Wednesday, March 04, 2009


I've been think a lot about challenges this week and this new sense of who I am. What I keep coming back to is the realization that the stronger we feel, the more sure of our self-worth the easier it is to face challenges head on.

If I'm right, then it becomes really important to think about ways to remind ourselves of what we have to offer. That's why I so often suggest making a list of our strengths and past successes. This list is a reminder that we have succeeded in the past and can succeed again. When we focus on the best we can be, we are far more likely to find the incentive and courage and resilience to become even better and to believe we can face our current challenges successfully.

When I talk with my daughter who is trying to decide whether or not to change graduate schools and her field of research, we talk about how her skills and strengths will give her options with each possible choice—and that helps to take away some of her angst. Because he believes in himself, a friend who is out of work knocks on doors and meets with people sure that sooner or later he will find the right spot and he's becoming more creative in the possibilities he's considering for himself. A stint substitute teaching made him realize that maybe he wants to go in a new direction entirely.

I've also think it's useful to make a list of resources available to us—which can include faith in something greater than ourselves.

A friend's son whose marriage just fell apart discovered that his brother was willing to have him move in and that he can help him get work and meet people so that he can begin to move forward with his life. Another job hunting friend realized when she made her list that there are resources she hasn't even begun yet to tap into yet. And I am constantly discovering that there are resources I hadn't known were available to me and would never have discovered if I believed I had to do everything myself or was afraid to ask for advice or help.

Lists of things that make me smile. I can't say enough about how important this was once I discovered the concept. It's what got me through so many difficult challenges, things that might have overwhelmed me or caused me to run the other way if I didn't have my list and made a point of using it to create reasons to smile every day no matter what was happening in my life at the time. do you build your self-esteem? How do you find courage to face challenges and create happiness in your life?

Sending safe and gentle (((((((hugs))))))),


Karma said...

Wow, I really needed this post right now. It addresses just the issues I'm working on! Thanks so much! You sound like a really great mom!

Marj aka Thriver said...

I like what you said about focusing on the best we can be. I think that's one of the things we often do that degrades our self-esteem: we compare ourselves to others. Not only that, we compare them at the best THEY can be and at the WORST we feel we are/can be. Not good!

For me, lately, I've been writing a lot of poetry about my progress. The latest one was about assertiveness and self-esteem. I'll have to post that one on my blog soon.

Kahless said...

I have been thinking a lot about self esteem lately myself.

mile191 said...

Hey. What an amazing post. If you go to my blog it directs you to Women Doing More and a post about Anthony. It is amazing to read about the courage to move forward admist pain, loss, and challenge. Maybe something of what you are looking for. I know that if you can write some words of encouragement for her courage in sharing, I would again appreciate your support, your friendship, and your being here. I love your amazing writing. Thanks.

April_optimist said...

Karma, Thanks.

Marj, I'm off to read your poem!

Kahless, I think it's critical for survivors that we find some way to believe in ourselves.

Mile191, Thank you. I'll take a look!