How Do I Love Me
Helen M. Johnson
Self-esteem what does it mean to you? Does it mean thinking highly of yourself and having a great attitude about youself and your life, or does it mean being perfect? Self-esteem is a reflection of one’s personal overall self judgment and one’s own self worth. Self esteem consists of your own beliefs about yourself, your emotions and behaviors also effect how you view yourself either positively or negatively. “How Do I Love Me” by Helen M. Johnson is basically a self help book to encourage people to improve their self esteem and how to maintain high self worth. Each chapter goes into different objectives of self esteem such as behavior, attitudes, values, goals, etc. and helps you to understand yourself. The author also gives feedback and workouts so you can practice and hopefully improve or alter your own self-esteem. This book completely opens your eyes and allows you to actually make changes in your life and mind so you can live a happy healthy life, with high self esteem.
The first chapter is called “What is Self Esteem?” it describes what self esteem is and how it effects the way one lives and how they function in the world. Having a positive or negative out look on life it creates a cycle. For instance having high self esteem you have more confidence, which will allow you to have positive thoughts about yourself, and then it will result in you having desirable behaviors such as working to achieve a goal. Having a negative cycle it can cause you to give up on yourself and with feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness. This could be very destructive to your life and the attitude you have towards yourself. This chapter was the most inspiring because it expressed how you are in control of your feelings about yourself and the world. Also how you can change your attitudes and behaviors to make a better life for yourself.
Chapter two focuses on where self esteem originated from, past and present. We get a sense of how we fit in to the world from the experiences we encounter of love and rejection from the time when we were babies. The “voices which spoke to you, from the gentleness or harshness of the touches you received, from the amount of attention paid to you and from the reactions to your cries.” These feelings get interpreted negatively or positively and we carry these emotions as we develop and get older. Self esteem is learned through our experiences and reactions from friends, family, school, work, and it continues to change and develop throughout our lives. The author wanted to make it clear that we are completely in control of our lives and to forget about what happened in the past and focus on trying to improve your life in the present. “True happiness is born of self reliance.”
The next couple of chapters focused on peoples attitudes and how no one is perfect. To have high self esteem you must have a positive attitude and not concentrate on bad decisions you have made or every flaw that you may have. It is important to first concentrate on your strengths and acknowledge them. Second don’t try to be perfect, no one is perfect and you’re setting yourself up for failure. It will end up making you feel anxious, disappointed and frustrated rather than perfect. Third, stop negative mind feeding, in which you give yourself credit for the accomplishments that you have reached and focus on the goals that you want to achieve. Tell yourself that you can do it and most of the time you will reach that goal. Try to avoid setting unrealistic expectations for yourself and of others, it will just disappoint you in the end. Changing your attitude is one of the most important factors in achieving high self esteem and it will help to improve the way you view your life and others around you.
Finally there are two systems that the book says that you must follow to have high self esteem and to maintain it. First you must have a value system which means the values and ethics that you live your life by. You have to find what is important to you and what you value most about yourself and the world. If you start to separate and differ from your own values and ethics it causes you to lose your self esteem because your not following what is important to you. An example is peer pressure and even family pressure, you lose yourself and start following the crowd and start doing things that you normally wouldn’t do. Make sure you stay true to yourself and the values that are most important for your life.
The second system is your support system, support from family and close friends’ people that you admire most. Every one needs to be praised once in while to get that feeling of “love and belongingness” it helps to boost your self confidence. The important thing to know is that you can’t rely completely on others for your own self esteem, but it can be helpful to get some acknowledgement and approval from loved ones. Although many of us do take into consideration others opinions and this can be helpful to influence our values and moral ethics that contribute to our self esteem. It allows us as individuals to get a sense of security and encouragement from other people and not solely rely on ourselves.
In this book How do you love, it helped me learn how to boost esteem by providing exercises to follow and complete after each chapter. This allowed me to get a better understanding of why I have low self esteem and what to do to help me change that. I was able to analyze my life and actually try to look at my positive attributes rather than my negative ones. I started to focus on myself and what makes me happy, rather than seeking approval from other people all the time. The book was very inspiring and the author wanted you to succeed in improving your overall self respect and self confidence so you could succeed and be content in life.
Reflecting back on when I first started reading the book I knew I had low self esteem, so I wanted to try to improve my self worth and respect. I was unhappy with my life and I felt completely bored. I was focusing on my social life to extensively and was reflecting on my behavior towards everything else in my life. I made a decision to separate myself from the friends that I had so that I could become a better person. It is now important to love myself and to respect who I am and what I believe in and value.
I plan on continuing to focus on my beliefs and the things I value most in my life. My plan for the next couple of years is to meet new people and continue my education at Bucks County Community College for another year. I then plan on attending an Instate University to pursue my Master’s degree in occupational therapy. “How Do I Love Me” by Helen M. Johnson has opened my eyes and guided me to improving my self esteem. I am now looking forward to bettering my self and finding out what is most important for my well being.