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Forms and Handouts for Self-esteem Sessions

After a While...

After a while... you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul,

And you learn... that love doesn't mean leaning and company doesn't mean security,

And you begin... to learn that kisses aren't contracts and presents aren't promises,

And you begin... to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes open, with the grace of an adult,

And you learn... to build all your roads on today because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans,

After a while... you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much.

So plant your own garden... and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn... that you really can endure... that you really are strong, and you really do have worth....!


Winners and Losers
The Winner is always a part of the answer;
The Loser is always a part of the problem.

The Winner always has a program;
The Loser always has an excuse.

The Winner says, "Let me do it for you.";
The Loser says, "That's not my job."

The Winner sees an answer for every problem;
The Loser sees a problem in every answer.

The Winner sees a green near every sand trap;
The Loser sees two or three sand traps near every green.

The Winner says, "It may be difficult but it's possible.";
The Loser says, "It may be possible but it's too difficult."


Life is made up,not of great sacrifices or duties, but of little things, in which smiles and kindness and small obligations, given habitually are what win and preserve the heart and secure comfort.

by Humphrey Davey


by Sister Winifred Edlebeck, Stroke Survivor, Racine, Wisconsin

The majority of those trying to make a comeback from a stroke will find themselves at time over-whelmed by some negative thought patterns, or maybe even a situation that seems impossible to overcome. After having struggled with some of these paralyzing conditions myself, I began to wonder what would happen if, in my own mind, I just substituted it opposite. Compiling this list of "opposites" has actually given me a new look at life, with a fresh, optimistic perspective. Maybe it will do the same for you.

When faced with--- Focus on---   When faced with--- Focus on---
Rejection Acceptance   Confinement Liberation
Frustration Control   Limitation Persistence
Depression Humor   Defensiveness Communication
Disability Determination   Abandonment Sources of Support
Impairment Rehabilitation   Turmoil Stability
Defeat Challenge   Lonesomeness Outgoingness
Insecurity Optimism   Isolation Camaraderie
Deterioration Adjustment   Boredom Involvement
Difficulty Perseverance   Handicap Will power
Dysfunction Understanding   Paralysis Recovery
Immobility Relearning   Devastation Restoration
Abnormality Enthusiasm      
Recipe for Success

Measure all ingredients carefully, for inconsistency of blending ingredients can produce a less than desirable product.

Melt away FEAR.

Dice in LOVE.



Add a dash of HUMOR.

Accompanied by DETERMINATION.

Add a pinch of SPICE (diversification).

Remove DOUBTS.





Season with HAPPINESS


Crises of self-esteem are a part of the human experience. When you feel troubled by low self- esteem, review the suggestions below and choose those that are relevant to your situation and work on them. Be patient with yourself: change takes time and steadfast work.

  1. Free yourself from "should've". Live your life on the basis of what is possible for you and what feels right to you instead of what you or others think you "should" do. "Should've" distract us from identifying and fulfilling our own needs, abilities, interests and personal goals. Find out what you want and what you are good at, value those, and take actions designed to fulfill your potential.
  2. Respect your own needs. Recognize and take care of your own needs and wants first. Identify what really fulfills you--not just immediate gratification's. Respecting your deeper needs will increase your sense of worth and well-being.
  3. Set achievable goals. Establish goals on the basis of what you can realistically achieve, and then work step-by-step to develop your potential. To strive always for perfectionist absolute goals--for example, "Anything less than an A in school is always unacceptable"--invites stress and failure.
  4. Talk to yourself positively. Stop listening to your "cruel inner critic." When you notice that you are doubting or judging yourself, replace such thoughts with self- accepting thoughts, balanced self-assessment and self-supportive direction.
  5. Test your reality. Separate your emotional reactions--your fears and bad feelings-- from the reality of your current situation. For example, you may feel stupid, anxious and hopeless about a project, but if you think about it, you may still have the ability and opportunity to accomplish something in it.
  6. Experience success. Seek out and put yourself in situations in which the probability of success is high. Look for projects which stretch--but don't overwhelm--your abilities. "Image" yourself succeeding. Whatever you accomplish, let yourself acknowledge and experience success and good feelings about it.
  7. Take chances. New experiences are learning experiences which can build self- confidence. Expect to make mistakes as part of the process; don't be disappointed if you don't do it perfectly. Feel good about trying something new, making progress and increasing your competence.
  8. Solve problems. Don't avoid problems, and don't moil about them. Face them, and identify ways to solve them or cope with them. If you run away from problems you can solve, you threaten your self-confidence.
  9. Make decisions. Practice making and implementing positive decisions flexibly but firmly, and trust yourself to deal with the consequences. When you assert yourself, you enhance your sense of yourself, learn more, and increase your self-confidence.
  10. Develop your skills. Know what you can and can't do. Assess the skills you need; learn and practice those.
  11. Emphasize your strengths. Focus on what you can do rather than what you cannot. Accept current limitations and live comfortably within them, even as you consider what strengths you might want or need to develop next.
  12. Rely on your own opinion of yourself. Entertain feedback from others, but don't rely on their opinions. Depend on your own values in making decisions and deciding how you feel about yourself and what is right for you to do.
SELF ESTEEM - 15 ways to help children like themselves

1. Reward children. Give praise, recognition, a special privilege or increased responsibility for a job well done. Emphasize the good things they do, not the bad.

2. Take their ideas, emotions and feelings seriously. Don't belittle them by saying "You'll grow out of it" or "It's not as bad as you think."

3. Define limits and rules clearly, and enforce them. But do allow leeway for your children within these limits.

4. Be a good role model. Let your children know that you feel good about yourself. Also let them see too that you can make mistakes and learn from them.

5. Teach your children how to deal with time and money. Help them spend time wisely and budget their money carefully.

6. Have reasonable expectations for your children. Help them to set reachable goals so they can achieve success.

7. Help your children develop tolerance toward those with different values, backgrounds and norms. Point out other people's strengths.

8. Give your children responsibility. They will feel useful, and valued.

9. Be available. Give support when children need it.

10. Show them that what they do is important to you. Talk with them about their activities and interests. Go to their games, parent's day at school, drama presentations, awards ceremonies.

11. Express your values, but go beyond "do this" or "I want you to do that." Describe the experiences that determined your values, the decisions you made to accept certain beliefs, the reasons behind your feelings.

12. Spend time together. Share favorite activities.

13. Discuss problems without placing blame or commenting on a child's character. If children know that there is a problem but don't feel attacked, they are more likely to help look for a solution.

14. Use phrases that build self esteem, such as "Thank you for helping" or "That was an excellent idea!" Avoid phrases that hurt self esteem "Why are you so stupid?";"How many times have I told you?"

15. Show how much you care about them. Hug them. Tell them they are terrific and that you love them.

Source: National PTA

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