Our level of self esteem determines the way we handle our life situations.
When we begin our journey in this world, we start with a clean slate. Gradually life starts to imprint itself on us with different challenges, opportunities and situations.
The was we are taught to deal with these situations have a profound influence on our young minds.
If the outcome of the situation is happy, we will be brimming with confidence.
However, if we come across a negative outcome or failure, it will make us feel bad. In such situations, we will start doubting ourselves. This self-doubt, makes us suffer from low self-esteem.
Also, these self-image gets created in our mind at a very early age like our childhood or preteens.
As we grow up, we understand the negative impact of such a thought process. But since we are not properly equipped, we fail to tackle those thoughts.
As a result, we become victims of our own thoughts and end up accepting failure in all aspects of our lives.This can further complicate situations and you can end up suffering from depression.
What is Self Esteem?
“confidence in one’s own worth or abilities; self-respect”
According to Wikipedia, it reflects a person’s overall subjective emotional evaluation of his or her own worth.
It is a judgment of oneself as well as an attitude toward the self.
In psychology, it is used to describe a person’s overall sense of self-worth or personal value.
What is low self-esteem?
It is a thinking disorder in which an individual thinks himself as inadequate, unacceptable, unworthy, unlovable and/or incompetent.
Since a person thinks about him as unworthy, it affects all his decision making and he will eventually self-sabotage his prospects.
Are you suffering from low self-esteem?
If you have picked up low self-esteem early in life, it becomes extremely difficult for you to identify it.
Check if you have any of these symptoms.
- Faulty self-image
- Inability to discern when and who to trust
- Irrational and distorted self-statements
- Lack of self-confidence
- Obsessive-compulsive and addictive behaviour
- Overly critical of self and others
- Overreacts to situations
- Unreasonable expectations
- Fear and Anxiety
- Mixed Emotions
- Emotional Shutdown
- Panic attacks
- Being Needy
- Chaotic relationships
- Eating disorders
- Lack of assertiveness
- Passive, Aggressive, Passive-aggressive
- Poor Boundaries
- Poor Communication
- Poor social skills
- Sexual Dysfunction
- Wearing a Mask
If you are not sure, try this survey to figure out.
The above list is by no means an exhaustive one. It only shows the challenges that a person suffering from low self-esteem have to face.
These outward manifestations of low self-esteem are just the tip of the iceberg. The actual problem lies deep within.LOW SELF ESTEEM: EVERY COMPLIMENT SOUNDS SARCASTIC – UnknownClick To Tweet
What causes low self-esteem?
Negative experiences that start at an early age can lead to low self-esteem:
- Uninvolved/Negligent parent
- Frequent punishment
- Chronic Abuse
- Harsh Parental Standards
- Being bullied/boycotted
- Being on the receiving end of someone else’s stress or despair
- Lack of praise, warmth and affection
- Staying in a family or group where other members are prejudiced towards
- Negative Peers
- Body Image
- Unrealistic Goals
- Previous Bad Choices
- Negative thought patterns
- Poor Academic Performance
- Feeling like you’re the odd man out
Having a bad childhood or feeling emotionally dejected can be one of the biggest reason for low self-esteem.
To overcome this, the best way is to take small but deliberate steps towards your goal.
However, if at any point, you feel overwhelmed or cannot continue on your own, please seek a professional help.
They will greatly assist you in making those necessary changes to overcome your negative thought patterns.
SELF-ESTEEM comes from being able to define the world in your own terms and refusing to abide by the judgements of others – Oprah Winfrey
Sometimes it is hard to identify the causes of self-esteem. Maybe you’ve never thought about or maybe it’s difficult to identify where it all started.
Whether you know what causes it or not, you can take definite steps to make improvements in your life to reach the level of self-esteem that you deserve.
Before you start working on your self-esteem, you need to understand what is your target.
People who have positive self-esteem shows the below signs:
- No Complains
- Awareness of personal strengths
- No Fear of Failure
- Ability to accept mistakes from others
- Being Optimistic
- Problem Solving
- Being independent and having cooperative attitude
- Comfortable in their own skin
- Ability to trust others
- Good sense of boundaries
- Good self-care
- Ability to say no
Top 10 Ways to Sky-Rocket Your Self Esteem:
1. Write down 3 positive things about you in the morning for the next 30 days
People who suffer from low self-esteem are often guilty of negative self-talk.
