I once had a friend who would agree with others' low opinion of her. When her parents had claimed that she was a "bad girl" and that she was unlovable, she agreed with them. No amount of explanation would convince her that at one time she'd been a normal, exuberant child. Even when it was pointed out that her aunt had loved her, her response was, "She loved everyone." If someone complimented her, she didn't believe them. Is it any wonder that she felt abandoned, worthless and unlovable? She'd turned against herself and wouldn't allow anyone to be on her side.

If we aren't on our own side, who will be? It's nice when we have a defender who stands up for us, but there's no guarantee that they'll be there when we need them. And if we're being taken advantage of, being demeaned, or attacked, then who will speak up for us if we don't speak up for ourselves? Unfortunately, the predators of this world seek out and recognize those who do not have enough self-worth to be in their own corner and take full advantage of them.

Life treats us as we treat ourselves. If we don't respect ourselves and take care of ourselves, then we send a message to life that we expect to be exploited. If we criticize ourselves unmercifully, then we attract people who echo our own negative view. If we abandon ourselves, by not sticking up for our rights, then we draw to us people who also desert us.

If we allow a salesclerk to overcharge us, don't send a cold meal back to the restaurant kitchen, or let someone take credit for our work, then we're instructing life to create more situations like this. If we don't take care of ourselves, by eating right, avoiding unhealthy substances, exercising, getting enough sleep, or allowing ourselves to have fun, then we are subliminally telling ourselves that we don't count and aren't worthy of anything better.

The principle is the same as setting a goal. When we set a goal, we think about how to bring it about, then take actions to make it a reality. By doing so, we're giving the subconscious a mold to fill with the manifestation of our goal. If we buckle under someone's domination, unconditionally accept their perception of us, abandon our dreams, or don't take care of ourselves, then we're telling the subconscious that this is the kind of treatment that we expect and deserve. We experience low self-esteem, and the subconscious will create conditions to give us what it thinks we want.

If you want to feel good about yourself, and have others treat you well, you must first treat yourself well. You are as much a part of the Universe as anyone else and you deserve to be here. Because you're created from the Universe, you have a right to be in your own corner. Whenever you criticize yourself, dispute the condemnation. Why would you let anyone, including yourself, put down an expression of the Universe? Write down the way you want to be treated, and assess what steps you need to take to be treated this way.

Imagine that you're your own best friend, and ask yourself if you'd let a friend be treated unkindly. Stand up for yourself gently but firmly, respecting those who have acted disrespectful towards you. They have simply been behaving in a way that was easiest for them, and in a way that you accepted. Because you've changed your opinion of yourself, you now need to instruct them how you choose to be treated.

You've heard the saying, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you?" Well, you need to do unto yourself as you would have others do unto you. As you begin to take care of yourself, you'll discover that your self-esteem and sense of self-worth will soar. Life is on your side, but It takes direction from you. You need to be on your side, too, for Life to treat you as you deserve to be treated.

Author's Bio: 

As a nationally known hypnotherapist, writer, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart is passionate about educating people regarding the power within their own minds. She’s taught hundreds of people how to reduce stress, improve their self-esteem, break negative habits, and improve their lives. She leads seminars on empowerment, self-esteem, creativity and stress reduction. At her website, http://www.Cedarfire.com , she offers personal development articles, affirmations, audio products, a newsletter, and much more.