PLUS 3 Women’s Self-Esteem Stories.
POW! Epiphany! I didn’t realize my lack of confidence and self-esteem was THAT obvious.
Here’s a free PDF with a Self-Inventory Quiz: A Woman’s Guide To Energizing Her Love Life.
Carolyn is the firstborn child of an alcoholic father who was so disappointed she was a girl that he didn’t bother to show up at the hospital when she was born.
Throughout her childhood, he verbally abused, neglected, and told her she was stupid. She spent her childhood trying to please him. She hesitated to try anything new because she was afraid of failure and being called a loser by him.
He refused to pay for her college education and told her it would be a waste of money. He says she didn’t need an education to “just be somebody’s housewife.”
However, he’d pay for her younger brother’s education because he was a boy and had to support a family.
Eventually, Carolyn ended up in an emotionally abusive marriage. Her father damaged her self-concept and self-esteem so severely that she had no confidence or positive self-image. It took a long time to extricate herself from the marriage and become an independent woman.
It’s important to tell you about Dina, who was Carolyn’s colleague. Carolyn said,
“I was very close friends with Dina, and we enjoyed sharing an office. I was a working single parent trying to step carefully around the dating minefield then.
I sometimes felt down about spending my rare time off on dates that went nowhere or got tangled up in management’s shifting priorities and sometimes unrealistic demands. In my moments of panic and self-doubt, Dina would say, ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff – and it’s all small stuff!
Dina was the polar opposite of me. She was the apple of her father’s eye. She had confidence, and she simply expected to be treated well. She was single, too. She had a string of boyfriends, who adored her, but she hadn’t met ‘THE ONE.’ One day, we were conversing about dating and relationships, and I told her I admired her ‘I-take-no-prisoners’ attitude.
She said, ‘Carolyn, when will you learn to be your best friend? Nobody is better than you or more important than you. Put yourself before everything, and remember you don’t have to take any crap from anyone. You come first, and don’t you ever forget it.’
POW! Epiphany! I didn’t realize my lack of confidence and self-esteem was THAT obvious. My self-esteem blossomed in that one eureka moment. After that, my attitude changed from thinking I didn’t count and that I had to put myself last to one of I want-what-I want-when-I want-it and don’t you ever forget it!”
SELF-IMAGE INVENTORY QUIZ
This assessment is based on the Self-Image Inventory by psychologist D.G. Simmermacher.
He designed and used this in workshops to help people examine or modify their self-image. Read the stories of Carolyn, Dina, and Katherine, and then click to visit our website and take the Self-Image Inventory Quiz.
There’s a link to download the PDF with the quiz.
This exercise will indicate your self-esteem and satisfaction with your role in life and how you perceive yourself with others. This is not a diagnostic test; it’s not a timed test, and it’s not a psychological test. It’s a simple personal inventory for your self-awareness so you can assess what you believe are your strengths and weaknesses.
It will be good for you to examine your responses because it will give you insight into your self-esteem, your perception of yourself, and your level of satisfaction.
Personal assets could be that you are a good money manager, healthy and fit, or a creative cook. A liability may be that you sit at home, have no interests, are too sensitive and take yourself too seriously, are impatient, or are controlling.
There are no right or wrong answers. Be as honest and thorough as you can. No one else will see the result of this exercise.
WHAT ARE YOUR SUPERPOWERS?
Katherine recognized she had lifestyle problems because she lacked self-value. She believed having someone – anyone – was better than having no one. It was as though she was empty and expected a man to come along to tell her how to fill her needs. Like Katherine, many women attain their self-worth from belonging to someone else and are grateful to be “chosen” by a man. Katherine says:
“I kept attracting the wrong kind of men. I didn’t feel good about myself and felt I had to have that man to validate me and let others know I was okay instead of coming from within me.
When I was in college, a female teacher told me that I should marry the guy I was dating so I could live my life through his talent and success. It turned out he was gay.
Once I took the time to discover who I was, what I wanted, and that I could be a successful, worthwhile person through my efforts, I began realizing I don’t have to live my life through what a man – any man – thought of me or how I should be. I have my own identity.
Finally, I understood the “real me,” and I began liking and enjoying who I am. I knew what I wanted and why. Then, I was able to attract a man with qualities that were desirable to me.”
It is difficult for women like Carolyn and Katherine to recognize and accept their assets.
They devalue themselves and discount compliments and the good things people say because they think of themselves as undeserving.
They internalize and personalize everything and usually end up emphasizing the negative.
They feel responsible for the actions of others around them when something goes badly for them.
They allow others to make decisions for them and are unhappy when their needs and expectations go unmet, but they just suck it up and live with it.
By stepping back and looking at herself objectively, Katherine could examine why she felt the way she did. She took a realistic account of her positive attributes and those she perceived as unfavorable by listing them.
She thought about all the things she wanted in life. She set goals and went about successfully meeting them. The outcome was a new sense of self-esteem that made her realize she was lovable and capable just as she was.
These stories and the Self-Assessment Inventory come from my mother’s book,
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TIME FOR R♥MANCE
Go here to take the Self-Image Inventory Quiz ⇐ Take The Quiz.
I hope you will enjoy this experience. Please post your comments under the quiz on our website if you’re moved to share.
It’s time we create new generations of women fully utilizing their superpowers.