Self-esteem is how you feel about yourself as a person. Many people base their sense of self-worth on external factors, such as how much money they make, how good looking they are, and how many friends they have. But any of these can change, and if they do, self-esteem can take a nose dive.
Building self-esteem isn’t about changing who you are, it’s about changing how you think about who you are and changing your bahavior as a result. self-esteem depends on your mindset, which is then reinforced by how yo act. And you always have a choice to change how you think and how you act.
Some people confuse self-esteem with arrogance. Arrogance is about believing in yourself in an unrealistic way and seeing yourself as better and more important than others. on the contrary, self-esteem invloves believing in yourself in a realistic way, recognising that you have equal worth to others and not putting others down.
Low self-esteem is about believing that your rights are less important than the rights of others, doubting yourself and your abilities, and believing that you are unworthy. As a result, it leads to passive behaviours, such as:
- Avoiding giving your opinion or agreeing with the opinion of others on a regular basis even though you don’t agree with them.
- Avoiding expressing your feelings, wishes or needs.
- Acting in ways to please others all the time.
- Frequently saying “sorry” even when you done nothing wrong.
- Being unable to say “no” to others on a regular basis.
5 Effective strategies to help you build your self-esteem:
1. Focus on Your Positive Qualities:
A helpful starting point in enhancing your appreciation of yourself is to make a list of your qualities, talents, skills, and strengths. Enhancing self-esteem involves focusing attention on your strong points and on the good things in your life. Ignoring your strong points and downgrading achievements are part of the bias against yourself that keeps low self-esteem going.
It’s important to note that if your self-esteem has been low for some time, you will probably have difficulty in identifying your strong points and qualities. However, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have any, it means that you are out of the habit of noticing and giving weight to them.
2. Avoid Self-Criticism:
Self-critical thoughts result in painful feelings (sadness, disappointment, anger, guilt), and keep low self-esteem going. Being self-critical means that you react to even small mistakes, failures or errors of judgment as if they told the whole story about you.
Self-criticism undermines your confidence and makes you feel down and discouraged about yourself. It does not give you any clues as to how to do better next time. It only makes you lose the opportunity to learn from your mistakes and to work constructively on aspects of yourself that you wish to change. Anyway, You can learn to stand back from self-critical thoughts, and see them as something you do rather than a mirror image of your true self.
3. Become A Master of Something You Enjoy:
Find an area that interests you or something you naturally excel in, and put your focus on learning everything you can about it. This will take some hard work and dedication, but it’s well worth the effort.
To become proficient quickly, you need to practice often. as you perform in your area, make adjustments and improvements to get even better. This increased competency will be source of satisfaction and achievement for you, and it will change the way you view yourself and your abilities as well.
4. Read Materials That Uplift You:
If you have a habit of thinking poorly about yourself, you can lift your spirits by reading materials that make you look at the brighter side of life. Reading uplifting books or articles can give you an inspiration to live a better life. on the other hand, watching TV shows, movies, or commercials can go a long way in making you feel like a victim and that you’re not good enough.
5. Volunteer for an Organization With a Worthy Cause:
There’s nothing like helping others to make you feel good about yourself. Not only do you feel more connected to others and have pride in what you’re doing, but volunteering also offers you a chance to give back to your community.
Some Benefits of Volunteering:
- It helps you make new friends and contacts.
- It gives you the opportunity to practice and develop your social skills.
- It increases your self-confidence that you’re accomplishing something important and worthwhile.
- It leads to greater happiness for you and those you assist.
Tip: Try to be patient with yourself and the process. Your view of yourself and your low self-esteem has developed over your entire life. You can temporarily change behaviors quickly, but this type of change doesn’t last. Permanent change requires that your thinking and attitude readjust, that they go through a process of being permanently modified, and this takes time. There are no shortcuts!
Discover the 9 Thinking Errors That Keep Low Self-Esteem Going
- Overcoming Low Self-Esteem
- Banish Your Self-Esteem Thief: A Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Workbook on Building Positive Self-esteem for Young People
( (2006) Breaking the Chain of Low Self-Esteem2nd Edition)