“Self-esteem is an individual’s subjective evaluation of their own worth. Self-esteem encompasses beliefs about oneself as well as emotional states, such as triumph, despair, pride, and shame” Wikipedia
5 ways to combat the feeling of low-self esteem
There are many reasons why a person may have developed low self-esteem. An unhappy childhood where the parents or teachers were over critical with the child’s behaviour or performance. Academic underachievement at school or ongoing life events such as a relationship breakdown or financial trouble.
Whatever the root of the problem is, the individual will create negative thoughts in their mind that makes them feel inadequate, incompetent, and maybe even feel unlovable. This in turn may make them find difficulty in making choices in their life.
#1 Stop your inner critique
Try to stop criticising yourself so much and learn to love yourself. Replace the inner voice that is negative with a positive one. You are unique, there is no-one like you and you have a lot to offer. You just have to firstly believe it.
Being self-critical is not a bad thing if you use it as a tool and not let it control your life. It can spur you on to get things done or to do things better than the last time. We all should learn from our mistakes. But the problem is the danger that being self-critical can drag down your self-esteem and be counter-productive.
Look at life and problems with a beginner’s mind-rather than automatically responding to situations with the same negative pattern of behaviour. You need to approach a problem or situation as though you are seeing it for the first time.
#2 Be kind to yourself (Stay self-connected)
Being kind to yourself means being gentle to yourself at times when you feel like being self-critical. Think what you’d say to a friend in a similar situation. We often give far better advice to others than we do to ourselves.
Mindfulness can help with concentrating on yourself without interpretation or judgement. It is a form of meditation which allows you to let go of your racing thoughts that maybe harming you or distracting you from your goal. More on the subject of mindfulness in another post which will be published soon.
#3 Keep a journal
I know that this is something you may feel is not worth the effort but it does work. Write things down at the end of each day that describes what you can appreciate about yourself or what you have achieved from that day-however small. Identify what you are good at. We’re all good at something, whether it’s cooking, singing, being a good friend or listener. We also tend to enjoy doing the things we’re good at, which can help boost your mood.
Recording your thoughts is an excellent way of learning about yourself. Aim to have at least 5 positive things on your list and, if it is working for you, add to it regularly. Then put your list somewhere you can see it. That way, you can keep reminding yourself that you’re improving.
#4 Accept compliments
One of the problems of having a low estimate of yourself is the reluctance to accept compliments, which is ironic especially as this is the time when you need them the most. You may have a built-in reactive response to accepting complements. A recent study showed that people with low self-esteem have more trouble accepting compliments. This is mainly due to the individual feeling embarrassed, or doubts the sincerity, or that they feel patronized.
Set yourself a goal to tolerate and accept compliments when they are given to you. This is important for healthy relationships, allows you to accept your core self and helps in the process of healing from trauma.
#5 Set realistic expectations
Another reason for self-esteem failure is that you set the bar so high in the first place. If this is the case realise that you are your worst enemy. If you set the bar too high you are in line for a fall.
It is right to set goals and challenges for yourself-but make them realistic. Write down the things that challenge you most and then pick a time to address each one. Work on the easier ones first or the ones that take the least time. Then move onto the more difficult ones. If you apply this method to your challenges, you will be surprised at its effectiveness and it’s is a practical way to improve your self-esteem.
#1 See our supplementary video ‘Fear of Failure’ by clicking on the image below.
#2 See ‘The Ultimate Self-Esteem Formula’ that can help you put your life back on track. Click on image below for details.