Self-esteem building comes when we don’t use masks to cover feelings

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Masked.As we head toward Thanksgiving, the remnants of Halloween remind me that when we get together with family and friends, sometimes we wear masks in an effort to make other people think we are someone we are not. We wear our masks in hopes people will give us “treats” in the way of praise and affirmation.

We wear our mask to work, smiling to hiding the strain of the fight we had last night with our partner. We wear a confident mask as we use our credit card, hoping it won’t be rejected. And every mask we put on makes us feel less certain of ourselves, makes us feel more and more like a fraud. Confidence and self-esteem building come when we don’t use our masks to cover our feelings. Oh, we’re not going to go into the office in the midst of wracking sobs after that argument with our partner, but neither should we feel like a failure for having an upsetting disagreement.

Improving self esteem means being realistic about who we are. Sometimes, we make mistakes, say the wrong things. That doesn’t make us bad people. Low self-esteem demons begin to help us beat ourselves up and say we’re too broken to ever be fixed. These feelings begin to diminish when we take responsibility and try again.  Improving self-esteem means looking at what happened and how we got there and becoming aware of what we have to do to avoid the situation again.

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