They are too critical and are the worst verbal abuser of themselves.
This one act is potent enough to push them into depression.
Words can inspire and words can destroy. Choose yours well. – Robin Sharma, The Monk Who Sold His FerrariClick To Tweet
Words are so powerful that we can change ourselves by positive self-talk.
But How can you give up your years of negative self-talk practice in one day?
Let’s be practical here. You cannot change anything in one day.
It requires patience and practice. However, this is possible.
You will have to deliberately practice your positive self-talk. How?
Here is my game plan for you:
Take a fresh notebook.
Why fresh notebook? It makes you psychologically prepared for a fresh start.
You will be optimistic and more willing to take action.
You can choose any colour or design you want. I use a leather-jacketed one of following dimensions: 5″ x 8.25″. So can get yourself something like below. They are super inexpensive and works out very well
Every morning, once you get up, write down 3 positive things about yourself.It could be anything.
Example, How kind you are, how smart you are, you have a superb sense of smell or you are observant, patient…you get the idea.
Once you have written down, your positive trait, you are free to start your day.
REMEMBER: DON’T START YOUR DAY UNTIL YOU HAVE WRITTEN DOWN YOUR POSITIVE QUALITIES – Wise Child
Try this for at least for 30 days. Feel free to extend the timeline, but you are not supposed to reduce the timelines.
Once you start writing these positive things in the morning, your brain will start secreting a hormone called dopamine. This chemical has the power to make you high. But at lower levels, you will feel happy, upbeat and invincible.
Less negative influence
The happiness that starts with this dopamine surge will trickle into your day. You will have more immunity towards negativity and will have a better-analyzing capability. For me, it has given benefit like not taking things personally, or having a smile throughout the day on my face. My sense of humour has improved and I’ve become much less critical of myself.
2.Don’t compare yourself to others
Comparison is an act of violence against the self. – IYANLA VANZANT
When we compare ourselves with others, it means that we have accepted that we are inferior to them.
Research shows that when we compare ourselves to others, we give in to the feelings of envy, low self-confidence and depression.
This destroys your inner peace.
You don’t know the complete truth:
Everybody, in their lives, is struggling with their own battle.
When you start comparing yourself to them, you are judging them based an on half-truth.
One of your friends seems to be extremely rich. Good position in an MNC, Fancy car, huge apartment.
You are struggling with your current job, low salary and is leaving in a 1 BHK apartment. You wish you had that life.
But do you know, maybe he has acquired those assets by taking a huge debt and maybe struggling to repay it?
Maybe he is even secretly envying you for having any debt at all and having a free life.
You are damaging your sense of self
Comparing yourself to others is an insult to yourself.
You are demeaning all the hard work and sacrifices that you have done.
This will put you in a negative mindset and you will detest hard work and will not want to do anything.
You will start doubting yourself and will never be able to progress in your life.
This will again make you compare yourself with other again and the result will be a vicious circle.
It will stop you from achieving your goals
When you start comparing yourself to others, you focus on what they have achieved in life, how far they have travelled and the humongous gap between you and them.
CRAP!!! Now, you are even more demotivated and decide not to work on your goal at all.
You think, “What’s the point, I’ll fail anyway”.
Instead, focus on
Review your goals twice every day in order to be focused on achieving them – Les Brown
Don’t hold yourself back, for the bad choices that you have made in the past.
They happened for a reason. They gave you an invaluable lesson and have made you strong.
Instead of focusing on how much you are left behind, start focusing on your goals, make a plan and go for it.
Get yourself a copy of this book and repeat with me,
Most of us have a sedentary lifestyle. We spend a huge chunk of our time, in front of laptop or TV.
Either way, we have grown unfit and it has contributed to our already suffering self-image.
Doing regular exercise can definitely help here. How?
Regular exercise keeps your body and heart healthy.
It improves your immune system and you lower the risk of chronic disease.
It increases your energy level, muscle tone and reduces depression and anxiety.
As a result, your self-esteem increases and you feel good about yourself.
20-30 min in a day for 3-5 days a week is sufficient
Sense of achievement
Who likes exercise? Not me 😀
But if you are like me, you will admit that, if you can stick to your exercise routine for say a week, you will feel that what a great achievement you have.
