The Currency of Your Self-Esteem
In the summer I go to my friend’s house and after a chat and perhaps a glass of wine we leave our stuff at her place and walk barefoot in our bikinis to the Reuss river.
We trot down three steps and fall into the embrace of the water. We need do nothing besides letting go and choosing which way to turn our gaze — back, up, to the sides or forwards.
Sometimes I catch a branch from the trees on the bank as I float along, and stuff my mouth with wine-red raspberries from overhanging raspberry bushes.
It occurred to me that I’ve never asked myself why I became a coach. I have been asked a lot lately about my personal story, so it seemed a natural question.
In many ways, I can say I have been naturally carried along by life, as if by a river. But knowing that for many years I didn’t have the self-esteem to actually offer myself as a coach or a meditation teacher, this answer is just not good enough.
The evolution of your self-esteem will be carried by the river, but the stops you make are the ones that determine how this will happen.
A Life Alignment coachee asked me “is there a healthy dose of pleasing?”
I love this question because it’s insightful, courageous, and very sharp.
A healthy dose means that there’s some wisdom in every step we make. But that wisdom is not always clear to us. And when it’s not, our default is to fall into self-blame, shame, and being disappointed by or angry at ourselves.
I truly cannot trace exactly the evolution of my self-esteem, but it was in incrementally healthy doses that I eventually learned to recognise and (this is important) — appreciate myself!
When I married a man who couldn’t accept me for who I am — and I learned to accept myself as I am; or when I chased after an academic career — and learned that I’m not interested in living in constant competition with colleagues and cut off from where life happens in the flesh; or when I spent money on new clothes and shoes every week — and learned that it never brought enough happiness.
Trading actions/words for love, feeling safe or being seen teaches us that self-esteem is always out of reach.
You can ask yourself right now: what are you giving in order to feel good about yourself? What’s your currency? What’s the exchange rate? Is it balanced or do you stretch yourself beyond your means and always end up with a deficit?
Those questions came to me through many good practitioners who taught me how to understand my self-esteem “bank account”. I started with a psychologist who made me realise that having a nightmare every night is not normal and also taught me how to say no and move to my own rhythm. The many somatic therapists who taught me how to acknowledge the pile-up of self-criticism and demanding in my body. And the meditation that taught me how to live happily within my own skin and to feel free to love and be loved. It also showed me that my fascination with the inner world is my home.
In the one-to-one coaching session, there’s a synchronicity of heart rhythm, like between a mother and a baby. We all know how difficult it is nowadays to slowwww down. This rhythm has the sweetness of slowness.
There’s an intimacy that builds into a powerful flow that takes you lightly to where you want to be. And mostly, there’s time and space to pay attention to details that accelerate your growth (and dare I say the results!).
This is all alchemised within myself, and one day it was simply natural to be there for those hearts who want to grow fully into themselves, to stop ignoring what itches their heart and evolve into their own version of self-appreciative, satisfied beings.
2 spots are coming free in my Life Alignment coaching.
If you are hesitating or are not sure whether this can help you deepen your self-trust, heal old wounds, come out of confusions or discover how to live more freely in your own skin — get in touch.
I offer a free call to help you understand how Life Alignment can work for you. It’s no secret that I make my living out of helping people like you, but this free call is not a trap: it is an opportunity to see if we have a heart-to-heart connection and can trust one another.
Shelly's helping women who live a connected & engaged life to heal old wounds, deepen their self-trust so they can be an authentic expression of themselves.
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