A Poem Written by: Brett Silberman
When you look in the mirror,
Who, exactly, do you see?
Do you see who you are now
Or who you would like to be?
Perhaps you see someone
That you thought was in your past,
As, after all, we are, in the present,
What our past has amassed.
Do you see your physical traits-
Your hair, your lips, your eyes?
Do you see deeper into your soul
Underneath this human disguise?
What is important to you?
Are there things you would like to change?
When you look at yourself,
Is it beautiful or sad or strange?
Of course, all of these things and more
Surely it can be.
With the answer to who you are,
Only you possess the key.
There is no right or wrong to this,
As you are perfectly unique.
You are a multidimensional being,
And you have all of the answers you may seek.
A mirror is there to reflect
What the mirror, itself, sees.
You have the effect
To find all of the answers that you please.
A mirror invites you to reflect on yourself-
About your past, present, and future all in one.
It is up to you to choose your path-
Has your journey ended or only begun?
I invite you to learn from your mirror
And reflect upon what you so choose.
Have a conversation with yourself
And be open to the mirror’s views.
The mirror does not judge nor react,
As the mirror gives us our own story.
It can show us the most tragic of pain
And the most beautiful of newfound glory.
The mirror does not tell us any lies,
As it allows us to be open and true.
The mirror, itself, is multidimensional,
As, if you look at it a certain way, you can see you and you and you and you.
A mirror accepts what is in its path
And does not shy away from what may come.
It gives you the opportunity to see all levels of you
No matter which timeframe or place you came from.
Much like a mirror, may you reflect and accept yourself,
As you have all of the power you need.
When you listen to your heart and think with your mind,
You are bound, in this life, to succeed.
The next time you say, “Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
Who is the greatest of them all?”
Listen back to the mirror’s call,
As the spirit in the mirror knows you above all.
6 Practical Tips on How to Increase Self-Esteem
Written by Positive Psychology
1. Take a self-esteem inventory to give yourself a baseline.
It can be as simple as writing down 10 of your strengths and 10 of your weaknesses. This will help you to begin developing an honest and realistic conception of yourself.
2. Set realistic expectations.
It’s important to set small, reachable goals that are within your power. For example, setting an extremely high expectation or an expectation that someone else will change their behavior is virtually guaranteed to make you feel like a failure, through no fault of your own.
3. Stop being a perfectionist.
Acknowledge both your accomplishments and mistakes. Nobody is perfect, and trying to be will only lead to disappointment. Acknowledging your accomplishments and recognizing your mistakes is the way to keep a positive outlook while learning and growing from your mistakes.
4. Explore yourself.
The importance of knowing yourself and being at peace with who you are cannot be overstated. This can take some trial and error, and you will constantly learn new things about yourself, but it is a journey that should be undertaken with purpose and zeal.
5. Be willing to adjust your self-image.
We all change as we age and grow, and we must keep up with our ever-changing selves if we want to set and achieve meaningful goals.
6. Stop comparing yourself to others.
Comparing ourselves to others is a trap that is extremely easy to fall into, especially today with social media and the ability to project a polished, perfected appearance. The only person you should compare yourself to is you (Grohol, 2011).
The Positivity Blog also offers some helpful tips on enhancing your self-esteem, including:
Say “stop” to your inner critic.
Use healthier motivation habits.
Take a 2-minute self-appreciation break.
Write down 3 things in the evening that you can appreciate about yourself.
Do the right thing.
Replace the perfectionism.
Handle mistakes and failures in a more positive way.
Try something new.
Stop falling into the comparison trap.
Spend more time with supportive people (and less time with destructive people).
Remember the “whys” of high self-esteem (Edberg, 2017).
Another list of specific, practical things you can do to develop and maintain a good sense of self-esteem comes from the Entrepreneur website:
Use distancing pronouns. When you are experiencing stress or negative self-talk, try putting it in more distant terms (e.g., instead of saying “I am feeling ashamed,” try saying “Courtney is feeling ashamed.”). This can help you to see the situation as a challenge rather than a threat.
Remind yourself of your achievements. The best way to overcome imposter syndrome—the belief that, despite all of your accomplishments, you are a failure and a fraud—is to list all of your personal successes. You might be able to explain a couple of them away as a chance, but they can’t all be due to luck!
Move more! This can be as simple as a short walk or as intense as a several-mile run, as quick as striking a “power pose” or as long as a two-hour yoga session; it doesn’t matter exactly what you do, just that you get more in touch with your body and improve both your health and your confidence.
Use the “five-second” rule. No, not the one about food that is dropped on the ground! This five-second rule is about following up good thoughts and inspiring ideas with action. Do something to make that great idea happen within five seconds.
Practice visualizing your success. Close your eyes and take a few minutes to imagine the scenario in which you have reached your goals, using all five senses and paying attention to the details.
Be prepared—for whatever situation you are about to encounter. If you are going into a job interview, make sure you have practiced, know about the company, and have some good questions ready to ask. If you are going on a date, take some time to boost your confidence, dress well, and have a plan A and a plan B (and maybe even a plan C!) to make sure it goes well.
Limit your usage of social media. Spend less time looking at a screen and more time experiencing the world around you.
Meditate. Establish a regular meditation practice to inspect your thoughts, observe them, and separate yourself from them. Cultivating a sense of inner peace will go a long way towards developing healthy self-esteem.
Keep your goals a secret. You don’t need to keep all of your hopes and dreams to yourself, but make sure you save some of your goal striving and success for just you—it can make you more likely to meet them and also more satisfied when you do.
Practice affirmations (like the ones listed later in this piece). Make time to regularly say positive things about yourself and situations in which you often feel uncertain.
Build your confidence through failure. Use failure as an opportunity to learn and grow, and seek out failure by trying new things and taking calculated risks (Laurinavicius, 2017).
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