I’ve been a life coach now for over 7 years and in that time I’ve studied a lot on self esteem and confidence and have seen massive changes in clients who began with no self esteem and gradually throughout the coaching process have grown to like and love themselves, sometimes for the first time in their lives. This has started a massive transformation for them.
My entire view of self esteem has been challenged. I’ve always seen it as such a solid foundation of happiness. One of the keys to becoming happier I believed was to like yourself, appreciate who you are and learn to regularly validate yourself. Russ Harris, in his book, ACT made simple, talks about self esteem as simply more transient thoughts about yourself. Sometimes you will love yourself and sometimes you will be disappointed with yourself and all of those thoughts are merely thoughts. When we become attached to either the positives about ourselves or the negatives about ourselves we end up fused with the thoughts and can become detached from reality.
The truth is sometimes we are exceptional human beings and sometimes we are complete clutz’s. When we can learn to acknowledge our thoughts and our triumphs and our errors we gain a level of self acceptance, and now that is were I believe true happiness lies. I certainly still work with clients on learning to like, love and validate themselves, however I also do a lot of work on self acceptance.
But then life is learning and perhaps, just perhaps, in another year or two I’ll learn more and have an entirely different view again, and I’m OK with that too.