Sunday, June 10, 2007

Life is Like a Game of Cards

In case I haven’t mentioned it, my lovely boyfriend fancies himself a counselor, and he’s not too far off, considering he’s entering the counseling psychology graduate program within the next year. He’s got a natural talent for it, and in his spare time devised a self-esteem building exercise that I’m supposed to do throughout the day, every day, at specific times during the day. We call it saying your cards.

It’s pretty simple and basically positive self talk. With Rey’s help, I’ve identified my characteristics, i.e. my cards; the exercise is just to repeat them and embrace them throughout the day. The important part is not to arbitrarily divide the characteristics into the categories of good and bad, but embrace them all. For example, many people view sensitivity as a character flaw, so when saying their cards they might leave out that characteristic. That contributes to low self-esteem because they’re denying a real part of who they are.

My cards, though I’m embarrassed to share them, (because I have low self-esteem), are:

  1. I’m smart
  2. I’m sensitive
  3. I’m pretty
  4. I’m a hard worker
  5. I have common sense
  6. I’m honest
  7. I’m funny

Rey insists the last two aren’t characteristics I can claim, but he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Saying my cards has really helped me; helped me to accept who I am. The tough part has been getting past the guilt that accompanies the praising. For instance, constantly telling yourself throughout the day that you’re smart and pretty seems arrogant and shallow. But the truth is, every person should think they possess those qualities. Part of self-esteem is being able to acknowledge the inherent worth we all have.

At any rate, it’s much better than beating yourself up all day, which was previously one of my favorite past-times.


Sean said...

You're also pretty darn good at bulleting your lists Leila. Where'd you get those things? I love 'em. They're cylindrical and yellow!

Sean said...

And... I think you're quite funny.

Addie said...

You are all those things and more (so far as I can tell through the blogosphere. :o) As far as self-esteem building, I'll give your efforts an hearty Amen, sister! I never would have thought that all this 'talking to yourself' could truely make a difference in my life but I'm now a believer. Keep up the positive work!

Leila V. said...

Thanks. You gotta love those blogger bullets, I'd be lost without them. I wish I could take credit for them but good 'ol uncle blogger provides them.

You're too kind! I think positive reinforcement goes along way towards keeping a person in a good mood, (and that's half the battle).