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Where do you stand on the self-image scale?

How high is your self- esteem?

With so much being written about self-image and self-esteem in the media, it's almost impossible to not be faced with the question of where you stand on the self-image/self-esteem scale.
Woman smiling

Women have different levels of self-esteem and it's healthier to have more than less, but at what point does low self-esteem begin really harming your quality of life? And on the opposite side, is there a point where a high level of self-esteem becomes too much of a good thing and morphs into a big ego?

Test your self-esteem

Here are some positive self-esteem statements to determine where you are on the scale of how you see and feel about yourself. Try reading these affirmations out loud proudly and notice how you feel.

  • I am a strong, independent and useful member of society.
  • I have a purpose in life and for the most part I am actively pursuing it on a daily basis.
  • I feel confident and comfortable in my own skin and am proud of how I look.
  • I do not need others' approval in order to feel good about myself.
  • I accept who I am and do not try to change things about myself that are outside of my control.

Noticing how strongly you agree with these statements can give you an inkling of where you stand on the self-image and self-esteem scale.

You felt...

Were you able to say these positive-self messages and feel authentic about yourself?

Or did you notice your voice trembling and your inner dialogue telling you that those statements are obviously not true for yourself?

And at the opposite extreme, did you find yourself laughing at the statements and have thoughts come up that obviously you feel this way and should because you're better than others?

Why you need to listen

If you can take a moment to genuinely listen to the messages you tell yourself about these statements, there is a goldmine of realizations you can have about your level of self-esteem. Be honest with yourself about where you stand. You don't need a number or a percentage to be given to you to grasp where you are when it comes to how you live and carry yourself in the world.

Sit with what comes up and ask yourself if this is how you want to continue living your life. How you experience yourself in the world and internally are some of those things in life that can be changed by you.

Allow this moment to be a life-changing one for yourself. If you aren't happy with the way you feel and see yourself, start a dialogue with your negative side. Question why you don't feel stronger about yourself and how you can make adjustments in your view. Most importantly, do not use this as just another reason why you don't deserve better. Use it as a wake-up call that you can improve your thoughts and feelings through learning to listen to what your inner voice is really trying to show you. Then love yourself a little bit more with every insight and answer you discover.

Sheila Hageman is an author, teacher, speaker and mother who blogs for The Huffington Post. Her memoir,Stripping Down, February 2012, from Pink Fish Press, is a meditation on womanhood and body image. Check out Sheila's latest reflections on the bare essentials of life on her blog www.StrippingDown.com, on Twitter@SheilaMHageman and her website www.SheilaHageman.com.

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