How to build self-esteem generally comes after knowing what is self-esteem. When you have a clear idea of self-esteem, then only you can start evaluating your opinion about yourself.
What is Self-esteem?
Self-esteem is your opinion or perception of yourself. In Psychology, it is the person’s overall sense of self-worth or personal value.
Glen R Schiraldi PhD, the author of The Self Esteem workbook describes healthy self-esteem as the realistic appreciative opinion of oneself.
As humans, we think that we are born with all the capacities and skills requires to live a happy life. On the contrary, we all have a mix of skills. Comparing our own capabilities to another person can take us into the never-ending hole of negative thoughts.
If the thought goes on and on and on, it affects your self-esteem. As women, we go through many life-changing circumstances which affect our career as well as physical appearance. These changes can have positive as well as a negative effect on our personal lives.
Sometimes in life, you start feeling low self-esteem. It happens in your career, relationships in professional life. Most of the time, after baby birth, you have to sacrifice your career. For most of the women, having that bundle of joy gives immense pleasure. Things start changing only when kids grow and start their school.
If for some reason, you cannot go back to your job, it gives you a feeling of self worthlessness. Also, for some people, gaining weight becomes a problem. You start feeling how slim you were before and now you cannot fit into your clothes. This kind of thoughts makes you feel low and worthless. These are a few examples, there may be other reasons which can affect your perception of yourself.
How to build self-esteem and change your thoughts
1. Be mindful
This is the most important one to know that you are suffering from low self-esteem. Low self-esteem is accompanied by anxiety, depression and low self-worth. This is something which comes from inside.
If not tackled properly, this can wreak havoc not only in professional lives but personal relations too. The very first thing is to acknowledge that you are having low self-image. When you know that the problem is there, only then you will be able to find a solution.
2. Try to see good things
The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated. William James
Start appreciating yourself. This one is a simple and important exercise. Compliment yourself even on small wins. Praise yourself even when you achieve something small. Acknowledge that you have done something worthwhile.
- Accept compliments: If someone praises you, say thanks for that and feel happy about it. Because people really want to praise you for whatever you have done.
- Ask your friends about compliments. They will tell you the truth about your capabilities.
- Write a list of skills you have and you like about yourself. You might have a range of skills which you don’t pay attention to, feel happy about it.
3. Learn to come out of never-ending negative thoughts
Thoughts make you what you are, you are what you thought about yourself in the past. If you want to change yourself, you need to change your thought pattern. I know it is difficult to do when you cannot feel high about you as a person.
But there is no other way. Some times the negative thoughts just don’t go. Then replace it with some good thought. Doing this over and over helps in detouring the thoughts naturally which is very important. Our mind becomes more relaxed and calm which helps in giving happy dimensions to life. Moreover, positive thinking helps you to know your self-worth.
4. Stop comparing yourself to others
As Einstein said, “Everybody is genius, but if you judge a fish by its capability to climb a tree, it will live a whole life believing it is stupid”.
We all have our strengths and weaknesses. A person may be good at creating crafts but not a good cook. Your introvert nature may make you a good writer but not so good at public speaking. This is true for everybody.
One person may be good at maths and the other one at humanities. So, stop comparing yourself, rather work on your existing skills.
5. Be kind to yourself
Don’t get too hard on yourself. Even if you are too busy and have tons of tasks to finish, miss some and give yourself some time. Take some me-time and indulge in any activity which makes you happy.
- If you are a crafty person, create something
- Read a book
- Write a journal to pour out your thoughts on paper
- Deep breathe and feel the air going in and out as you inhale and exhale
Also, if you messed up something in the past and still feels bad about it, forgive yourself. Think this to be a new start. This is a new day and old self-sabotaging thoughts have no place in your present life.
6. Start practising self-care
Self-care lets you focus on yourself. Self-care starts by having good thoughts about yourself. Do yourself a little favour and sleep for good 7-8 hours tonight. Go to sleep little earlier. And get up early. If this is a bit difficult for you, sleep whenever possible but try to have a night of quality sleep.
- Get up in the morning and pay gratitude.
- Deep breath for 5 minutes
- Drink water
- Say positive affirmations and feel good about it
- Exercise for 10 minutes
- eat a healthy breakfast
- Do everything else you feel will give you a sense of happiness
7. Stop trying to be perfect
You cannot be perfect every time. Trying to do everything perfectly can let you feel down if the things don’t come out as you want. This may lead to a feeling of low self-confidence. Sometimes you start feeling that you cannot do anything up to a certain mark.
If this happens a few times, low self-esteem starts building up. Always remember that whatever you do or whatever is created, have room for improvement.
8. Fall in love with yourself
To fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness. Robert Morley
Start loving yourself in a respectful way. I heard this for the first time from Bob Proctor. And it is the essence of a happy life. This kind of respectable love should be no strings attached. It means love your body and your soul in spite of all the shortcomings and failures, your body type. Just have love and respect for who you are.
When you help someone, it naturally raises your self-esteem. This happens because you feel worthy of something because you helped someone in need.
10. Improve your physical health
Improving your physical health gives a tremendous boost to your self-esteem. Exercise and nutrition help in improving health. It is known that exercise lifts our mood for the short term and helps in feeling positive.
In the long run, it helps in improving our physical body which again boost our sefl esteem.
11. Master a new skill
When you learn a new skill, it gives you a sense of accomplishment and raises your beliefs about yourself. It makes you believe that you are intelligent to learn the new skill.
12. Get out of your comfort zone
This one is really important and challenging. People with low self-esteem like to stay in their comfort zone and are afraid of trying new things. Challenge yourself and come out of your comfort zone. It will help you understand your abilities.
These will help you know your own skills and abilities which are greater than you thought.
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