ACHIEVING HEALTHY SELF-ESTEEM – In a culture obsessed with brands, aesthetics, image and general perfection, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to feel good about ourselves. Perhaps that’s why our internal chatter, or the way in which we speak to ourselves, often includes such harsh self-criticism. Genetically speaking, we can’t do much to change our height, body type, or skin conditions. While we can make healthy food choices, work out, apply makeup, take medications or undergo clinical procedures, none of those efforts address the actual root of the issue. In fact, the world-renowned plastic surgeon, Maxwell Maltz, discovered that not all his patients’ lives changed dramatically after he altered their physical appearance with surgery.

The key factor that differentiated his patients was their self-image – not their reflection in the mirror or the results of their surgeries. This is the power of healthy self-esteem: built on unconditional worth and love, it is an accurate, honest, and appreciative opinion of oneself as being whole and complete (though not yet completed).

What if, on the path toward feeling good about ourselves, we chose to focus less on our imperfections and more on cultivating what is actually working for us? Instead of doing something to change our appearance, we can instead develop the skills to identify and acknowledge our reality, accept what we have been given, and separate our sense of self from our physical attributes. We don’t always choose the thoughts that appear in our minds, so our power comes from what we choose to focus on.

Cultivating mindfulness, the ability to choose the thoughts to which we attach ourselves and to re-frame our negative beliefs, is one of the most powerful personal practices we can take on. Finding enjoyment in life without over-focusing on the external allows us to feel a greater sense of self-worth, well-being and peace, regardless of our imperfections. – by Richelle Mottosky

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