was when you were barely a teenager? It was as if I lived in another world!
I have always felt loved by my parents, but never to the point of unfairness.
I enjoyed doing jobs around the house whether it was keeping a clean room to helping with lawn cutting, leave raking, snow shoveling, etc. I took pride in doing a good job and was not seeking praise (although it was always nice to hear that I did a nice job).
So many of our friends years later couldn't believe that we as siblings would often vacation together and then it happened. The 1st divorce , then another and then my youngest brother who had really done well in his career got divorced and it relly split up us siblings. There were taking sides, etc. Now sadly we rarely speak. Such a shame!!
Fast forward to retirement for me. I had owned my own contracting business for over 40 years. Contact with clients and subs and running crews for me was always (mostly) very enjoyable.
I always remember my dad telling me to work on my hobbies so when I retire I have things to fall back on. That was not a problem in that I had many, but the one thing I never really thought of was how important all those interactions I would have every day played such a big part of who I am. Many of those interactions are gone now and I have realized how important they were in my life.
Fortunately we have 3 very close couple friends that we've known for about 40 years. We all met in a young marrieds class at the church we were going to at that time. Now we seem to have found different churches, but have continud to get together weekly for bible study, dinner outings and often vacations.
I feel very blessed, but am always reaching out to my siblings hoping we can restablish our friendships once again.
I'm determined to continue to write them often whether I ever hear from them.
Perhaps one day I will be surprised!
Jim @thankful

REPLY
@thankful

@hopeful33250, @johnbishop– Being the oldest of five I have always read that helped a lot with self esteem. In my situation I have always felt that to be very true. Not that I felt I received special treatment, but being the 1st seems to always have given me a healthy outlook. Years later as all us siblings would often gather for holidays, etc. I started hearing stories from my siblings that were so very different than my recolections? For awhile I would think "Oh that must have happened when I had left for college", but then be told, no, that was when you were barely a teenager? It was as if I lived in another world!
I have always felt loved by my parents, but never to the point of unfairness.
I enjoyed doing jobs around the house whether it was keeping a clean room to helping with lawn cutting, leave raking, snow shoveling, etc. I took pride in doing a good job and was not seeking praise (although it was always nice to hear that I did a nice job).
So many of our friends years later couldn't believe that we as siblings would often vacation together and then it happened. The 1st divorce , then another and then my youngest brother who had really done well in his career got divorced and it relly split up us siblings. There were taking sides, etc. Now sadly we rarely speak. Such a shame!!
Fast forward to retirement for me. I had owned my own contracting business for over 40 years. Contact with clients and subs and running crews for me was always (mostly) very enjoyable.
I always remember my dad telling me to work on my hobbies so when I retire I have things to fall back on. That was not a problem in that I had many, but the one thing I never really thought of was how important all those interactions I would have every day played such a big part of who I am. Many of those interactions are gone now and I have realized how important they were in my life.
Fortunately we have 3 very close couple friends that we've known for about 40 years. We all met in a young marrieds class at the church we were going to at that time. Now we seem to have found different churches, but have continud to get together weekly for bible study, dinner outings and often vacations.
I feel very blessed, but am always reaching out to my siblings hoping we can restablish our friendships once again.
I'm determined to continue to write them often whether I ever hear from them.
Perhaps one day I will be surprised!
Jim @thankful

Jump to this post

Hi Jim @thankful, I'm thankful that you shared your story with Connect! I learned a lot about adjusting to changing circumstances within the family. You've done a great job in developing relationships outside of your family for support and friendships and yet you've kept your family in the back of your mind and desired to have a relationship with them. This shows a very balanced perspective to a rather sensitive issue.

I'm just wondering (and only share this as you feel comfortable doing so) if there are any of your siblings that you think might be open to reconciliation down the road?

REPLY
@hopeful33250

Hi Jim @thankful, I'm thankful that you shared your story with Connect! I learned a lot about adjusting to changing circumstances within the family. You've done a great job in developing relationships outside of your family for support and friendships and yet you've kept your family in the back of your mind and desired to have a relationship with them. This shows a very balanced perspective to a rather sensitive issue.

I'm just wondering (and only share this as you feel comfortable doing so) if there are any of your siblings that you think might be open to reconciliation down the road?

