Overlooking the fact that Me, Myself, and I is grammatically incorrect, where does this saying come from?
Typically, this is said to emphasize the focus on self wholeheartedly with no exceptions or excuses. Additionally, how is this tied to self-esteem and where does self-esteem come from? Is it a big treasure chest that we all get to pick from freely? The short answer is yes but feeling like
you deserve to pick from a big pot of affirmation and have a healthy identity is a little more complicated. The definition of self-esteem is your overall sense of personal value and self-worth. As children, we gain our sense of self through being taught skills that help us
develop our sense of worth and belonging. Children who develop this in their formative years
explore new things, are independent, feel loved and secure, and are happy. Unfortunately, the
flip side of not developing a healthy sense of self shows up in people-pleasing behaviors,
negative self-talk, comparing one’s to others, self-doubt, and overall poor self-image.
What is my mindset?
There are tons of stories that talk about how your mindset contributes to your happiness. For
most of us, our learned behaviors have dictated how we show up and are present in the world.
However, unlearning maladaptive behaviors and shifting your mindset start with recognizing
there are things that you want and need to change in order to achieve the life that you desire.
There are 6 stages of change that indicate a person’s readiness to change behaviors:
pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance, and termination.
1. Precomtempation is the stage of denial. Most people in this stage do not want to
believe there is a problem that is causing personal discomfort. For example, think
of a person who says yes to multiple activities throughout the week but is having
trouble keeping up with personal and financial obligations that directly affect
2. Contemplation is the stage of indecisiveness. In this stage, you think about
changing the thing you are struggling with but you are just not sure this is the
right thing to do or the right timing.
3. Preparation is the stage of fact-finding. In this stage, you have decided to change
the situation and you are ready to take action with the newfound knowledge you
4. Action is the stage of movin’ and shakin’. In this stage, you are actively engaged
in making a change by following through with action (i.e. therapy, support groups,
5. Maintenance is the stage of reinforcing behaviors. In this stage, you have
developed the skills to recognize triggers and situations that may cause your
6. Termination is the stage of the time capsule. The situation that you once were in,
is most likely not appealing and the desire to go back is no longer there.
Ok, so what does this have to do with self-esteem? EVERYTHING! In order to develop a
healthy sense of self, you have to address the learned behavior that your mindset has
adopted and acknowledge the stage of change you are currently experiencing. A healthy
sense of self-worth and self-value can be developed in adulthood. Change can always
happen one small step at a time. The “treasure chest” is open to all of us if we embrace
that we are worthy enough to accept its riches. The next time you feel like you are
running low on self-affirming words to say, repeat:
I deserve happiness.
I deserve peace.
I deserve greatness.
I deserve love.
Crystal Eve Outlaw, MSW, LCSWA, LCASA is a psychotherapist at 3C Wellness and provides
services in the state of North Carolina. Contact 3C Wellness today!
“I take pride in collaborating and empowering individuals from the beginning to the late stages of adulthood who are living with co-occurring disorders, psychosocial barriers and diverse mental health/substance use needs.”