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"Like a graveyard...
... people dig me"
Question of today 
31st-Jan-2007 11:26 am
What do you do for a quick self-esteem pick-me-up?

The easy answer is, "What you're good at," but if you need such a thing, you have no idea/faith in what you're supposed to be good at. (Or, even worse, that what you're "good" at is too trivially easy to be a skill/talent/je-ne-sais-quoi worth mentioning, after all, if you can do it, can't everyone?)
31st-Jan-2007 04:57 pm (UTC)
Sometimes I pick menial tasks or chores, such as simple crafts, cleaning the house, or doing laundry. Yes, I know anyone can succeed at these, but still making significant progress on ANYTHING helps.

Other times I do something impossibly challenging with the thought that any little progress whatsoever is a triumph. For example, rock climbing, or Feynman's Lectures on Physics. Maybe I can't solve a single problem, or complete a route at all, but getting 10 feet up that wall, or drawing a picture of the situation, I know is something that I can do, and not everyone can do those, so even that eentsy a bit of progress is a good thing.
31st-Jan-2007 05:28 pm (UTC)
Just because your good at doing something specific doesn't mean it would boost your self-esteem by doing it. I think it's more about something you enjoy.
31st-Jan-2007 06:07 pm (UTC)
That is an interesting answer, and one I should have thought of myself before.
31st-Jan-2007 06:31 pm (UTC)
I'm just too smart for you ;)
31st-Jan-2007 05:40 pm (UTC)
It takes a while for this to work for me but: I consume.

Food, yes, but in greater quantities media. You've probably noticed this. I watch between three to four full length movies a week and at least four hours of television. Add to that my reading, internet-swallowing and audio-listening. I spend most of my awake time consuming media, probably.

Maybe it's because it's doing something I enjoy or it's purely escapism. It helps though to just zone out and watch all of The Wire in one sitting.

What also helps me sometimes is to try something completely new, preferably low-difficulty. Say, making homemade gelatin. Yes, if I critically fail and the Jell-O catches the apartment on fire I'll feel even worse. Chances are though I'll just be happy I did something. And I'll have gelatin!
31st-Jan-2007 06:18 pm (UTC)
When you say The Wire, do you mean the HBO show?

'Cause if you are, isn't it just amazing? I've watched that show since the beginning, and a few months ago watched all three seasons in a row to prepare for season 4 ('cause it's a show where you need to be able to reference old episodes to really understand what's going on). I absolutely love it!
31st-Jan-2007 06:20 pm (UTC)
To piggyback on what Erin said, I've left my Arrested Development DVDs for a time when I'm at my lowest and I've pretty much hit rock bottom. I know no matter what, I will be able to laugh my ass off and feel instantly better.
31st-Jan-2007 06:32 pm (UTC)
Jam along with a great song.
31st-Jan-2007 06:38 pm (UTC)
Do you mean sing, dance, or play? Because I'm rather hopeless at all three ;-)
31st-Jan-2007 06:42 pm (UTC)
Sing, dance, play, bop, listen, meditate, scream, shuffle, hum, run forms...

Joy doesn't mean you have to be good at what you're doing, only that it makes you happy.
31st-Jan-2007 07:40 pm (UTC)
When I'm feeling down on myself is usually a bad time to do something I'm good at because then I start to feel like I'm not good at it after all. I clean up my apartment -- put the clothes away, wash the dishes, mop the crumbs off the tables, dust -- it makes me feel like I am on top of things and in control. The process of taking charge of my physical environment turns my head around and lets me (subconsciously) take charge of my mental environment as well.

Making to-do lists also helps.

Sometimes, though, I might feel inadequate for a specific reason. For example, right now I am teaching modernism in my student teaching placement. I have only the foggiest idea about what this modernism thing is. A good call there would be to, *ah ahem*, read up on it.
31st-Jan-2007 10:00 pm (UTC)
I do mathematics, and it makes me feel elitist, and a bit better - even though I'm not really good at it...
31st-Jan-2007 11:15 pm (UTC)
I'm another house-cleaner. It always feels very satisfying to put things in order, specifically, so I might reorganize a messy cabinet or do l*undry or, in extreme cases, rearrange the furniture. This may have to do with my perceived failures often involving succumbing to entropy or inertia in one way or another.

I also concur with those who suggest doing things you enjoy. Then you have succeeded in enjoying something, and that's as important a success as any I can think of.
1st-Feb-2007 10:28 pm (UTC)
have a cup of coffee, take a shower. and most important, I LEAVE THE HOUSE. I find it almost impossible to get out of a crappy mood while sitting around the appartment. I'm not really sure why that is.
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