Self-esteem and Self-love Feed Success and Healing
What do self-esteem and self-love entail and what can they do for us? I would like to assert that a reliable predictor of real success is the ability to build solid self-esteem, just as self-love is a strong indicator of sustained health.
Your self-esteem stems from what you think about yourself, which in turn is conditioned by your deeply rooted subconscious beliefs. When your self-esteem is based on honoring personal values and integrity, it provides the strongest foundation for your success and improving the quality of your life and your happiness. Just as a house built without proper foundations can be uprooted by even weak forces, the sense of success and achievement without a proper self-esteem foundation is under constant risk of being undermined.
In the process of strengthening my clients’ self-esteem, I guide them to start with an honest evaluation of how they really think about themselves and what their beliefs are. I tell them that it is important to exclude what others might think of them and instead focus on thoughts and beliefs about themselves. As was covered more extensively in my previous article in WHOLifE Journal (Jan/Feb ’09), your beliefs have the ultimate power in creating your reality. If you can learn how to change your self-beliefs, you can change yourself.
At the outset, let’s acknowledge the difference between things about yourself that you can, at least theoretically, change or improve (such as your way of thinking, wealth, health, habits, relationships) and those that you cannot change (such as your birthplace, parents, ethnicity). Accept what you can change while still doing your best to improve it and accept what you cannot change and be at peace with it. In building self-esteem, you must start with accepting all of who you are, because essentially you can only change those changeable aspects of yourself that you have accepted. Accepting changeable self-beliefs does not mean that you become complacent toward things blocking your success. Instead, it means you no longer fight or resist them. In essence, when you accept a self-belief, you are not attached to the change or to the outcome. As the old saying goes, “Whatever you resist, persists.” There are obstacles in the way of achieving self-esteem and self-love. Being self-rejecting, self-critical, or self-judgmental are some of the greatest hurdles in the journey toward a successful and healthy life, as these contradict the sacred voice that calls us the beloved. Love, toward self and others, constitutes the core truth of our existence and a requirement of growth.
Another major impediment toward building strong self-esteem and self-love is trying to be perfect. Perfectionism, by setting unrealistic standards, limits your ability to accept and love who you really are. By letting go of the delusional goal of being perfect, you can focus on your positive beliefs and growth. The positive effect of self-love on health is a manifestation of the long-held concept of the reciprocal body-mind relationship.
Scientific evidence is now supporting the notion that self-love can influence health and the ability to heal. The greater the self-love, the healthier the body and the quicker the recovery time, especially when dealing with chronic conditions, such as posttraumatic stress syndrome, fibromyalgia, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and autoimmune disorders. For instance, researchers at Harvard Medical School showed that people with a strong sense of self-love, not only had a more positive outlook on life, they also had stronger natural killer-cell activity in their blood. This stronger cell activity is responsible for boosting the immune system and for providing a greater immunity against tumourous, infected, or stressed cells.
These studies also draw a relationship between believing in oneself and the ability to heal more quickly, physically and psychologically. The reason for this positive effect is that individuals with high levels of self-love are less inclined to wait for someone else to make them well, and rather than taking a passive position in dealing with their condition, they use it as a motivator to take control of their life. This shows how self-love can be the most powerful tool in feeding our health and ensuring a longer life. Research seems to indicate that something within our cells responds positively to self-love and triggers a biochemical chain reaction that changes the way the mind and body communicate with each other, thus aiding and accelerating the healing process.
Somehow, this positive biochemical cellular dialogue tells the mind that all is well, thus triggering the release of healing endorphins and neurotransmitters, which calm the body and dissipate the stress hormones, specifically cortisol, which is believed to be a major contributor to the weakening of the immune system.
What you should also remember is that change toward high self-esteem and self-love is a journey to find out who you really are and then you can create the life you want. I can facilitate the process of change and help you to become congruent with your values and overcome the inner conflicts that hinder your journey to self-love. I can help you to be able to silence the mind and make it the place where your soul can start to talk.