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Taylor Swift is definitely known for writing songs with a message. Her latest, “Shake It Off,” immediately struck me – it has a powerful message that goes right along with a lot of things I talk about with clients who are dealing with self esteem and self worth issues.

Did you hear the same messages I did?

When your self esteem is low, it is hard to be yourself. You might worry about what other people think, partly because you don’t think much of yourself to begin with. So why would anyone else?

Working on self esteem (and self worth) usually involves changing beliefs you have about yourself and about life itself. Through this you begin to appreciate and accept both positive and negative qualities you have.

To start with, here is a link to the video for Shake It Off in case you haven’t already seen it:



I love her spirit! And I think these lyrics carry some important messages:

Don’t worry so much about what other people think or say, be yourself. If you think about the people in your life that are important to you, are there one or two that you can really be yourself with? Doesn’t this feel great? What if you could do that all the time or at least most of the time anywhere you are? Taylor says, “haters gonna hate…” and this says to me that people will think what they will and that is THEIR problem, and you don’t have to make it yours.

There are lots of things about ourselves people don’t know. Sure, you don’t share everything about yourself with others. Why should you? You get to decide what people are allowed to know when it comes to who you are. So, if others don’t understand and then criticize you, does their opinion matter? No way. Because you know the whole truth about yourself, and you are the only one that really matters.

Things happen in life, keep on going. Sometimes life doesn’t exactly go the way you want. You make mistakes sometimes. And even when you don’t, sometimes events or situations in life aren’t very happy. Just shake it off! You don’t have to let this stop you from being who you are or appreciating who you are.

Try different things and you don’t have to be perfect! In her video, she’s trying several different types of dancing. Sometimes she’s doing it well, sometimes not so much! Through it all though her unique spirit and personality shine through. Does it matter whether she does it perfectly? No! She is having a great time, no matter what she does. She is making the most out of life. If you can find ways to do this for yourself it brings joy, and contentment, and well-being. And, people are drawn to you when you can really be yourself and enjoy life – this let’s your unique gifts shine through.

Enjoy life – we only get one shot at this. Why waste time getting down on ourselves when we could be enjoying life? If you are getting down about what others are saying, you are missing out on enjoying life when you do that, too.

I saw her in concert last year during her Red Tour. I loved it that she spent a few minutes in between songs to talk to her fans about being yourself, shaking off the things people say, and shaking off your mistakes. One unspoken message in those moments (and through her writing and interviews) is “I have to figure out how to deal with this stuff just like you do.”

If she can shake it off, you can too.

What do you think?

by Catherine Wilson LPC