Courage is first component of self-esteem

“I think I’ve fallen a little bit in love with you.”

“Sexiness is a state of mind – a comfortable state of being.”

— Halle Berry, American actress and former fashion model

“I think I’ve fallen a little bit in love with you.”

The weekend personal empowerment workshop had been a huge success. Over the two and a half days I had led the group of eight women and two men through a series of self-esteem building exercise and insightful discussions.

Though the journey had been challenging for most concerned, all had arrived at a place of peace and contentment by late Sunday afternoon.

Now it was time to speak, individually, about what each had taken away from the intense 16 hours together.

Some participants spoke of smashing through barriers such as fear and inadequacy while others talked about finally understanding the source of self-defeating ways of thinking and being.

One gregarious young woman talked about learning to love herself again and added with a smile and slight blush that she had fallen a little bit in love with me.

Have you ever seen someone whom you were immediately attracted to only to get up close and personal and be left wondering why in the world you ever found him or her appealing?

Then again, have you met someone who had no particular appeal at first glance but whom, after time, you found irresistibly attractive?

Genuine sexiness is more than mere physicality.

More than broad shoulders and six pack abs.

More than appealing curves and pouty lips.

The kind of sexiness that comes from healthy self-esteem draws people, jobs, friends, opportunities and joy towards you by a unique blend of courage, kindness, self-confidence, passion and purpose, self-responsibility and truthfulness.

Perhaps the first attractive component of healthy self-esteem is courage. People with healthy self-esteem have a willingness to stand up for what’s right and appropriate.

They have the conviction and inner strength to behave in a manner that is in harmony with inner beliefs and values.

People with healthy self-esteem know what they believe and what they hold to be true and will always find the courage to defend those beliefs and values.

A natural off-shoot of healthy self-esteem is self-confidence, which allows individuals to believe they are worthy of happiness, love and success.

Those with healthy self-esteem have faith in their abilities and will step up and face challenges and seize opportunities that present themselves.

The self-confidence they possess is real and not the pseudo-confidence that so many demonstrate in an effort to hide fears, failings and insecurities from the world.

The person with healthy self-esteem is willing to be kind.

Emotionally healthy people are thoughtful people — they consider the feelings of others and make a positive difference in the lives of those around them.

They respect themselves and thus are respected by others. Self-esteem can always be measured by how we treat others, especially those they don’t know.

Healthy self-esteemers live life with passion and purpose, resulting in a life that is directed, goal-focused and deeply meaningful.

These are the people who wake up every day excited to be alive knowing that today is another opportunity do what they love and make a difference.

They are the grateful ones — the first ones to say thank you for each experience, the ones always looking for life lessons.

Passion and purpose are highly attractive qualities.

Passionate people love life and are never afraid to say, “I love you” to those close to them.

People with a grounded sense of self do not avoid responsibility.

They do not blame, point fingers or make up excuses for living an unproductive life.

Healthy self-esteemers accept responsibility for every aspect of their life, believing that happiness is a by-product of our thoughts, attitudes, values and behaviour.

No whining, no blaming and no irresponsibility.

People with healthy self-esteem are honest with themselves and with others.

No hidden agendas, no misdirection and no denial.

Honesty is the hallmark of the healthy self-esteemer.

If you ask their opinion they will share it.

If you speak, they will listen. Sexy? Damn right!

Finally, the healthy self-esteemer is authentic and self-accepting.

They are real — they know what they like and who they are. They are in touch with their feelings and devoted to learning, growing and evolving as human beings.

They are quick to forgive themselves and others and do not hold grudges.

They look perceived weaknesses square in the eye and accept themselves for who they are. And they will accept you for who you are too — focusing on your good qualities. When you meet someone with that type inner calm, they’ll make an impression. Believe me.

I thanked the young lady for her kind admission.

It wasn’t the first time I had heard such a comment.

I didn’t mind though. I could recall saying something similar once to the confident, poised and sexy young woman who would eventually become my wife.

People with healthy self-esteem attract others like the warm glow of home on a cold winter night.

The thought has never been expressed more eloquently than by British philosopher James Allen, who once declared, “We do not attract that which we want, we attract that which we are.”

When we evolve to a place of self-love, self-respect and compassion, we will attract those who wish to mirror our self-worth. Self-love attracts more love.

Self-esteem is the new sexy.

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