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The Invisible Relationship Hitch or Enrich  By Yvonne Sinclair M.A.
 The Invisible Relationship Hitch or Enrich 
By Yvonne Sinclair M.A.
You can't touch it, but it affects how you feel. You can't see it, but it's there when you look at yourself in the mirror. You can't hear it, but it's there every time you talk about yourself. What is this important but mysterious thing? It affects every aspect of your life.
This invisible aspect of our self is called “self-esteem.” Self-esteem is a term used in psychology.  It reflects a person's overall evaluation or appraisal of his or her own worth. Self-esteem encompasses beliefs (for example, "I am competent") and emotions such as triumph, despair, pride, and shame. Self esteem is your opinion of yourself. If you have a high self-esteem, then you have a good opinion of yourself.  If you have a low self-esteem, then your opinion of yourself is bad.
Low self-esteem fuels your negative thinking patterns, and it leads you to believe the negative statements others make about you. Do you listen when others speak negatively about you?  Do you not speak up? These behaviors can cause you to lose confidence in yourself. It is important to end negative thinking about yourself if you wish to build your self-esteem. High self-esteem is just the opposite of the pattern that creates low self-esteem. If you have a high level of self-esteem, then you will be confident, happy, and motivated.  You will have the right attitude for success. Your thinking patterns about yourself will be positive. When others criticize you, you will speak up and defend yourself.
Great self esteem doesn't require you to brag about how great you are. It's a quiet understanding that you're worth a lot, and if fact, you're priceless! It's not about thinking you're perfect because nobody can achieve perfection.  In actuality, having a healthy self-esteem requires you to know that you're worthy of being loved and accepted. How you think about yourself colors your responses to others including your spouse.

Of course it's acceptable for your feelings to have ups and downs, but having low self-esteem isn't acceptable. Feeling like you're not important can make you depressed, and as a result, you may feel discouraged from trying new things. When you have negative feelings in regards to yourself, then you can prevent success when you have the potential to attain and deserve that success. Feeling poorly about yourself can even prevent you from having a loving, intimate relationship.
Having high self-esteem is important. It affects how you think, act, and even how you relate to other people. It can affect your choice of a mate, and then it affects how you relate to a mate. If you have low self-esteem, then you will tend to have negative thoughts about yourself. Possessing high self-esteem allows you to live life to your potential. Having low self-esteem means you have poor confidence.  A lack of confidence creates negative thoughts, so you are more likely to give up easily rather than to face challenges. With that in mind, low self-esteem may lead to giving up on your relationship when it could be a great relationship. Therefore, it has a direct bearing on your happiness and wellbeing.
By focusing on your great qualities and the positive things you do, you learn to love and accept yourself. Then you already have the two main ingredients for strong self-esteem! Even if you have strong self-esteem, everyone has room for improvement.  You can realize you're valuable and important.  This realization allows your self-esteem to shine.
I found this great article about feeling good about yourself. Perhaps you will enjoy it, too.
"Self Esteem and How to be Happy with Yourself " 
by Karl Pereira
Are you happy with yourself - with who you are and what you are doing? If you want high self esteem this is very important. Here's what you need to be happy with yourself:
a) Don't compete with others. Life is not a race. Set your own standards and try to reach them, don't be scared to fail and accept your own limitations. Competing with others will drain you and will take away your self esteem because there will always be someone better than you. Decide on your path and stick to it.
b) Understand yourself. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Use your skills and do your best. You will find satisfaction when you are doing what you are good at and when you accept your weaknesses. Chances are you will also be more successful this way. Try to improve yourself but don't waste effort and time on those things which are not for you. Accept your best as good enough.
c) Focus on your achievements no matter how small. Try to achieve more but don't tire yourself out on things which don't truly matter to you. Focus on what is really important for you. When you know what you want to achieve then set goals (small steps) and reward yourself when you achieve each step. Nobody gets there in one giant leap it takes time and effort to achieve anything worthwhile. 
d) Always try your best and you will be happy with yourself.
e) Be happy with your life as it is! Look for the things that are right and take satisfaction in those. Be thankful for all the good things you have been given. Try to improve your life yes but be realistic about where you are and where you want to go.
f) You can't do it all. Don't try to. The best you can do is to use your skills and abilities as best you can and trust that everything will work out. Life is short and we have to choose what we can achieve and how we want to live. Choose wisely but have faith in others and in anything you believe in
g) If you have faith use it. Faith in God is very helpful to many of us. Religion teaches us our importance as people but also reminds us we need help from above to achieve anything real. Always hold on to your beliefs and values and don't betray them or you will hurt inside.
h) Finally enjoy your life for the gift it is. Experience and give love. Don't drive yourself so hard you no longer enjoy life or see the goal you set yourself. First think about your health and allow yourself time to reflect and quieting down each day. 
I hope you enjoyed this brief article - Karl Perera
Explore your beliefs about yourself. Get a reality check. Tell yourself the truth and stick with it. Feel the wonderful person that lives inside your skin. Concentrate on the positive aspects in your life. Remember some of the negative messages you focus on can be from childhood when you believed everything someone said about you. Old messages can be so wrong.
This would be an excellent communication exercise with your partner. Give each other a reality check about your wonderful attributes. Take your time so the listening partner can assimilate the real truth. Hearing we really are great when we have low self-esteem will be hard to believe. If your self-esteem is good, then pat yourself on the back.
Try to separate those old voices you are still hearing if they are negative. Replace them with your true voice or the words your partner offers in your communication to explore self-esteem.

Go now and look in the mirror. Pick something you like about yourself.  Focus on that one thing. Now go and love that one thing all day. If you choose your ears, then give your ears a touch and stroke every now and then. Remind yourself, “I have great ears.” Pick something else tomorrow. Keep loving yourself until you can feel good about everything.  Don't just love your physical self.  Love your emotional self, your caring self, your responsible self, the loving part of yourself, and the part of you that can be silly and have fun.  Love all of yourself.

If you love yourself, then your partner will most likely see your new glow and love you even more for it.

©Copyright 2011 by Yvonne Sinclair M.A., LMFT. All Rights Reserved. All material is owned and protected. Reproduction or sharing without the express written consent of the author is forbidden.
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