Self esteem & savoring moments…

Posted by Jennifer Campoli on March 11th, 2010
Filed under Motivation, Positive psychology, Self esteem, Wellness, Workouts | No Comments »

Hi there! :)

Good day so far, I hope? I'm getting back in the swing of things after an unbelievable vacation starting in Texas and ending in beautiful Maine! I spent the day yesterday with my sis in law and her beautiful boys. We had a BLAST! I thought about stealing her boys home with me for a few days. They are amazing!

I've been working my brain today on my new workout challenge. I'm trying to come up with new and creative things to incorporate this month. A few of my ideas:

  • Stair challenge- walk our 4 flights of stairs 10x each day
  • Whittle My Middle- courtesy of Angela, a daily abdominal challenge involving 5-6 exercises
  • Spin City- commit to 4 spinning classes a week
  • Bleachers- run bleachers at Harvard stadium 3x a week, increase time or intensity weekly

Now YOU: any thoughts? I would like to add some adventure to this month's challenge. Something fun that I can report to each of you on each day and record my advancement and progress. :) I like this stuff!

Savoring the moment…

I'm approaching the 10 week mark in my Well Coaches program. I am more than 1/2 way there! Yikes!

Last week we had a very intense discussion on self-efficacy and self-esteem, and how a coaching-client relationship is influenced by these two ideas. It was so powerful to hear from individuals in our group about how self esteem is built up or even torn down and what we even think of this topic in general. I walked away being reminded of how greatly our own ideas around self esteem can influence who we are, how we respond to our world and how we make decisions.

Self-esteem is the bedrock of coaching, whether it be wellness, life, health or career coaching. Self-esteem is what we build our foundation on and where we start building with a client. To define self esteem, it is the belief that one has value and self-worth. My knowledge around self esteem was a bit "highschool." What I mean is I viewed self-esteem as body image, how good I felt in my clothes, how I felt about myself with my friends, in social situations, or in romantic relationships. Though related, I understand self-esteem to be a more simple concept.

At this point in our discussion, I had a million questions going through my head, as did everyone in the group. The leader of our session assured all of our questions and uncertainties, and then we embarked on an incredible discussion about discovering and building self-esteem. So, here's what I learned…

Back in 1998, Martin Seligman was the leader of the American Psychological Association. He steamrolled the field of positive psychology forward during his leadership. Seligman felt that psychology had focused too long on how to diagnose and treat what is wrong. Instead, he wanted to focus on what we are doing right! I like this guy. :) Seligman discovered that you can enhance self-esteem by developing a positive appreciation of and relationship to your past, present and future. Seems like a big idea, I realize this so let me break it down.

Elevate the memories of your positive past

One thing we know about our past: it is what has gotten us to where we are today. Elevating these memories of your past encourages us to cultivate a sense of gratitude. Take a journey back to your past experiences and relive ones that had a positive impact on who you are! Take a gratitude visit and write about someone who make an impact on you…how did that experience make you who you are today? How can we appreciate those moments and see how they have allowed you to grow?

Elevating emotions of your positive present

Mindfulness. A positive present asks that we be present. That we notice the here and now. That we slow down. We so often go at warp speed and can barely describe what we saw on our walk to work, let alone what we ate for dinner. Becoming mindful will increase your awareness of your day, your surroundings and your life. A great way to practice mindfulness: journal! Each day, write down 5 things that you can appreciate and celebrate about your day. I started to journal when I started this blog. :) What have I noticed? Every day I have so much to celebrate. I have a love for each day that I experience, even the hard ones. This has created a new strength in my mind.

Savoring. I love the word savor. It just speaks to me about how I want to remember every moment I have: I want to savor it! How do we savor? Share your moments with others. Experience, celebrate, marvel at your day. Capture a moment and absorb it. Notice the emotion, how it feels, what sensations you have, what expression your face gives off. What do these savoring moments provide you?

Flow. Flow in positive psychology means to participate fully in what is happening! Pay attention to how you engage in your day, what emotions you feel and how you can optimize your experiences. Flow is natural.

Elevating opportunities for a positive future

Vision. A positive future stems from having a desired vision of ourselves. This has been described as our inherent ambition: the answer to "what do I REALLY want?" The clearer the vision you have, the more influence it will have and the stronger it will call you. Regardless of your vision, writing it down and making it visible enhances your resilience on tough days and propels you forward!

Anticipation. Our vision can lose power if they are filed away and forgotten. Make your vision clear and always visible so that it created anticipation and expectation. Some mornings I start the day with a Vision Quest: when you first wake up, try to anticipate what will happen in the day or week ahead. This can provide you with excitement and start to build your self-esteem as you look into the future!

Perspective. No matter how clear and how positive our day can feel, we have to confront the negative and the challenges with perspective. Dispute your challenges with a sense of support, strategize and plan for these moments and dispute them. Allow yourself to be energized by your vision of what is possible and you will overcome the challenges.

You might be asking yourself what this means for you and how you can translate these ideas into our daily life. I now see self-esteem as a constantly building foundation. A foundation that we add to every day through appreciating our past, savoring and being present during our day and looking to the future with a clear and powerful vision of who we are!

And I think all of this starts with simple changes: tomorrow, try to think about what being mindful looks like to you. The next day, what moments can you savor? And the next, write out your powerful vision and make sure it is visible to you everyday! These are small areas to focus on that bring big change in our self-esteem. You will notice that these changes will permeate into all areas of your life…

And now my question for you…

What do you think self-esteem is? Can you define it for yourself? Are there things that you do to improve your self-esteem?

Well, I'm off friends! See you tomorrow with the announcement of my next workout challenge!!!

Till then :)

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