Keeping an ‘esteem jar’ is a mix of expressing gratitude and noting something good about you. It’s the act of acknowledging where you’re making changes, shifting perspective and seeing results, no matter how small.

When you have an unhealthy pattern of thinking and behaviour, you lack self-awareness and self-knowledge. So much so that you actually believe that your inner critic is your inner voice, which reinforces the negative chatter.

Chipping into a self-esteem jar creates a wonderful positive jar full of you.

It’s a visualisation of your daily contribution to your esteem ‘piggy bank’.

When your inner critic points out flaws or tries to scare the bejaysus out of you, your self-esteem jar is a visual reminder of the truth. The habit itself shifts your focus to seeing and appreciating you, instead of finding fault or only remembering the worst. When you’re having a dodgy day or week, you can cast your eyes at the jar. You might read back through notes as a reminder.

This jar is all about good things that you’re doing for you that will, of course, help you to adapt your pattern of thinking and behaviour in the process. Think stuff like standing up to someone and saying NO. Or, saying YES to a new challenge that ordinarily you would have declined. It’s realising that there is something that you like about your body, remembering something that made you feel good that day or remembering something that you really tried at and, even though it wasn’t entirely successful, you’re pleased that you tried and aren’t beating you up for it.

If you’re a perfectionist, note where you’ve breathed out and let a mistake go by without the sky falling down. Note the acts of self-care, self-love, self-trust and self-respect.

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