11/06/2014 02:31 pm ET Updated Jan 06, 2015

The Sins and Virtues of Self-Esteem

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As a cancer survivor I talk frequently on the topic of turning stumbling blocks into building blocks. I have become a master re-builder of taking the debris life throws in your way and creating something new and worthwhile.

One of my first lessons -- learned when I was quite young -- was the importance of having strong self-esteem and valuing your self worth. Whatever happens in life, these need to be a firm foundation for believing in yourself and your potential. This is something we must teach our sons and daughters.

You can be your own biggest enemy if you under value your own self worth. Many of us may have gone through periods of self-doubt. Usually this happens during times of change and especially facing stumbling blocks.

In order to keep a strong footing to move forward and navigate stumbling blocks with confidence, here are two steps to focus on... one step at a time if you need it.

1. Release these seven deadly self-busting, stress enhancing emotional "sins" from your state of mind. They are: Anger, Blame, Doubt, Fear, Guilt, Shame and Worry. These are toxic to your well-being; they weigh you down.

2. Replace them with these seven healthy "virtues" of strong self-esteem: Appreciation, Confidence, Diligence, Graciousness, Kindness, Patience and Respect. These can be the wind in your sails.

How you do the above is a process... and a journey toward better self-awareness and self-appreciation.

Start with yourself. Give your self the proper attention it needs and deserves to stay physically and emotionally healthy, strong and confident. Don't short change yourself in this area. If you require time and space, make it. If you need help, ask for it. Nurture your self.

Then, eliminate anything or anyone that makes you feel less than worthy. Move away from them. No one is worth having in your life if they truly do not value the fabulous person you are. Never sacrifice your sense of self simply to please someone else.

People have asked me if all this talk of self-esteem is too self-obsessed. What about having humility? My response is this: People with strong self-esteem also have humility because they tend to be more grounded. An individual with strong self esteem is a confident person who neither has to build herself up to look better or humble herself to make someone else look better.

Strong self-esteem can help you navigate the worst storms and teach you to appreciate the light at the end of the tunnel even more. Self esteem cannot be bought, but it can be built from within. Everything else material that you surround yourself with in life is simply a prop.