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Low self esteem isn’t something you are born with but is something that is triggered by someone or something, it can lead to other psychological problems. In terms of myself it was,

  • Comparing myself to others
  • Bullying
  • Not feeling comfortable when my body began to change as I became a teenager

It took me a while for me to accept myself, and even struggled when I got married and wouldn’t watch my wedding video or pictures of myself at my mums wedding because of the way I felt about myself. I knew I couldn’t continue to feel this way, and so I began to make changes in my life, as I didn’t want to look back in my 70’s should I reach that age, knowing that all I did is feel bad about myself. The changes had to come from me. To do that I began learning from others using tools and exercises to get in touch with my positive feelings and side of the brain. Instead of wanting to do something I started to do it, such as exercise and taking up walking long distances and running.

I got back into writing and blogging, where I did another blog about building self confidence which was called Building self confidence- Feeling like the ugly duckling. I began to educate myself about food, as I needed to change the way I saw food and my relationship with it. I had to take myself out of my comfort zone, and do things that I have always thought “I would love to do that one day” to “I am going to do that”. I remember one May in 2006 watching the London Marathon and thinking instead of saying I will do this one day I am going to do it, and I applied for the 2007 London Marathon, however didn’t manage to get a place, but I have been trying ever since. I had to stop running for a while when I became pregnant, however I have not stopped wanting to do this and I hope to finally get to do the Virgin London Marathon in the next couple of years.

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I have since done other events, and still do them even after having my son and completed a Personal Best last in July 2015, when I did the British London 10K which I also did the year after, and completed another Personal Best. In the same year of completing the London 10K the second time, I then in September of 2016, took on the Royal Parks Half Marathon.

Exercise has become my therapy and my love for walking has grown even stronger, it is so good for the mind and clearing out your thoughts and have done walks for charity and each year, doing the London Bridges walk for Garden House Hospice.   

This year 2016 on the 10th September I completed a 25KM walk, to take on the Thames Path Challenge. 

I started off when I had a day off from work in the week because I was working at the weekend I would go for walks around London and walked one day from Wimbledon to Tower Bridge, and I used to when I worked in Kingston, walk from Kingston to Wimbledon and then Kingston to Epsom.

The walks weren’t always easy, there were hurdles sometimes in the way, diversions, or under passes which I am dubious about walking through and toilet breaks, fatigue can set in so you have to boost up your hydration and energy levels, but when I saw the finishing line, example when walking to Tower Bridge it gave me such a boost and looking back now it was like travelling through life.

Life has many paths and tunnels, and it is the paths and tunnels we choose to take that will help us to take the next stage in our lives. There will be challenges, and hurdles. However if you focus on the goal you want and take on the challenges, but continue to be determined and committed you can achieve the things you want in your life that will help you feel good about yourself and will help bring you happiness.

  • It is OK to say I want to change the way I look, but ask yourself why?
  • What is the real reason why you want to make this change?
  • Is it because of someone else or for yourself?

Asking the right questions will give you the right answers.

I knew the reason why I wanted to get fit was because I wanted to change the image I saw in the mirror by changing my lifestyle, getting in touch with my thoughts and produce the endorphin’s I needed. It did help me smile and realise what I could accomplish and what I do like about myself.

I have legs that can help me achieve goals that I never thought I could, a mind that can create ideas, hands that can help me to be creative and write and can use to exercise too, such as weight lifting. I have learned too cook new meals, met new people, I have been told I have a wonderful smile and people get a buzz from me when I am fully enjoying myself and happy

Another key thing in building yourself self confidence about yourself is learning to see why you have the family you do and what they see, and your friends’ Why you bring happiness to them?

When you feel negative that is all you see, you don’t see the positive. You will always focus on the negative “I don’t feel good about myself” so you need to change the view you are seeing. See what people see in you, take yourself out of you to see the good within you.

Watching This Morning yesterday they had The Speakmans on who specialise in Schema Conditioning Psychotherapy they were helping people who were lacking low self-esteem and they did an exercise where by they asked a couple of women who were suffering from low self-esteem to look at themselves in the mirror and tell them what (The Speakmans) they saw and thought about themselves. As these women were talking, Eva Speakman wrote down and got a stranger to read back to these ladies of what they thought about themselves.

Then they asked the ladies to think about the person who they loved and who loved them back what they would say about them and again Eva Speakman wrote this down and got them to read these comments back to themselves and then look at themselves again. Doing this exercise made them refocus their thoughts and get in touch with their positive side of the brain.

That is what you need to do is change your focus by doing these types of exercises and making lifestyle changes, writing down how you feel, looking at a time when you did feel happy about yourself or of a memory that makes you smile, expand that image and play it in your head as if it is a movie.

What was it back then that made you feel good about yourself or makes you smile? Write about this down.

Also as talked about in my first blog put all these in your dreams book or whatever you choose but in something you know you will keep and look back on, so when the negative thoughts creep back in, you can look at the positive images that you wrote about and remind yourself, you are beautiful and are special.

Creating a better image of yourself and thinking about what makes you happy, will help you to change the way you see yourself, and plan to get the life you want, and to look the way you want. You can feel good about yourself without making drastic changes, and if you want to make a change then you have the power to do so.

You just have to believe in yourself and go through what you do love at the moment about yourself and your life. Making a lifestyle change, learning to get in touch with your brain that sends you positive signals will help you to begin your journey into feeling good about yourself.

Please see ITV.com of the exercise The Speakmans did to help build self-esteem and I will be in my next blog writing about other tools, other changes and materials I have used to help feel good about myself.

I do not expect that the exercises and materials will work for everyone, however I know that they have helped me and can help others too.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie Challoner

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