"What a man can be, he must be. This need we may call self-actualization...It refers to the desire for self-fulfillment, namely, to the tendency for him to become actualized in what he is potentially. This tendency might be phrased as the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming." -Maslow

Hi Loverz, 

Since the Dancing With The Stars Live Tour began, I've met you in meet and greets across the country and shared hugs and heard you tell me about the impact my blog "self-worth" had on you and your life. I've been moved beyond words and all I can say is, it is my pleasure, thank you.

I thought about how or what I would write in this post quite a bit. I asked myself why I would be good at helping you with the concept and tools in building your self-esteem. My answer is simple, because I've had to do the work too and continue to, each day. 

I had to dig deep, get raw and real with my own challenges, insecurities and pain to be able to write this the way I wanted to...

The definition of self-esteem is: Confidence in one's own worth or abilities

In sociology and psychology, self-esteem reflects a person's overall subjective emotional evaluation of his or her own worth. It is a judgment of oneself as well as an attitude toward the self. Simply put, its what you think of yourself and how you treat yourself based off of what you think others think of you and how they treat you. Our Self-esteem is the foundation on which we build our reality, its how we tell people what we are worth, how to treat us, how to speak to us, and what to think of us. We tell them in a number of subconscious ways, your body language, your voice, your actions and so on. So basically… its a vicious cycle that we all work constantly to change.

Your self-esteem is only determined by you. You may not believe me but it is. The man that broke your heart, the woman that bitched about you behind your back, even the sibling that unintentionally always made fun of you because of their own self worth issues… these things, these people DO NOT define you, YOU define you. Your thoughts and actions can build you up or tear you down. Self-esteem involves a variety of beliefs about you... your appearance, your values, your emotions, your behaviors. Your self-esteem is major part of your development as a person and achieve your own potential. So… its kinda important right? Important to work at it and on it? Yes i think so, but lets be real…. it ain’t easy.

Whatever you can't let go of, is telling you to find something inside of you that doesn't believe you are enough.

I like to think of that voice as the worst best friend in the world, constantly telling me i’m not pretty, not strong, not lovable, telling me why i can’t do something and why i am less than i really am. Think about it, would you stay friends with that person!?!?!  Hell no, you’d tell her to FUCK OFF in a matter of minutes. Yes i said it, I said that bad word for a very good reason (and please only use it internally as a tool). There is power in it, there is power in telling the things you can’t let go of to FUCK OFF, AND to say FUCK OFF to the idea of letting other peoples words and opinions determine your quality of life. Please understand I'm not telling you to say it to a person, that is rude and comes off as immature, but using it internally somehow gave me a sense of finality, of strength and power against my insecurities. Please my loves, with all your might believe you are worthy because you are, and until you unwaveringly do so, others will not know just how worthy you truly are. 

OK… enough with the profanity, moving on ;)

By now, you know I am a big believer in mantras and positive affirmations. And although positive thinking is so beneficial and necessary it can also be a wall you keep hitting because you simply won't believe what you don't think is true. Don’t worry, I’ve been there, we all have, you are on track and it just takes practice. Remember you have to retrain your brain and tell that worst best friend in the world to do what? Thats right, i know you said it so i won’t. Write in your journal and get out what is hurting or what is blocking you, and at the end of it write what you are working on believing about yourself. Write a single mantra, and say it over and over again for 5 minutes, nice and slow, as you breathe in and breathe out.

However, its deeper than just mantras, It's about basic human needs. 

The need to believe in something greater for ourselves

For some, you will find it in religion or spirituality but one common place we can all find it in, is LOVE. 

A creative or physical outlet

I strongly believe we all need one. Self-expression is a necessary part of authenticity, knowing ourselves and a beautiful release. It also gives us pride in ourselves. What we can create out of nothing. Do you like to paint? write? Dance? Cook? Or maybe you enjoy the gym, running or playing a sport. Maybe your like me and you enjoy all the things ;) Do them, whether it is in your work or a hobby in your free time.

The need for meaning, purpose and goals

Having direction is important and if you feel lost right now, that's ok. But be searching for your passions and learn how you can use them to change the world for the better. You won’t find them by doing nothing, get out, try things, try all the things! Find a cause you believe in, find your voice to say what you want and don’t stop till you get it.

The need for status and recognition

Let me startthis one by saying that the only person you need recognition from is yourself, others commenting on your good work is not what should validate you. Be proud of yourself and congratulate yourself when you accomplish a goal and when you try new things. We all want to be great at something ... and truth is we all want to be recognized for it, but i believe you should let go of that. My career only soared when i gave up wanting to compete to look for recognition and accolades, i chose to dance for me, how i wanted and to do it for my love of dance and my love of entertaining people and making their day a little brighter. Only then did life provide me the chance to entertain people on a global scale.

The need to give and receive attention 

No man is an island. Be social and not just online!! Enjoy time with friends, Join a club, go on a hike with someone, and work on appreciating others and taking notice and an interest in them as they will in you. Human interaction is vital, and we lack so much of it today. Put your phone away at dinner, converse with people, ask questions if you think you have nothing to say. Unplug at night, and instead of sitting at home once again maybe say yes to that party, or drink with a friend. Also, talk to at least one family member a day, stay connected with your roots (unless that is not healthy in your situation), remember family is important, tell them you love them, ask how their day was, it's very simple.

The need to look after our body

Please beauties, no matter what you look like if you are not taking care of your body you will never think it is good enough or appreciate how valuable it really is. Would you starve your best friend? Would you tell her, her thighs are too big? NO! So why would you ever treat yourself that way. It is so important to eat a clean diet filled with plant-based food. Exercise will not only make you feel better about your body but free your mind from unnecessary attachments. (See my *stiff body stiff mind* post) 

The need for a sense of safety and security

It is very common for those who have suffered abuse to have low self esteem. You are not alone. You are not broken. Please know you are not what has happened to you, you are how you rise from it, and you absolutely CAN and WILL rise from it. At the same time if you see that someone might be going through abuse, please don’t ignore it, somehow the universe made it so you can see their pain when they can’t. it is not on you to take on their problems, nor do you need to fix them, but you can let them know they are not alone, and that you are there for them if and when they are ready to seek help.

You have “all the things” inside of you! 

 I am not a doctor, I don't have a phd, I am simply sharing the tools that I discovered help me through my experiences. I do urge anyone who feels their issues or view of themselves have become too dark to seek help from a doctor or mental health professional. 

Drug Abuse hotline # (866) 248-0056

Abuse hotline # TEXT “GO” TO 741741

Trevor hotline # 1-866-488-7386

Mental health/Suicide hotline # 1‑800‑273‑TALK (8255)

If you just need to talk to someone annonymously or want to help someone else. 7 cups of Tea is an amazing resource.

I want to see your creativity, your art, talents, healthy recipes, exercise routines and all the things self love so please hashtag #allthethings in your posts so I can see and be inspired by you all. As always, I am so proud of you exactly as you are. 

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