Improving Your Self-Esteem
When you hear the term self-esteem, what comes to mind? People usually associate self-esteem with confidence and efficacy. However, self-esteem is how YOU value your worth as well as how you think, feel, and act based upon this self-assessment. Self-esteem is something that has to come from within. When you experience low self-esteem, it can create poor valuation and it can create a feeling of emptiness; this can cause individuals to fill this emptiness by latching on to external factors that provide temporary gratification. Low self-esteem can cause an array of issues such as depression, stress, relationship issues, and poor coping skills. It is worth noting that a healthy sense of esteem can fluctuate. While having a high self-esteem is considered the standard, this can also come with a downside. Having a high self-esteem can cause an individual to be defensive and irrational. Ultimately, you want to have a healthy sense of esteem.
There are many factors that can contribute to you having low self-esteem such as: overly critical parent(s), parental abuse, relationship conflicts, significant childhood loss, etc. However, IT IS possible to overcome the factors that have contributed your low self-esteem. Listed below are some things that you can do to improve your self-esteem.
Steps to improve your self-esteem
- Know your worth. Take some time and consider your worth. Many may feel that this is an act of pride or you being selfish but in fact it is the complete opposite. Remember, you are worthy
- Improve positive self-talk. Negative self-talk can be irrational and distorted, which can be deleterious to your self-esteem. Practice positive self-talk by reflecting on commonly used negative statements. Identify positive statements that will counter the negative statements.
- Positive affirmations. The most powerful messages come from within, since you are the expert. Positive affirmations are practical, positive self-talk that can be used to empower you. Examples of positive affirmations are Examples can be “I am lovable and capable”, My feelings and needs are important”, “I deserve the respect of others”
- Accomplishments. When you accomplish goals, it can add to your self-esteem. Take a moment to look back over your life to when you felt most confident, it was probably followed by an accomplishment. This is not to say that external achievements can be the sole purpose for your self-worth, but it can increase it.
- Improving physical well-being. One of the most important factors for improving self-esteem is improving your physical well-being. Incorporate exercise into your daily routine, eating well, and getting enough sleep.
- It’s ok to say NO. Individuals with low self-esteem may find it hard to advocate for themselves or say no to others. Learn to honor your own needs with others in an assertive manner. Develop nonverbal assertive behaviors, exercise your basic rights, practice assertive responses, and learn to say no without an explanation.