Did you realize that low self-esteem can have a negative effect on all facets of your life from relationships to job to health? The purpose of this article is to give you some ideas on how to boost your self-esteem.
There are many advantages to boosting your self-esteem. Positive self-esteem allows us to feel good about ourselves. We can develop the feeling that we deserve good in our lives, including success in our business.
To assess what needs changing, we must first take an honest look at ourselves. Can we recognize when we have made a mistake, or possibly hurt someone else? Even though we do sometimes err, we must feel deep in our being that we are okay. We must find balance.
When our self-esteem is high, we not only feel better about ourselves, but we are more resilient as well. Studies show that when we have a high self-esteem, we find we can recover from emotional wounds such as rejection or failure more quickly. We are also less vulnerable to anxiety
What Challenges Your Self-Esteem?
It is helpful to discover conditions and situations that cause your self-esteem to plummet. Some triggers could include a presentation you must give at work or school or a crisis at home or at work.
You might have some challenge with someone you are close to, such as spouse, co-worker or close contact, or a major change in your life circumstances, such as job loss or your children moving away from home.
Identify troubling situations and then pay attention to the thoughts you have about them. Include self-talk and your interpretation of the meaning of the situation.
Are your thoughts positive, negative, or neutral? Are they rational or irrational? Ask yourself if your beliefs are true. Would you tell a friend? If not, don’t say them to yourself either.
Ask yourself if your view of the situation is consistent with facts and logic. It is often hard to recognize inaccuracies in thinking. If you have held a belief for a long time, it can feel normal and factual, even though it is just an opinion or perception.
Some Thought Patterns That Erode Self-Esteem
1. All-or-nothing Thinking
Why see things as black or white; all good or all bad? Example: If I do not succeed at this job, I’m a total failure.
2. Mental Distortion
You dwell on the negative and in doing so, distort your view of a person or situation. For example, I made a major error on my major report, and now everyone will know I am not qualified for this job.
3. Turning Positive into Negative
Instead of congratulating yourself for achievement, you negate the power of the positive experience. You make the mistake of insisting that achievement doesn’t matter. Example: The only reason I did well on my exam was because it was so easy.
4. Jumping to Negative Conclusions
Sometimes we reach a negative conclusion when there is little or no evidence to support it. Example: My friend hasn’t returned my phone call, so I must have done something that made her angry.
5. Thinking Feelings Are Facts
You consider feelings or beliefs as facts, when they are just feelings. Example: I feel like a failure. Therefore, I must be a failure.
6. Negative Self-talk
You put yourself down, and devalue yourself or you use self-deprecating humor. Example: I don’t deserve anything better.
Allow yourself to feel your negative thoughts or feelings. Accept them, rather than fighting them or resisting them. As you recognize the thoughts and beliefs that contribute to your low self-esteem, change the way you think about them.
As you change your way of thinking of these negative thoughts, it will help you accept your value as a person. As you increase your self-esteem, your confidence and sense of well-being will also rise. Here are some things that may help.
1. Take Care of Yourself
You need to follow guidelines for good health. Attempt to exercise at least 30 minutes a day. Eat healthy: lots of fruits and vegetables and limited sweets, fats, and junk food.
There have been a number of studies that have shown a correlation between exercise and higher self-esteem. According to Debbie Mandel, author of Addicted to Stress, exercise creates improvement, both physically and mentally. Exercise organizes your day around self-care.
Spend time doing things you enjoy. Make a list of your favorite activities, and try to do something from that list daily. Make sure you spend time with people who make you happy. If someone does not treat you well, don’t waste your time on them.
Here are some things you can do to improve your self-esteem:
2. Use Positive Affirmations
Make sure you use positive affirmations correctly.
1. Positive affirmations are always in the present tense. Your brain will only respond to present tense statements. (Example: I am a success in my business.”) Create your affirmations as if you already have the thing you desire.
2. Use only positive words. Your brain has trouble translating words like “don’t” or “won’t” into positive ones.
3. Speak these positive statements as if it is a statement of fact or truth.
Use strong “fact” words like “am” and “do.”
If your self-esteem is low and you have trouble believing your positive statements, start by toning them down a bit. For example, instead of saying, “I am a success,” you could say “I am persevering until I reach success.”
3. Figure Out Your Competencies and Then Develop Them
We build our self-esteem when we can demonstrate our ability in areas of our life that are important to us. If you are a good cook, throw more dinner parties. If you are good at teaching a skill, offer a course.
You need to figure out your core competencies. Then find ways to accentuate them. These activites which involve something you do well will help build your feelings of competence and your self-esteem.
If there was a time in your life when you had better self-esteem, go back and remember what you were doing. Were you using a unique gift? If you cannot see what strengths you hold, ask a friend to point them out to you. Sometimes it’s easier for someone else to see what is best in you when you can’t see it for yourself.
4. How Are You At Accepting Compliments?
When you feel low self-esteem, it is often hard for you to accept compliments, even though it is the time when we need them the most. Learn to tolerate them, even if they feel uncomfortable.
Train yourself by preparing some set responses that you can give when you receive a compliment. Keep it simple: Say something like “thank you” or “that was a kind thing for you to say.” When the impulse to deny compliments fades, it means your self-esteem is getting stronger.
5. Shoot Down Self-criticism and Learn Self-Compassion
We need to substitute self-criticism for self-compassion. In such a situation, ask yourself what you would say to a dear friend if he were in your situation, as we tend to be more compassionate to friends. Then direct those comments to yourself. This method will help build your self-esteem rather than damaging it.
6. Write Down Qualities That Affirm Your Real Worth
if your self-esteem has received a blow, use this exercise to revive it. Write down the qualities you have that are meaningful in a specific situation. Example: If you were rejected by a date, list qualities that make you a good prospect for a relationship, such as being loyal and trustworthy.
If you failed to get a promotion you expected at work, write down what makes you a valuable employee, such as having a strong work ethic. Then choose a quality from the list and write one or two paragraphs about why the quality is valuable and likely to be appreciated in the future by others.
7. Forgive Yourself and Others
By forgiveness, both of yourself and others, you will help improve your self-esteem. When you hold feelings of bitterness or resentment, you stay in a cycle of negativity.
We need to free ourselves from this negative cycle. By doing so, we reconnect with our fundamental loving nature and learn to accept people despite our flaws.
It may be helpful to utilize the Buddhist meditation for forgiveness. Here is the meditation prayer: If I have hurt or harmed anyone, knowingly or unknowingly, I ask forgiveness. If anyone has hurt or harmed me, knowingly or unknowingly, I forgive them. For the ways I have hurt myself, knowingly or unknowingly, I offer forgiveness.
All of us are born with infinite potential. We are all equal as human beings. Believing we are anything else is false. Unlearn self-destructive thoughts. With hard work and compassion for ourselves, we will move ahead and can increase our feelings of self-worth.
Confidence in ourselves and a realization of our value as an individual can help our self-worth grow. This growth in turn will give us core beliefs that will move us toward the success we wish to create.
I used three references for this article. One was the Mayo Clinic Health Letter. Go to https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult health/self-esteem/art-20045474
A world of information on this subject can be found in several articles written by Guy Winch, Ph.D. To learn more, go to his website: https://www.guywinch.com