What does it mean to have self-esteem?
Hi everyone! I’d like to introduce you all to Sharon, who is an interior designer and Life Coach. She has had some pretty intense experiences in her life and her self-esteem has been impacted as a result. She has made big changes in her life and now she does what she loves in a beautiful part of the country she now calls home.
Sometimes the biggest, most traumatic events can affect your life for a long time. And it’s often a series of small, seemingly insignificant events that can help you turn things into a completely different life.
It’s a tricky question to answer as the answers will be as individual as people themselves. For me, having self-esteem means that I live to my own set of values and not those imposed upon me by others – by religion, by the government, by my family or friends. It means that I am confident enough in my own skin to know that my opinions count, that my voice deserves to be heard and that I am worthy of happiness, just as I am. Yes I could be 10 (okay 20) kilos lighter, I could exercise more and eat more healthily. I could spend more quality time with my children and husband and less time on Facebook. I could read more educational books and less young adult fiction. BUT, would any of those things make me happier? Maybe, but maybe not and if I did any or all of these things, for whom would I be doing them? For myself or for the acceptance of others?
For many years, as the result of a violent upbringing, I felt like a fraud as a child, feelings that continued as I grew into adulthood and even after I had children. I had spent years growing up trying to hide the truth about who I was – a scared young girl who felt isolated and worthless and a big part of who I was as an adult was still led by that scared young girl. I sought attention in the wrong places and from the wrong people and it took me roughly twenty years to realise that it didn’t matter how highly anyone else thought of me, I still felt worthless.
Back in 2010 I won a coaching award from a prestigious organisation – Best Newcomer Coach of the Year – the judges were all renowned Life Coaches in Australia and New Zealand. However, for a long time I felt as though I had cheated somehow and persuaded the judges that I was far better than I actually was. I thought that perhaps they had given me the award out of pity or because they had no-one else to give it to. I didn’t put my award up on my wall because I felt as though I didn’t deserve the recognition. It didn’t matter how many people told me that I had helped them because I thought they were just being nice.
A year or so later I had a big “a-ha” moment and realised that most of my feelings of self-worth, or lack of it, stemmed from my childhood. I realised that I had grown up feeling like a fraud and fearing people finding out the truth about who I was and what my life was like. In that moment I realised that I had had no power as a child – it was not my fault that my upbringing was the way that it was and that I did not need to feel shame or guilt because of it. I was able to let go of those feelings and know in my heart that I had done what I needed to, to protect myself. So I started to be real about who I was, about my feelings, about my depression following the birth of my children. I started to speak out honestly about what I had been through and it was incredibly liberating. I discovered that my voice deserves to be heard and that by sharing my experiences, I am able to help others to free themselves of their own limiting beliefs and feelings of worthlessness.
Understanding why we behave and think the way that we do is, in my opinion, the first step to gaining control of those feelings of self-doubt and self-loathing. If we are able to understand why that little voice inside us speaks to us the way that it does, then we can manage those thoughts and find our path to self worth and greater self-esteem. Having high self-esteem does not mean that you are arrogant or narcissistic, it does not mean that you think you are better than everyone else, it simply means that you recognise the value you bring to the world and to the lives of those around you. It means that you understand you deserve to be treated with respect and love and that you have abilities and gifts that can impact the world in a positive way.
I now display my award with pride on my office wall, because I know that I do make a difference to the lives of others – fellow business people, my clients, my friends and family and most importantly, to myself.
Sharon Chisholm is the founder of The Restful Nest, an Interior Design business and The Organisation Coach, a Professional Organising business specialising in working with women business owners. An award winning Life Coach, Sharon’s passion is assisting women to achieve business success through effective time management and organised living. Sharon moved to Australia in 2002 from the UK and now lives on the mid-north coast of NSW with her husband and two children.
Sharon’s business and blog can be found at www.therestfulnest.com.au, which focuses on Interior Design and Professional Organising. Her Facebook page can be found at www.facebook.com/therestfulnest.
She has recently begun another page called The Organisation Coach https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Organisation-Coach/372596746224720?ref=hl. This new page is a focus for women business owners who struggle with organising their homes, businesses and lives, and tackles self-esteem issues around these things.
I’m sure Sharon would love it if you took some time to visit her pages and sent her some love.