While often mistaken for self-confidence, self esteem is basically the opinion you have about yourself or how you feel about yourself in general.
At one point or another, most people will find it hard to believe in themselves.
However, this lack of belief in one’s self becomes a problem when it lingers for a very long time.
What is Self Esteem?
Many people regard self esteem as their self-dialogue or inner voice.
It is also considered as the voice that tells you if you are good enough to achieve or do something.
In essence, self esteem is how you value yourself.
It is also your perception of who you are and what you are capable of.
If you have good self esteem, you typically feel good about yourself and your life.
This makes you more resilient and better able to handle life’s ups and downs.
If you have poor self esteem, you tend to be critical of yourself.
This makes it difficult for you to bounce back from setbacks and challenges.
Understandably, a great self esteem (or lack of it) can greatly influence how you behave and what you can achieve in your life.
Improving Your Self Esteem: Top Tips to Keep in Mind
The good news is there is no shortage of ways you can improve your self esteem.
Below are some of the tried and tested ways to achieve this objective:
1. Challenge and identify your negative beliefs.
The first step to improving your self esteem would be to identify and challenge any negative beliefs you may have about yourself.
Observe what your thoughts are about yourself.
For instance, you might notice that you keep thinking “I’m not smart enough” or I’m not clever enough.”
Once you notice any negative thoughts, look for evidence that will contradict those statements.
Write them down and keep reminding yourself that any of the negative beliefs you have about yourself are simply not true.
2. Figure out positive things about yourself.
It is also recommended that you write down positive things about yourself.
When you feel low, read your list and remind yourself that there are so many things about you that make you unique and special.
If anything, positive internal dialogue can go a long way towards improving your self esteem.
While there will be many times when you get back to entertaining negative thoughts about yourself, with regular effort, you can start to feel more confident and positive.
3. Build positive relationships.
If you look hard enough, you will notice that there are people (and relationships) that make you feel good about yourself.
If such is the case, hold onto those people.
In addition, make sure you avoid those people who make you feel bad about yourself.
If you currently have negative people in your life that bring you down, let them go.
As a general rule of thumb, focus on relationships that bring out the best in you and avoid those people that drag you down.
4. Be gentle with yourself.
You don’t have to be perfect all the time.
Know that your self esteem can vary every now and then and you don’t necessarily have to feel bad about it.
Be gentle with yourself and give yourself a break.
Know that there will always be times when you feel down or that you find it hard to maintain your belief in yourself.
Gently and persistently remind yourself of the great things you can do and the amazing qualities you have as a person until you feel better and confident about yourself again.
5. Learn to say no and be assertive.
If you have low self esteem, you often find it hard to say no to others or stand up for yourself.
This can result in you becoming overburdened at work or at home since you find it hard to say no.
However, this should not be the case as this can lead to stress and can make things even harder for you to manage.
Being assertive can make a difference in your self esteem as you would be able to own your time and you are able to work on the things that matter to you.
It would also help if you can say no without explaining yourself or feeling guilty about it.
Know what your priorities are and focus on those priorities first.
Over to You
If you have low self esteem right now, know that you can turn things around. However, it is also ideal that you don’t expect to go from low to great self esteem overnight. The key is to work on improving your self esteem consistently and focus on the big picture until you are where you want to be.