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Loren M. Gelberg-Goff

Loren M. Gelberg-Goff

LCSW

Loren received her Master's Degree in Social Work from Columbia University and worked for many years in a variety of health care settings. Loren has been in private practice for the past 20 years working with individuals, families and couples helping them to enhance their lives and relationships. Married for 22 years, and a mother of 2, Loren truly understands what it takes to balance work and family life and deal with the stresses of raising a family in today's world.

Loren's workshops and seminars have been widely presented to Fortune 500 companies in New York and New Jersey, on topics of Stress Management, Parenting, Self-Empowerment, Anger Management, Forgiveness, and Coping with Change as well as other life issue topics.

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Self-Esteem - Facing the messages that undermine you

Honoring your self-worth while facing negativity, stress and tension, is a big part of your journey towards reclaiming your self-esteem. This negativity can come from someone you love, a good friend, a family member, or maybe even from you, yourself. Whatever the source, there are skills, strategies and techniques you can use to challenge these negative messages, so that you emerge stronger, more self-confident and more fully the "real you" you are meant to be.

One of the strategies is "I am willing to challenge messages and beliefs that do not enhance my self-worth". Most people learn to accept what parents, teachers, or other people in authority say without question or debate. So, while you may have felt uncomfortable, sad, hurt or confused by what was said, you probably didn't challenge it. Then, internally, a part of you believed it, and in wanting or hoping the pain would just go away, you buried the pain within you. You know it's there, but it's hard to admit, and even harder to face, so perhaps you've just chosen to suffer and feel badly about yourself.

To be aware of and acknowledge that pain, as well as the messages that trigger it, are the first big steps toward healing and reclaiming the positive self-esteem that's been hidden deep within you all these years. It is by becoming aware, that change can occur and you learn and grow. Awareness means you are conscious and therefore have an opportunity to behave differently than you have in the past. Acknowledgment means that you can admit to what you feel. You now have the power to make new choices as to how you want to respond to or handle a behavior or comment that feels demeaning, hurtful, disrespectful, undermining, and/or sabotaging. When you can respectfully admit to yourself how you feel, you will start to feel lighter, freer and more alive. Even if, initially, you only tell yourself how you feel, and are loving, respectful and compassionate about it, then you can begin to heal the wounds that these words or messages have caused. Saying out loud how you feel, without judgment or criticism, is important because you show yourself that YOU respect your feelings, you then begin to expect others to do the same.

When you share your feelings with someone who has been hurtful to you, it doesn't mean he or she will change, be sympathetic or understanding. You tell someone how you feel so that you can communicate openly and honestly without fear that there is something wrong with you. It's when you stuff your feelings, or deny them, that you tell yourself there's something wrong, shameful, or bad about you and/or your feelings, and this is simply not true. I know this to be true, because feelings are neither right nor wrong, they just are. People tell us that our feelings are "wrong" or "bad" because it's not what they feel, it's not what they want you to feel, or your feelings trigger in them, their own discomfort and tension, and they put the "shame" on you.

It takes time, patience and practice to be aware of and acknowledge feelings that are uncomfortable or painful to you in some way. It takes time for you body, mind and soul to adjust to this new found honesty and respect for yourself, but you can and will adapt to the shift as long as you stay focused on "your desired outcome": To live your life knowing 'who you are is enough' and that 'you really are and always have been 'well within'! Now you're accessing this awareness and knowledge consciously and purposefully, so that you can bring it out openly into your life!

The truth of your worth will give you strength, energy, encouragement, empowerment, and a positive belief in yourself. Lies, masquerading as truths create inner turmoil, confusion, tension, stress, insecurity, uncertainty, and self doubt. As much as you may have denied your self-worth over the years, deep inside you know when your energy feels good, you pursue your dreams, you care for and nurture yourself, and you trust in what you see, hear and feel. You know the difference between the two sides, and now you can choose which inner voice holds and honors your power. Which message will you listen to as you go forward in life. Remember, life is a forward journey, not a stagnant one.

Part of confronting people (including yourself) when you feel demeaned, undermined or disrespected, is practicing speaking with "I" statements. Speak honestly and with compassion and without making the other person bad, wrong, humiliated, disrespected or demeaned.
Practice Speaking Up:

    Here's an example of what you might say when you hear someone say something that feels disturbing or distressing to you: "When you say '___',(repeat the message exactly as you heard it) I feel angry, hurt and disrespected. (Fill in whatever other feeling may have gone through you) I don't deserve that, so I'd appreciate it very much if you could rephrase what it is you want to say without making negative comments about me." Depending on who the other party is, you might even be able to ask him/her what their desired outcome is; what it is they really want to communicate. You are NOT asking them to explain, justify or defend what they said. If the other person does that, you CAN say: "Please stop. I don't need to hear why you said what you said, I just wanted to let you know how I heard it, and how your message came across to me." If what I heard is not what your intention was, then could you restate what it is you want to say?" Say your part with the calmness, security and confidence that "who you are is enough", and that your feelings do matter and deserve respect. No whining, no complaining, just clear and direct statements.

This is an excellent dialogue to have with yourself when you hear yourself make derogatory comments about you. Self-respect, self- confidence, self-esteem and self-empowerment are at your finger tips.

STOP! BREATHE! FOCUS! and practice speaking up. After all, if you remain silent then you do not create the opportunity for things to be different in your life. You deserve to be heard and respected for who you are and how you feel, and it really does have to start with you! Speaking up may be difficult at first, but it does get to be/feel easier and more natural with practice"...

Tags: Loren M. Gelberg-Goff New Attitudes Meditation

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  Loren M. Gelberg-Goff: Self-Esteem - Facing the messages that undermine you
Honoring your self-worth while facing negativity, stress and tension, is a big part of your journey...


  Loren M. Gelberg-Goff: Can you Trust your Intuition?
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