Do you keep getting in relationships where it seems as if you're being taken for granted--where you give, and you give, but get little or nothing in return? Are you beginning to wonder why people keep treating you this way? If so, you are probably also feeling pretty confused, sad, and are beginning to lose what little confidence you had in yourself.

It can be very hard to maintain your self esteem and self confidence when you receive little appreciation and it seems as if the other person just doesn't care. Read on and discover a three-step self-esteem lesson plan for creating love and respect in all your relationships.

The Self Esteem--Action--Reaction Cycle

Are you in a relationship where you think you're being used, and not appreciated? Are you beginning to think that you must be doing something that gives the impression that you are not worth making an effort for--that you are perceived as the one who meets needs without requiring any reciprocal effort to meet yours as well?

If so, your self-esteem is probably at a low point and you are bound to feel less than confident. This scenario creates a vicious cycle-- low self-esteem creates how you feel-- how you feel creates how you act and in turn how others react to you. Now is the time to stop this vicious cycle by breaking the chain of your low self-esteem.

You might ask, "But, how do I do that?"

The very first thing we suggest is that you begin by treating yourself as worthy, unconditionally loving yourself, and asking for what you want from others. Loving and accepting yourself is the first step to creating relationships of mutual respect and consideration.

Next, learn the three beginning steps below; they will help you practice self-love and are guaranteed to increase your self-esteem. By practicing these self-love techniques you will automatically start treating yourself as the worthy being that is your true nature. And in turn, so will others.

Step One: Explore Your Thinking

Whether you're aware of it or not, the thoughts that you think generate the way you feel about yourself. The way you feel about yourself governs the actions you take, which in turn creates your life.

Most of us have been raised in cultures that teach us to focus only on what's happening in our environment. When you always focus on what's going on "out there", it's very challenging to really know what's going on "in here"--to know yourself and understand what's most important to you. If this is the case, then whenever something happens "out there" that you don't enjoy, all you know to do is try to and change your external circumstances. This is hopeless because the only thing you truly have control over is your internal reactions to your external circumstances.

To practice this step, we suggest you start by exploring your "low self-esteem" thinking. You begin by using your feelings as an alarm. The next time you feel uncomfortable in any way, try to identify what you were thinking about just before you started feeling uncomfortable.

Step Two: Identify What's Most Important To You

The quickest way to start giving yourself unconditional love is to get to know yourself. Discovering what's most important to you--what you value most--is the best way we know to discover who you truly are. These values are hidden beneath your everyday feelings.

Using step one, you have now identified what you were thinking about just before you started feeling uncomfortable. At this point, you could start asking yourself questions such as: "What is so important to me that's missing in this situation that I feel this way?"

For example, underneath a sense of deep sadness, you might discover caring and consideration are very important to you, and those things are missing in your life. Hidden within confusion could be a strong desire for understanding. Beneath anger, you could discover that you want to be more effective.

When you can get beyond your feelings to what you value--what's deeply important to you--you'll start to notice wonderful qualities about yourself that you can enjoy and can easily learn to love.

Step Three: Learn to Appreciate Who You Are

Although at times you may feel very lonely, once you learn to stop--the very first moment you start to feel uncomfortable--and identify what is most important to you beneath your feelings, you can begin to appreciate YOU. You can appreciate that you are someone who desires caring and consideration; that you are someone who values understanding and effectiveness.

After all, aren't these the qualities that you appreciate in others?

Using these self-love techniques, you are guaranteed to find the best friend you've ever had, and will be well on your way to mastering the art of self-love and acceptance.

With practice you'll gain the confidence to begin asking for what you want in all your relationships and never settle for less than you want again. Knowing clearly what you value makes it much easier to identify when it is missing and figure out how to get it. This is the surest path we know of to get the unconditional love and respect you want in all your relationships.

Author's Bio: 

Consider showing yourself some love right now by learning more about this and other personal growth and self-help techniques, and sign up for our free thought-provoking and motivational Weekly Action Tips eMail series at: http:www.FocusedAttention.com.

This series has valuable insights that will help you along the path to learning how to love yourself regardless of what happens in your external environment.

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