Our self-esteem is how we value and perceive ourselves. If you have low self-esteem you may feel like you hate or dislike yourself, worthless or not good enough, unable to make decisions or assert yourself, undeserving of happiness, low in confidence and so on.
Think about what is affecting your self-esteem. Your confidence may have been lowered after a difficult experience or series of negative life event. Or you may have had low self-esteem for as long as you can remember. If this is the case, it can be hard to recognise how you feel and make changes to challenge your low self-belief.
But whatever the cause, it can be helpful to remind yourself that you have the right to feel good about who you are. It can be difficult to break habits but there are steps you can take to feel better about yourself.
1) Avoid the Negative Voice
You fall into a deep habit where you might automatically put yourself down. But learning to identify and challenge your negative self-beliefs can have a positive impact on your self-esteem. Learn to question whether what you say to yourself with the negative thoughts, whether they’d be something you’d express to others?
You often fall in the trap of comparing yourself with others, especially we see through social media these days. But remember, a snap shot of a person you see who may look fancy, well off and full of confidence, doesn’t tell a person’s full story. So, learn to not compare yourself with others.
2) Learn to be assertive
When you don’t like yourself, it’s easy to assume others won’t like you either. You may find you go out of your way to help others as you feel it’s the only way they’ll like you. It can make you feel even worse if this help isn’t reciprocated.
A good deed is great but over stretching yourself to please others can leave you with less energy to focus on yourself and can affect your mental health.
You could try the following to increase your confidence:
a) Learn to say “no” – take a breath before automatically agreeing to do something you don’t want to
b) Set boundaries around how much you do for other people
c) Take control of your own decisions
At first you might find it difficult to break these habits but making small changes to be more assertive can feel liberating and gets easier the more you do it.
3) Focus on your positives
You may automatically think you’re not good at something. This may stop you from doing the things you enjoy or trying new things, which can make you feel worse about yourself.
Celebrate your successes without belittling them. No matter how small they may seem to you, take time to praise yourself and reflect on what you did well. Accept compliments. Make a note of them to look over when you’re doubting yourself. Write a list of what you like about yourself. You could include aspects of your personality, your appearance and what you like doing.
Finally, I forever feel that self-esteem is learnable and regainable even if you feel you are at the lowest point in your life. These may be words you’ve heard many times before, however every small positive step you take to rebuild your confidence and self-esteem, your strengths will shine and your smile will return. Always remember, no matter how tough times get, you hold a gift in life, and it is up to you to discover what this gift is and learn to share its value with friends, family and in time with the world.
Born to Serve, Live to Inspire
If you feel you require personal one to one support or coaching to rebuild your self esteem, confidence and courage and would like to discuss this with me, I’d be delighted to provide you my support, insights and guidance to help kick start your journey to self-fulfilment.