Sometimes when we feel low, we look to others to help us feel better. Loved ones and friends support us through difficult times and we value those relationships. But if we only seek value from others it can be a red flag that we don’t have the inner resources to help ourselves, especially if we adapt ourselves to be liked by everyone else.
In doing this we lose our sense of self and we exist to be validated by others. If we accept that not everyone is going to like us or the things we say and do, then you can recover the true you and find people around you that accept and love you for who you are.
I sometimes use the analogy of a sand timer when talking to clients about recovering their inner self. Finding grains of golden sand that we value from different aspects of life; nature, healthy relationships, activities, hobbies and work all provide nurture for our souls and we can collect those gains of sand to reinforce our own unique self.
The glass container prevents toxic elements from contaminating our golden store and we choose what stays inside and what gets rejected. Imagine your golden sand entering your inner space when you experience positive feelings, give support and encounter true love from others and the world around you. Finding one grain at a time will build into a strong inner core that you can return to and seek strength from.
Imagining your inner core as a pillar of gold to be protected and nurtured helps you to build your self-esteem in these ways:
Set realistic expectations - One grain at a time is achievable
Take a self-worth inventory - Value the gold you already have rather than worrying about what’s to come
Learn from your mistakes - Have a spring clean and re-examine those dark specks, you might just avoid them in the future. Forgive yourself as you let them go.
Be willing to adjust your self - Consider what you accept, grains of sand you once rejected for yourself might be converted to gold and hold greater value once to look at them closely
Don’t rely on other people to provide you with your sense of worth - Other people have their own gold to collect, focus on your own creation
If you build up your grains of golden sand you will start to value yourself more and celebrate your inner gold, only after this will other people will see you shine and celebrate with you.