The second step in developing self esteem is looking at who you are connected with. You have to take responsibility for connecting yourself. So, how is this done?
Step One: Give yourself permission
Give yourself permission to move forward and to connect with others, believing that you deserve.
Step Two: Put yourself in the centre
On a piece of paper, draw a small circle in the centre and write your name inside it. You are core to determining the course of your life and the connections that you make.
Step Three: Record your inner circle
Draw another circle around first one with enough space to write names. In this circle you should include pivotal people who are currently in your life. These are the people with whom you engage on a frequent basis. We all have a shortlist of these: someone who loves you when you are not being lovable; another who encourages you in critical times; another who believes in you and inspires you to develop; and another whom you watch from a distance whose way of living life challenges you to do the same. One or two may even have a negative influence on your self-esteem. You should have between five and ten names recorded in your inner circle.
Step Four: Record your outer circle
Draw a circle around the other two with space to write names. In this circle write the names of people whom you enjoy spending time with, but who are less chosen or influential in your life.
Step 5: Acknowledge what you have
Take some time to acknowledge all of those people who play an important role in your life – and in what way.
Step Six: Review and change
Review your inner and outer circles. You may want to move people into or out of your inner and outer circles. You may want to introduce new names or to remove others completely. What changes would you like to make, and how? The responsibility to choose is yours.
Step Seven: Implement assertively
Assertion is the way in which our self-esteem manifests itself in our day to day lives. When we communicate assertively we make our decisions and choices and voice them. Assertion enables us to express our thoughts, feelings and needs in a manner that allows us to be powerful but without undermining the self-esteem of others. In other words, we would not call the people we have removed from our inner or outer circles and tell them that they no longer serve us well, but we will make a series of decisions that effectively moves them out.
In the next issue of Rolling Inspiration Gillian shares the final process in this three step programme for building self-esteem.