healthy self-esteem

1-Minute Read: A path to healthy self-esteem and happiness

1-Minute Read- Want a better path to healthy self-esteem and happinessWant to know a better path to healthy self-esteem and happiness? Try some self-compassion. In other words, cut yourself some slack!

In my work with girls and women, I have found self-compassion to be an area where women are lacking. We women can be so hard on ourselves; this isn’t good for our health (emotional or physical).

So why are you so hard on yourself? Is it actually helping you feel better or to be a better person (mom, daughter, wife, sister)?  My guess is that it is not.  No need to keep doing something that is not working, right?

I remember when I was younger and my mom noticed that I was being very hard on myself. She suggested I view and talk to myself as if I were talking to a child in a compassionate manner. I did this and it worked! As a matter of fact, it has been something I have kept up for most of my life.

The world would be a kinder place if we could all embrace a little more compassion for ourselves and others. Remember, it’s a journey!

I’m here to help.


 

Michelle Kelley 10.14 c

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (703) 505-2413 or email michelle@girlsstandstrong.com.

Self-Esteem Influences All Areas of Your Life

portrait of buoyant girlI find it interesting — yet sad — that many women and girls I work with in my counseling sessions have an expectation that their self-esteem should be higher; and if it is not, then they feel shame (a silent emotional killer for women and girls).  In our culture we have created an unrealistic standard for women – that we should be super woman and overly confident, and to admit ‘less than’ is often seen as failure.

Failure?  Failure is such a harsh word and yet it is one that women and girls often embrace too quickly.  Allowing negative, false labels to stick to you is one way to send your self-esteem spiraling downward.

Low self-esteem could mean that you have experienced (perceived or real) an emotionally traumatic situation, relationship or childhood.  There are many possible causes of low self-esteem.  You are a member of the human race, after all, and on your own path.  

It’s time to spread the message that it’s okay to embrace and admit that your self-esteem is not where you would like it to be.

Thankfully it is now widely accepted that having good physical health is important and should be actively pursued.  Yet why don’t we have the same expectation for emotional health?

For example, why is the negative stigma about counseling still hanging around?  You know the one I’m talking about “If you go to counseling then there must be something wrong with you”.  Even if you don’t feel this way, chances are that someone you are close to does.

Counseling is an opportunity to pursue a greater understanding of your emotional self and your relationships.  Isn’t that a good thing?  Of course it is!

So how do you create healthy self-esteem?  I can tell you what doesn’t work — ignoring or denying the issue.  Denial never solves anything! It’s best to dive in.  Do some research.  Go see a counselor.  Talk to your trusted friends.   Just don’t keep it a secret to fester and magnify.

See, self-esteem influences all areas of your life.  For women this means your marriage, your family and your work.  For girls this means your choices in friends, activities and academic performance.

Healthy self-esteem is an essential component of emotional well-being. 
Emotional well-being is what we should all strive for.

Our lives are more likely to flourish if we have a healthy emotional life… and self-esteem is an indicator of our emotional health.  

Sharing your healthy self-esteem with others is a wonderful gift to give them and the world.

If you would like more information on how to create healthy self-esteem or if you would like to work with me as your personal coach, please contact me via email or phone 703.505.2413. I am here to help!


Michelle Kelley

Michelle Kelley Licensed Counselor, Owner, Girls Stand Strong

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (703) 505-2413 or email michelle@girlsstandstrong.com.

Read What People Are Saying About Michelle Kelley.

So how’s your self-esteem?

Woman studying reflectionSo how is your self-esteem?

Answering this question feels almost too personal – as if you were being asked your age or weight or about the most embarrassing moment in your life.  Right now your self-esteem could be high, low, fragile or something in between and it might not be something you want to say out loud.

I define self-esteem as the way you feel about yourself combined with your capability to think clearly, make good decisions and create a rewarding life. 

No one has 100% self-esteem all of the time.  Self-esteem is not ‘all or nothing’.  The truth is that it exists on a continuum and it can (and often does) change throughout your life.  However, it should be something that you are aware of, connected to and actively track so you can make adjustments as needed.

Self-esteem is often misunderstood.  Many mistake arrogance and over-confidence for self-esteem.  In reality, an attitude of superiority and exaggerated self-esteem are actually masking low self-esteem.  Healthy, authentic self-esteem is never ego based.  A person with healthy self-esteem never feels the need to brag or make themselves look better than someone else.  Healthy self-esteem (which is what we all should be striving for) is empowering and it is within your reach. 

In order to gain some insight about your self-esteem, listen closely to your self-talk — your internal dialogue.  Is it negative or positive?

  • I’m so tired today; I don’t feel like doing anything. OR Gosh, I’m tired but I know that once I get moving I will feel better.
  • I don’t like going into a room full of people and having to speak to total strangers. OR  I’m uncomfortable entering a room of people I don’t know yet, but I know I will meet two or three people and end up really enjoying myself; I always do!
  • My cup of tea has too much; I hope I don’t spill it! OR  My cup of tea is filled to the rim so I will be careful with it.

If your thoughts tend to be negative, then this is definitely affecting your self-esteem in a harmful way.  And yes, it is possible to change your thinking.  It requires awareness, persistence and a desire to change.

I teach women and girls how to create healthy self-esteem in their lives and how to foster it in their children.  It’s not something you are born with.  It is something you create.

If you would like more information on how to create healthy self-esteem or if you would like to work with me as your personal coach, please contact me via email or phone 703.505.2413. I am here to help!


Michelle Kelley

Michelle Kelley Licensed Counselor, Owner, Girls Stand Strong

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (703) 505-2413 or email michelle@girlsstandstrong.com.

Read What People Are Saying About Michelle Kelley.

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Testimonials

I just wanted to say THANK YOU. I left your office so inspired today.
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AnnaMay
To say Michelle changed our lives would not be an exaggeration. She was very empathetic and non-judgmental... She didn't make our daughter feel badly... She didn't make my husband and myself feel like incompetent parents.
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Linda
I definitely owe my newfound confidence to Michelle. Without her, I don’t know how I would’ve been able to come out of my horrible situation as such a better version of myself.
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Grace
People don't understand Michelle doesn’t just offer advice… which they seem to be afraid of hearing. I convey the message that the decisions you make are ultimately your own but Michelle will help you find clarity and sort through emotions.
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Chris
We felt comfortable knowing that Michelle would be the kind of counselor that would help our daughter see the good in herself, but also question some of her choices and actions.
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Patricia
You have brought back the communication ability that I thought that I lost. You helped her understand what we were feeling and she is such a better person for seeing you.
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Maggie
Michelle, you are so right about [my daughter] and how she thrives off of feelings of accomplishment. All seems to be good now. She amazes me every day with the way she is learning to handle tough situations.
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Cynthia
With Michelle’s guidance, I was able to accomplish in approximately 8 months what I hadn’t been able to over the past 15 years.
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Elizabeth
I am forever grateful for Michelle's help.
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Anne
Thank you, Michelle, for giving me my voice and a new lease on life.
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Nancy
Retired Arlington County Teacher
She helped me focus my attention toward problem-solving issues.
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Laura Clancy, Owner
MuffinToppled® Fitness Coaching
Michelle is the best life coach I ever had.
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Marina
Michelle is an excellent listener and her insights and advice were always right on target.
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Ann
(mother of a teen girl)
She helped me in so many ways!
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Kelly
Michelle Kelly saved my life. What more can I say?
...
Stephanie W.

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