Build Self-Esteem by Demolishing Excess Stress
The first step in breaking the stress/self-esteem cycle is to isolate something you can do something about. It doesn't have to have anything to do with self-esteem. It's important to start with one thing, since one of the characteristic conditions of stress is a lack of focus. If you have so many things going on in your life that you feel overwhelmed, you probably know what it is like to wander around in a daze, unable to do any of them. Maybe you do a little of one project but then get distracted by the pressing deadline of another project, so you do a little of that one but once again are distracted by something else that needs attention. Before you know it, another day is gone and nothing has been finished.
So, to repeat, the best way to take action to break the cycle is to choose one single thing you can do something about, something you can finish. Yes, lots of other things need finishing, but they aren't going to get finished anyway as long as you are feeling the way you are feeling. You know it's true! The only way to make a difference is to focus.
The way you choose to focus is up to you. It might require getting one thing accomplished on your to-do list — accomplished
What you choose to do also depends on the kind of stress that is overwhelming you. Let's look at some of your options for conquering stress in a way that at the same time specifically helps you to fortify your self-esteem. Let's also look at how each strategy might be used most effectively.
Think of all the ways you could waste thirty minutes each day. Watching television. Waiting in line at the drive-through. Surfing the Internet. Throwing a ball against the wall. Eating something you know you shouldn't be eating. Worrying. Talking on the phone. Being irritated at somebody who cut you off in traffic. Thinking about how much you have to do. Just think how much better thirty minutes could be spent doing any of the things listed in this chapter!