Jump to this post

@hopeful33250– I never give up hope on that! My brother who is the next oldest & I have a decent relationship and do talk or text frequently. He has decided to stay out of all of this and is very content with his own life and seems to not care about relationships with his siblings? For me the toughest part of all this is that my mom, who turns 90 this October and lives by herself about 2 hrs. from where I live is in the middle of all this. She is a peacemaker and try's to look on the bright side, but I know all this makes her weary.
We FaceTime nearly every other day especially during this virus and we have gone to see her and stay for 2 days on 2 occasions being very sensitive to somewhat distincing. We just spent last weekend with her and had a fantastic time together. She is in relatively good health and my wife & I decided to treat her to meals she often would never make herself, but that she loves.
Homemade pizza one night and grilled burgers the next. Yum!!
As I said I never will give up on rebuilding relationships with my siblings. I text them on occasion and always wish them Happy Birthday's or greetings on other holidays, etc. It is rare that I receive a response, but that is OK. I'm committed to continue.
Jim @thankful

REPLY
@thankful

@hopeful33250– I never give up hope on that! My brother who is the next oldest & I have a decent relationship and do talk or text frequently. He has decided to stay out of all of this and is very content with his own life and seems to not care about relationships with his siblings? For me the toughest part of all this is that my mom, who turns 90 this October and lives by herself about 2 hrs. from where I live is in the middle of all this. She is a peacemaker and try's to look on the bright side, but I know all this makes her weary.
We FaceTime nearly every other day especially during this virus and we have gone to see her and stay for 2 days on 2 occasions being very sensitive to somewhat distincing. We just spent last weekend with her and had a fantastic time together. She is in relatively good health and my wife & I decided to treat her to meals she often would never make herself, but that she loves.
Homemade pizza one night and grilled burgers the next. Yum!!
As I said I never will give up on rebuilding relationships with my siblings. I text them on occasion and always wish them Happy Birthday's or greetings on other holidays, etc. It is rare that I receive a response, but that is OK. I'm committed to continue.
Jim @thankful

Jump to this post

How wonderful for you Jim! I have 4 siblings and sad to say act like we came from different parents all because I moved away at 18 yrs as survival from abusive home. I do text for birthdays and to try and keep in touch with nieces and nephews, but some since those relationships were not encouraged I still struggle with the loss. Thanks for sharing your experience.

REPLY
@marjou

How wonderful for you Jim! I have 4 siblings and sad to say act like we came from different parents all because I moved away at 18 yrs as survival from abusive home. I do text for birthdays and to try and keep in touch with nieces and nephews, but some since those relationships were not encouraged I still struggle with the loss. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Jump to this post

@marjou Your situation is similar to mine, even same number of siblings. I do not have communication from two of them, one once in a while, one every month or so. You're right. It is a struggle, and has filled many a page of writings. For me, the only way to gain self-esteem was to break away.
Ginger

REPLY

Hi my name is Kim I’m 54 yrs old and new to this. I have struggled my entire life with self-esteem. I have been in therapy and I take medications for my depression and panic attacks. Both my parents just past away recently but I did get a little bit of closer with my Dad before he past. My issue is I am forgettable, once I leave this world no one will even think of me let alone miss me. I do know what you are going through. I always have to give myself pep talks 😊

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@kimcvi

Hi my name is Kim I’m 54 yrs old and new to this. I have struggled my entire life with self-esteem. I have been in therapy and I take medications for my depression and panic attacks. Both my parents just past away recently but I did get a little bit of closer with my Dad before he past. My issue is I am forgettable, once I leave this world no one will even think of me let alone miss me. I do know what you are going through. I always have to give myself pep talks 😊

Jump to this post

kimcvi Dear Kim, Bless your heart. It is hard to lose parents. Both of mine are gone too, but I'm 68. Are you on any medicine? If so can you psychiatrist know of group of people with the same problem as you.. You can make friends with them. Do you have any relatives? Will do you live? I'm recovering from a big surgery on my back and I have been depressed since my surgery. I know what you are going through. I have had panic attacks before. Is there a volunteer job you could do? That would help your self-esteem. I take it that you are not married. Being a lone can be hard. I'm here for you. You will be fine. My thoughts and prayers will be with you.

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Hi, I am married my husband is a real good guy. He Loves me and all my issues😊 I am on 2 different kind of med that I have been on for about 20 plus years. I was in therapy and learned how to control most of my panic attacks. I am pretty happy most of the time but my self worth never goes away. I am grateful for my husband and 2 children but the thought of being forgotten is always on my mind. I’ll tell you something that I always do, when ever we go anywhere I always take my keys in case they desert me that way I can get back in the house. I can laugh about it and my husband just reminds me that he isn’t going anywhere unless I am with him. So I have learned to except my issues and laugh. It doesn’t go away but it makes it a lot easier to cope.

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@kimcvi Oh, that must be a terrible feeling. Are you seeing a psychiatrist? You on two medications. I'm on Lexapro, Clonazepam (Klonpin) and Lamictal. I have depression, but it's mainly caused from the big 9 hour surgery I had and the recovery has not been fun. My husband doesn't like me to go out at all afraid I will get the Covid-19. So I'm pretty stuck at home, but my husband is good and has does a lot for me, since there's not a lot I can do. I wish I could help you. Hang in there and let your doctor know what you are on is not working.

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