By Judi Light Hopson, Emma H. Hopson and Ted Hagen Tribune News Service
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Our favorite therapists Judi, Emma, and Ted share their best tips on how you can truly boost your sense of self-worth.
Tribune News Service
Do you think it's important to think highly of yourself? Or, do you believe staying humble is the way to go?
Well, believe it or not, both attitudes are critical for successful relationships. You can honor and respect yourself, but you also need to check your ego often. Lording yourself over others will not work in the long run.
"When I got out of an elite business college years ago, it all went to my head," laughs a friend of ours we'll call Rusty.
Rusty thought he was qualified to rule the world, given enough time.
"Basically," he emphasizes, "I was young and cocky with a large inheritance I'd just gotten from my granddad. Crazy me, I blew half of the inheritance the first three years."
We've all likely done some unwise things to pump up our egos.
All of us, however need to honor ourselves by our thoughts, actions, and attention to our own needs. Over time, we want to be proud of decisions we've made.
Impressing others will not work in the long run. We often have to chip away at our self-esteem in order to impress others.
These tips can help you truly boost your sense of self-worth:
-Always be yourself. It's okay to study the habits and decisions of others, but make sure you're living life your own way.
-Be proud of your roots. Even if you grew up in a humble neighborhood or on a small farm, recognize that you have skills and values that rich kids might not have.
-Keep working to become your best self. Work hard to educate yourself, read interesting books, meet people who can give you a leg up, and pay attention to your health.
"If you truly like yourself, respect yourself, and get up every day resolving to improve yourself, you have no apologies to make to anyone," says a young teacher we'll call Reagan. "I can meet government officials, business leaders, and celebrities without feeling inferior. I like who I am."
The big question to ask yourself is: What do I value? If you value hard work, keeping a strict schedule, and helping underprivileged people, you're likely to attract similar friends.
"If you like your circle of friends, it's a good bet that you're doing okay," says a career coach we'll call Bethany. "You can only attract what you are deep inside. If you have shallow friends or friends who are party animals, it would be good to raise your expectations of yourself."
Bethany believes that we need to work on our self-esteem separately from our relationships.
She emphasizes, "We need to spend time alone reviewing our goals, morals, aspirations, attitudes and a lot more. Shaping our inner character and approach to life will lead us to relationships that bring us peace and calm."
It's true, also, that if your self-esteem is high, you don't suffer as much when friends or family members have a personal clash with you.
"I had to insist that my nephew get into drug rehab," says a friend of ours we'll call Sandra. "My self-esteem is pretty high, so I was able to withstand the family criticism."
Sandra's inner strength paid off. Her nephew is now healthy and happy.
"My sense of self-worth made me brave in facing my relationship challenges," says Sandy. "If you respect yourself, you want those around you to have those feelings, too." ___ ABOUT THE WRITERS (Judi Light Hopson is author of the stress management book, "Cooling Stress Tips." She is also executive director of USA Wellness Cafe at www.usawellnesscafe.org. Emma Hopson is a nurse educator. Ted Hagen is a family psychologist.) ___ Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.