A realisation that helped me overcome low self-esteem and boost my resilience
One of the biggest enemies of being resilient can be our self-esteem. I know, way back in May 2010 I had such low self-esteem in my case, as you can see in the image below, it manifested in me ballooning up to 20 st (280 lbs, 127 Kg). Here’s how I turned it around.
I realised I had more control of my life than I thought, I realised that I actually had choices. A lot of the choices I didn’t like but I had choices nevertheless.
The only way I could overcome the misery and self-loathing (and there was a lot of self-loathing) was to do something which for me was petrifying at the time. I had to take responsibility for my life, and that meant not blaming others or my circumstances for what happened to me.
Taking responsibility meant if something went wrong or I made a poor decision it was my fault.
By the same token when something went right and I succeeded that was my fault too :)
When something went wrong I learned not to beat myself up but to treat myself like my own best friend.
That doesn’t mean I didn’t care anymore, I still made every effort to get things right. Of course I was disappointed when things didn’t work out, and I even had days when I felt very down but I very quickly picked myself back up and tried again.
The biggest lesson was, life does not have an agenda. It’s not punishing you nor is it rewarding you. Some things that happen to us we like and others things we don’t like, all we can do is our best in the circumstances we find ourselves in, with the resources we’ve got.
Some things happen to us that we have no control over, the only control we have is our attitude and how we handle challenges.
As long as you can say you’ve done your best, then that’s good enough.
Everybody is fighting some sort of a battle, often we just don’t see it.
I found taking responsibility scary, very scary, at first (and I still do sometimes) but it wasn’t long before I felt empowered.
Some people call it bravery and I suppose it is. Being brave is doing what needs to be done when feeling scared and I believe we are all braver than we think.
And don’t think my life now is all nice and rosy and all I do all day is whistle a happy tune while skipping with joy without a care in the world as I go about my business… I wish.
I’m still a work in progress and things happen and are happening in my life I can do without but I know somehow I’ll find a way through.
And there’s a lot of good stuff that’s happened and is happening too, that I not only enjoy but am also truly grateful for.
On the wall where I do my work I have a quote I often draw inspiration from by Mother Teresa who once said:
‘I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish he wouldn’t trust me so much’.
I love that quote 😀