How we feel about ourselves affects every aspect of our experiences from how we do our work,raise our children, and relationships. It affects how we let others treat us and how we treat others. All of our life’s experiences are shaped by who we think we are. Self-esteem is essential to a fulfilled life;it is the key to success or failure.
The stronger our self-esteem,the more likely we are to attract healthy relationships. The more resilient we are,the better we can cope with life’s demands.
Focus on building self-esteem,and it will sustain you for a long time.
Here are ways that you can build your self-esteem
Building healthy self-esteem requires integrity. This means honestly-matching who you are on the inside with who you are on the outside.
When you are not being sincere with yourself,or to others,the fraud is directed right back at you. Your self-esteem takes the hit.Courage and independent thinking are elusive traits and this is why so few people are authentic.
When we have integrity,the more self-respect we earn and our self-esteem begins to flourish.
Another crucial aspect of integrity is keeping our word. It isn’t easy though. I believe this is one of the prime reasons our world is in such a state. Do you keep your word? All the time? When you break your word,you break an agreement. There’s no such thing as little agreement. All agreement are important; they are all based on doing what you say you are going to do.The outcome can be war when leaders of countries break agreements. Husbands and wives break agreements,and marriages fall apart. When business partners break agreements,the lawyers get rich.
- Personal Responsibility
Being responsible generates self-esteem. This world needs more participants,not more passengers. Active,responsible people get things done. They are not dependent on society to look after them,nor do they expect handouts.
Now here’s a big question. Consider it carefully and be honest.Are you taking personal responsibility for creating the life you really want,or are you just hoping it will all work out?
If you want to feel better about yourself,start taking responsibility in more areas of your life.
Below are some stem sentences that will help you discover the benefits of increasing your responsibility.
If I took more responsibility for my body,I would exercise three times every week,drink six glasses of water daily and eat more fruits and vegetables.
- If I took more responsibility for my life,I would…
- If I took more responsibility for my finances,I would…
- If I took more responsibility for my hapiness,I would …
- If I took more responsibility for my work,I would…
Now think of one specific area where you are not taking responsibility. The exercise below will be helpful.
1. Define the situation
Example:I do not take responsibility for my health
2. List the benefits if you don’t make any changes
Example:I can continue to eat what I want.
I do not need to take time to exercise.
3. List the costs if you don’t make any changes
Example: I will continue to put on weight.
4. What are you pretending not to know?
Example: I’m very unhealthy,I could be at risk for diabetes.
5. What can you do to be more responsible in this situation?
Example: Take action-start by exercising everyday.
6.When will you start?
- Boost Your Self-Image
Self-Image is based on how you have interpreted what others said,how they treated you,what you told yourself. Your self-image may or may not be accurate,yet it forms your personal beliefs. A belief is anything we hold to be true. Most of our beliefs are formed in childhood when our life experiences and knowledge is limited. During that time,we looked up to significant people like parents,teachers,and others in authority-and mostly believed what they told us. Over the years,these beliefs formed our attitudes and created our life experiences.
Some of our beliefs go deep,to our core,while others lie below the surface. Some labels like You ‘re a loser! may be surface-deep in one person and cut to the core in another. If the second person has a low self-esteem, he could easily interprete this statement as, “I’m not worthy.” A self-image of negative core beliefs can become increasingly negative as you grow older,unless you challenge and change them.
As an adult,you have beliefs about everything including your intelligence,competence,image,and lovability. Unfortunately,much of what you believe is false. To help you better understand this analogy. Have you ever worn someone else’s glasses? They distort the true image of you and your life.
Whose perceptions are you wearing?False beliefs limit you.They become the glasses through which you see your world. You don’t see things as they are,you see things as you are. The glasses acts as a filter,screening out anything that does not match your beliefs.
- The Competence Factor
Do you have the ability to think,reason,and judge for yourself? Do you have a mind you trust?Do you defer to others most of the time? These are important questions to ponder as you continue to build a foundation for healthy self-esteem. Competence is like having internal security. You are self-reliant,confident,you trust yourself to make good decisions,are capable, well-grounded,savvy enough to overcome the obstacles that life presents.
We all feel overwhelmed and helpless from time to time. The competent individual knows these situations are not permanent. He is proactive and uses his knowledge and ability to initiate solutions.
To keep this in perspective, it’s impossible to be competent in all areas of your life,and you don’t need to be.
A woman who has been out of the job market for eight years may not feel competent re-entering the workforce.However,she really shines at managing the home. So do yourself a favour-lighten up,you can’t be great at everything. Here’s what will build the competence factor for you:
– Experience life fully-actively participate
-Understand that unexpected challenges teach you resilience.
– Take responsibility;think for yourself.
-Make your own choices and decisions.
– Improve your skills,keep learning.
– Trust yourself.
Self-worth comes from who you are and not what you do. You can look for your self-worth through achievements by wearing masks and building pseudo self-esteem from external sources, and announce, “Look, I’m worthy.” But inside, you still feel hollow and unworthy. Your internal critic says, ” You are not good enough.” As a result,you feel lost and unloved.
Your worth comes from God. This is a divine gift and doesn’t require validation or proof. It will always be a part of you. It’s where your creativity,enthusiasm,peace,love,trust,hapiness,joy,and wisdom resides. It’s your spiritual core and it’s invincible. Just know that you are worthy,you are enough- right now.
Can you say that with conviction,really believing it? I ‘m enough! This is a cry from your spirit. People who know they are enough value the way they are treated and how they treat others. What about your values?Do you allow people to take you for granted or to demean you? Do you treat others with little or no respect? Only when you feel worthy and have love for yourself can you love others unconditionally. Then your love will be unlimited and will flow freely
It is crucial to have a loving relationship with yourself. It isn’t just a good thing,it’s absolutely indispensable for a healthy,meaningful life. Of all the relationships you will have in this lifetime, you are the only one who will never leave you. Some of us have bought into the belief that it is selfish,conceited,and morally suspect to love and accept ourselves. We are taught to satisfy others and live for everyone else. This is not the moral high ground.Yes,I know we ‘ve all had enough of the “me,myself,and I” generation. It’s not about that.This is about building self-esteem, by honoring and accepting yourself with all of your faults and attributes. That means loving yourself with forgiveness and compassion.
You cannot expect to contribute to the world,to show compassion,and to love others when you reject yourself. To fully accept yourself is to embrace all parts of who you are. It’s easy to love the side of you that’s generous,compassionate,happy,and helpful. But what about the greedy,angry,jealous,or envious side of your character? You need to accept these attributes too. If you only accept the good parts, you are rejecting yourself, and you will never feel whole. By doing so,you automatically reject others as well.
For example,if we deny or are uncomfortable with our anger, we will attract angry people into our lives. We will suppress our angry feelings and judge people whom we see as angry. Since we lie to ourselves about our own internal feelings,which allows us to recognize and reclaim them. Next time you judge someone else for having a negative quality, take a look at yourself first. See if this same quality is part of your own character,but you haven’t accepted it yet.
My advice is to be gentle with yourself,become your own bestfriend,acknowledge the fact that you are human and you make mistakes. Learn to be compassionate and forgiving of yourself as you would be to a dear friend. Value and love the unique person you are as you strive to love and accept others.