Your past might make you feel inferior to other people. Your past might also make you feel a false sense of superiority to others. You are neither better nor worse than others. You are anyone’s equal, as we all are.
How Long Will It Take?
It will take many months, if not several years, for you to work out more self-esteem and a more positive self-image. Every skill BlueSky Behavioral Health has to offer is geared towards the achievement of positive self-esteem and image.
How Is It Done?
There are two Equality skills: Nurturing yourself and Asserting your-self when necessary.
To Nurture oneself, you need to take good care of your physical and psychological well-being. It means
- Eating properly.
- Getting a sufficient amount of sleep each night.
- Exercising regularly.
- Managing your finances so you can meet all of your expenses without undue distress.
- Finding productive, challenging, and satisfying work to partake in.
- Giving up addictive activities.
- Protecting yourself from situations that in the past caused you harm.
- Avoiding the kinds of people who you allowed to hurt yourself in the past.
To Nurture yourself means taking care of yourself as a good parent takes care of his or her child. It means doing for you many of the good parenting things that were not done for you as a child. It means caring for your “inner child” as well as your “outer adult.” Nurturing yourself means allowing yourself to feel good in healthy, not addictive, ways.
The second Equality skill required to achieve positive self-esteem and self-image is Asserting.
To Assert oneself is the second Equality skill. It is a way to express your feelings (first to yourself and then, when appropriate, to others). It also means to stand up for your rights when threatened or violated by others.
Asserting yourself falls between being passive and being aggressive. When you are passive, you allow people to take advantage of you, and you end up feeling weak and ashamed. When are aggressive, you intimidate others into doing what you want, but you tend to make enemies. When you are assertive, you are able to meet your needs, and you are able to feel understood without shame and without making unnecessary enemies.
Body language is an important part of expressing yourself in an assertive fashion: good eye contact, strong gestures, balanced positioning, and steady breathing communicate purposeful intentions.
In order to fulfill both Equality skills, nurture, and assertion, you must develop a plan that outlines how you will strengthen each behavior.
At BlueSky, we advise our clients to develop their nurture plan as follows. Your first action is to create a plan, however, your plan may not have to be implemented right away. At BlueSky, we advise our clients to develop a plan, keep it at their bedside, and read it just before they go to sleep each night. We suggest you read it nightly until you can recall having a dream about some aspect of your plan. When you start to dream about your plan, that is your signal to implement it.
Once you have started to implement your Nurturing plan do so in a leisurely fashion. There is no time limit; this is not a race. Do not criticize yourself because you can’t get yourself to do some part of the strategy. Do the easy parts first and the more challenging parts will become easier.
In order to help develop your second Equality skill, assertion BlueSky health professionals use a self-help skill termed, “Broken Record Technique.” The Broken record formula is described as follows.
- Create one or two sentences that clearly but politely refuse the other person’s request or demand.
- Stop listening to what the other person is saying. Hum to yourself or occupy your mind with unrelated thoughts.
- When the other person stops talking that is your cue to repeat your Broken Record statement word for word. Do not reply to any argument or persuasion the other person comes up with. Stick with your Broken Record statement.
For more information please contact BlueSky Behavioral Health, and speak with a representative today about how you can continue to overcome some of these challenges.