How Self-Esteem Helped Me Play Hooky

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On Friday I played hooky.

On Friday, because of my self-esteem, I played hooky and loved every minute of it!

The connection Between Self-esteem & Playing Hooky

Believe it or not, there is a huge connection between my self-esteem and playing hooky on Friday afternoon.

One Friday every month I attend my favorite training.  It’s 3 hours long.  It’s incredibly informative, helpful, inspiring and I normally look forward to it all month.  However, the past 2 months this training has fallen on a Friday in a week that I’ve just gotten home from a long family trip as it did this past Friday.

This week as I tried to get ready for this Friday afternoon training, I just wasn’t into it.  Even more than not being into it, I was feeling downright yucky.  It was my self-esteem that helped me realize I wasn’t sick, I just needed to play hooky.

Here’s How

Self-Esteem is a combination of knowing who we are, listening to our gut level responses, and believing we are worth-it.

Knowing who we are is about knowing as much as we can about ourselves.  Knowing every single little detail about us, and what makes us who we are.  This comes from paying attention to and working to learn everything about what makes us tick.  For example, knowing our strengths, weaknesses, wants, personalities, likes, dislikes, how we recover from things, what will tax us, what will fill us up, how we make decisions, what it feels like when we trust someone, what it feels like when we can’t trust someone, what we need to stay balanced.  The list could go on and on.

Listening to our gut level responses is such an important part of self-esteem!  I like to call this our visceral response to things.  By this I mean our physical sensations, gut level feelings, intuitions, and all those non-verbal things you can’t quite explain.  These messages, have SO MUCH information for us.  Paying attention to these responses not only keeps us safe but it also let’s us honor what we need in a particular moment.

Believing we are worth-it comes from paying attention to the above two and following through with their wants.  Self-Worth doesn’t just magically happen; and we can’t wish it into existence.  We have to work for it, by paying attention to ourselves, and noticing how we respond, feel, and perform when we do listen to ourselves and when we don’t.

When we actually pay attention to ourselves, what feels right for us, and use this information as part of our decision making we discover we have more clarity, power, and know-how then we ever realized. We begin to see and feel our self-worth.

So, How Did Self-Esteem Equal Playing Hooky?

Here’s what I know about myself:  I am an introvert.  I love people, socializing, chatting, talking, getting to know people, and helping my clients get to better know themselves.  However, in order to enjoy these things, I need some “me time” or “quiet time” each week.  Without that down time, my interactions feel more forced, like “have to’s” instead of “want to’s.”

The family trip we took the week before this training, while wonderful, did not allow me the “me time” I need to recharge my batteries and look forward to this highly social training.  I knew, because I know myself and what re-energizes me, that I was way overdue for some “me time.”

When I listened to my gut it was screaming. I was irritable; annoyed with things I usually love; feeling extremely anxious, which for me is out of the normal; had a stomach ache yet couldn’t sit still; and I was feeling like I “had to” attend the training.  Again, out of the normal for me as I was looking forward to this training all month.

Now, I have learned from experience that when I feel this annoyed and this yucky it means I need to check in with myself.  As I got quiet and listened to myself, and to what my body was telling me I knew what I needed to do in order to feel better.   I needed to put myself first, and give myself some “me time.”  So, I decided to take the afternoon off.

Listening to myself, and making this decision to play hooky, made me feel worth-it!

Why This is Self-Esteem

Even though I missed last month’s training.  Even though I know the trainer would be disappointed.  Even though I’d miss out on seeing the other members of my little group.  Even though I might have to take some sh*t next month.  Even though I had to make an uncomfortable phone call to say I wasn’t coming…. I took the afternoon off because it was what I needed.

Whenever I listen to myself, and give myself what I need, I feel worth-it.

When I feel worth-it, it’s easier to listen to myself, take care of myself, and enjoy my relationships with other people.

This decision wasn’t about avoiding responsibilities or people.  It wasn’t about being too nervous to leave the house or fearing an anxiety attack.  It wasn’t even about blowing anyone off, or disappointing the trainer (which I am sorry I did), or getting out of work.

This decision was about me listening to me.  Me knowing who I am and what I need.  Me taking care of myself, not the trainer or my group or anyone else… just me.

For me, playing hooky was just what I needed.  For me, playing hooky strengthened my self-worth and my understanding of me.

This is Self-Esteem.  This is Self-Worth.

What things do you know about yourself?  What’s your gut telling you?  Are you listening to these things?

(BTW, even though I didn’t attend the monthly training, I still payed for it.  Asking my trainer to take a financial hit at the last minute would not have been respectful to her.  Putting me first, does not mean ignoring or running over other people to do so.)