How to Boost Your Self-EsteemMarch 19, 2020
Esteem is the worth and value that we place on people, places, and situations. We have esteem for our world leaders. We have esteem for places of worship. We have esteem for exemplary performance, whether it is in sports, movie, or simply doing the right thing. But the most important place we need to apply esteem is on ourselves. We must maintain our self-esteem to place appropriate value on ourselves as a worthy individual. Self-esteem can affect every part of our lives. If that esteem is low, our lives will be dull and gloomy.
Developing healthy self-esteem could very well be the key to happiness in life. Most people’s feelings and thoughts about themselves fluctuate somewhat, based on their daily life experiences. The grade you get on an examination, how your friends treat you, and the ups and downs in a romantic relationship can all have a temporary impact on your wellbeing. Your self-esteem is something more important than the typical “ups and downs” related to situational changes.
For people with good self-esteem, the normal “ups and downs” of life may lead to temporary fluctuations in how they feel about themselves, but only to a limited extent. In contrast, for people with poor self-esteem, these “ups and downs” may make all the difference in their lives. People with low self-esteem rely on how they are doing in the present to determine how they feel about themselves. Such people need positive external experiences to counter any negative feelings or thoughts that always plague them. Even then, the good feelings can be momentary.
Healthy self-esteem is based on our ability to assess ourselves accurately and still be able to accept and value ourselves unconditionally. This means being able to acknowledge our strengths and limitations (which is part of being human), and at the same time, accepting ourselves as worthy and individuals without conditions or reservations.
This article will help you raise your self-esteem to levels that will enhance your life and the way you view life generally. It can make a tremendous difference in your quality of life. Learning the techniques to raise self-esteem can be taught and put into practice in just a few days. However, it will take practice to keep your self-worth at a healthy level. You will learn how to improve your self-esteem within a short space of time.
Self-Esteem and Confidence
Some people think that self-esteem means confidence. Of course, confidence comes into it, but it is more than that. The fact is that there are a lot of confident people who can do wonderful things but who have poor self-esteem. Many public figures fall into this category. Actors, comedians and singers can seem to glow with assurance ‘on stage’, and yet off-stage many of them feel desperately insecure.
An individual can be strikingly attractive and world-famous, and seem poised and perfect, yet, deep down, still finds it difficult to value themselves. Public admiration is no guarantee of self-belief. So, if self-esteem is not quite the same thing as confidence, what is it? Well, the word ‘esteem’ comes from a Latin word, and it means ‘to estimate’. So, self-esteem is how you estimate yourself. And to be able to estimate yourself accurately, you need to ask yourself certain questions, such as:
- Do I like myself?
- Do I think I am a good person?
- Am I someone deserving of love?
- Do I deserve happiness?
- Do I feel that I am an OK person?
People with poor self-esteem find it difficult to answer ‘yes’ to the above questions. The concept of self-esteem can be summed up as confidence in our ability to think and cope with the basic challenges of life and confidence in our right to be successful and happy, the feelings of being worthy, deserving, entitled to assert our needs and wants, achieve our values and enjoy the fruits of our efforts.
We also think that self-esteem is only about how we feel about ourselves at any particular point in time. While apparently existing in degrees, we tend to believe that we have positive or negative self-esteem, and we determine that by how we feel about ourselves. However, our feelings and emotions do not exist in isolation. We do not just simply feel. Instead, for every feeling or emotion that we have, either positive or negative, there is a corresponding thought that we have about ourselves that generates the experience of self-esteem.
Whether positive or negative, self-esteem is how our psyche experiences the thoughts that we have about ourselves. If someone has positive thoughts about themselves, they will experience positive or good self-esteem. On the other hand, if the individual has negative thoughts about himself, then he will experience poor or negative self-esteem. Therefore, to truly understand what self-esteem is all about, and more importantly, to be able to alter it when necessary for one’s wellbeing, we must first understand that self-esteem is really about our the way we think, and more specifically about the thoughts that we develop about ourselves. The thoughts or beliefs that we have about ourselves are crucial in that they determine the structure of our experience of self-esteem and the various emotions associated with it.
Living in a state of low self-esteem can be very damaging to the quality of life you lead daily. Your self-esteem is YOUR opinion about yourself, but a lot of people allow others to influence or even make up their opinion for them. It sounds senseless, but if you think about this you, will realize how certain events, comments and encounters helped to “make or break” your self-esteem.
How to Boost Your Self-Esteem
But how can you raise your self-esteem to a healthy level? Here are some tips that would help you:
- Stop thinking negative thoughts about yourself. If you are used to focusing on your shortcomings, start thinking more about the positive aspects of yourself that outweigh the negative.
- Aim for accomplishments rather than perfection. Some people become paralyzed by perfection. Instead of holding yourself back with thoughts imperfection, think about what you are good at and what you enjoy doing, and go for it.
- View mistakes as learning opportunities. Accept the fact that you will make mistakes because everybody does. Mistakes are part of learning. Remind yourself that people’s talents are always evolving, and people excel at different things.
- Try new things. Try experimenting with different activities that will help you get in touch with your talents. Then be proud of the new skills you develop.
- Recognize what you can change and what you cannot. If you realize that you are unhappy with something about yourself that you can change (like your weight), then start today. If it is something you cannot change (like your height), then start to work toward loving yourself the way you are.
- Set goals. Think about what you’d like to accomplish, and then make a plan for how to do it. Stick to your plans and keep track of your progress.
- Act confidently. People will notice your self-confidence and respond positively to you, thereby strengthening your self-image.
- Do something you are good at. This should be something that holds your attention and requires enough focus to get you into that state of ‘flow’ where you forget about everything else. You will feel more competent, accomplished and capable afterwards.
- Stop thinking about yourself. This might sound strange, but poor self-esteem is always accompanied by too much focus on the self. Doing something that absorbs you and holds your attention can quickly make you feel much better.
- Remember everything you have achieved. This can be difficult at first, but after a while, you will develop a mental and written list of self-esteem boosting memories that you can refer to often.