Feeling good about yourself

Feeling good about yourself begins by recognizing your strengths.

What makes people feel good about themselves? Research indicates there are four general areas that a person builds their wellbeing and perception of self. They are competence, sense of control, moral worth and worthiness of love.

Competence is how you feel about what you do, your skills, and talents. Examples of this might be your ability to handle a physical task, how you manage interpersonal relationships, or even how you perform household or work tasks. Your perceptions of your skills and talents relates to what you believe is your competence. Often we underestimate our skills and talents assuming that anyone or everyone can do what we do. Take a minute and think of what you feel you do well. Then take pride in those skills and talents. Never assume that they are trivial. You’d be very surprised how many people don’t have your abilities.

Your sense of how much you control your life contributes to how you feel about yourself. The first step is to ask yourself this question: What can I do about this situation? Many times the situations are out of our control, such as the day you receive your paycheck or the weather. In other cases we might be able to influence, but lack the control. Examples of this might be the behavior of others. We have total control of our own behavior. We have very little on others, but how we react may help or hinder that person’s reaction. The most important point to understand is that you always have power over your own actions and this is where the sense of control will evolve.

Our sense of wellbeing is partly determined by whether we feel that we behave in an ethical or moral way. When we go against what we feel is right and fair, we may diminish our good feelings about ourselves. It is completely the opposite when we keep up good standards. We feel good, so we do the right thing!

Ones perception of worthiness of love and acceptance is the fourth factor to feeling good about yourself. Family and friends contribute to how we feel about ourselves. When they remind us of our strengths, we feel good. When we hear negative, we forget about our capabilities. Build a network of friends and family who will provide emotional support.

Michigan State University Extension has many educational opportunities to increase your sense of competence and control.

By looking into these four areas, you can begin to develop a realistic acceptance of yourself as having a healthy mixture of strengths and weaknesses. You will begin to see yourself as important, valued and feel good about yourself.

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