This sense of achievement does more good than you realize, it will boost your self-esteem and in turn, will give you the discipline to finish tasks.
Once this cycle starts repeating often, you will start building a self-reliance and your self-esteem will soar
Thinking about what exercises to do? It can be anything of your choice.
Pick a sport you like. For me, Yoga and Jogging work best. You can select anything else.
If you are a beginner please don’t start anything which is extremely rigorous.
The sheer magnitude of it will force you to quit. Start small. Maybe 5-10 min.
Your goal here is to stick to the routine first. You can try any of the following
Will give you a sense of relaxation and a lot of other health benefits. If you are just starting, hire a coach for you.
I love this. You will not require much of an equipment. It is you and the mat.
Start with 5-10 min of jogging and then gradually build up from there. A session of 20-25 min should be sufficient.
Include a session meditation in your exercise routine. It has many health benefits like reduces stress, improves concentration, increases self-awareness, increases happiness, increases acceptance, slows ageing, benefits cardiovascular immune system.
However, before starting any workout routine, please consult your doctor to get an approval.
A GOOD MAN CAN MAKE YOU FEEL SEXY, STRONG AND ABLE TO TAKE ON THE WORLD….Oh, sorry, that’s exercise…EXERCISE DOES THAT… – Unknown
One last piece of advice. WATCH OUT!! What you eat. Exercise is only one part of the whole self-esteem process.
Food also has a major role to play. Some foods will make you feel miserable, think fast food.
And whatever it is, don’t believe all the fad diets are going being advertised so often.
EAT LOCAL, THINK GLOBAL – Rujuta Diwekar, Nutritionist, author of Don’t lose your mind, LOSE YOUR WEIGHT
4.Learn something new
A new beginning gives you a lot of hope, anticipation and fun.
But, Learning something new can be quite challenging at times, thus people often tend to avoid doing that.
So, let me give you some of the benefits of learning something new other than the obvious:
Have you observed kids when they are learning a new game or a trick?
The fun they have when they are figuring out, how to climb stairs or to walk.
They fall, they get hurt, but they never stop. They are having too much fun t.
When was the last time you learned something new that got your passion ignited? A long Time Ago? Never?
Then it’s very likely that you forgot how fun it is to learn new stuff in the first place.
Go ahead and start learning something new. You gonna feel like a kid in a candy store
Sense of accomplishment and pride
Nothing can make you prouder at the moment, than learning something new.
Remember the feeling when you said a full sentence in another language?
The first couple of chords on the guitar? Or earning your first paycheck?
This feeling will increase your self-worth in your eyes and will do wonders for your self-esteem
5.Ditch perfectionismStriving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing – HARRIET BRAIKERClick To Tweet
Perfectionism according to me is the highest form of self-abuse.
It will demoralize you to the core and your self-esteem will plummet.
You will think “You are never good for anything. There is a flaw in everything you do”.
Tell me, How can you live happily in such kind of a life?
You find fault in everything that you do, instead of appreciating the beauty that is already there.
Focus on being a imperfectionist. Not in a lousy messy way but in a acheiving excellence kind of way.
6.Dress up Smart
If you want to be taken seriously in business or work, you will have to dress the part.
Society is condition this way. If you dress up well, look smart, people will listen to you. Why?
According to Complex
It makes you look like someone who could be respected:
The theory is if you dress like a boss, people will accept you like a boss.
Have you seen your manager? How well he is dressed?
Also, if people start to treat you with respect it will a major boost towards your self-confidence.
Though I agree that we should work on ourselves inside out, but a little outside help is not a bad thing.
It gives you self-confidence
If you like the person in the mirror, half of your self-esteem battle is won.
Though you will have to follow through with your actions, dressing up well will give you a lot of self-confidence.
Also, as per THE CLASSY WOMAN
You will appear more trustworthy:
Let me give you an example
Out of this two people, whose advice will you take?
Obviously, the second one because he looks more trustworthy.
What is the difference between the two? Only the way they have dressed up. You get the idea.
You will be motivated to get and stay fit
When you go shopping, how often you have those ufff!!! moments when you cannot get your size.
You know you will look extremely well in that dress but your body needs a bit of trimming.
Dressing up well has this advantage that you will be motivated to stay fit to fit into those dresses.
Our society has conditioned ourselves to think “One size fits all”.
However, nature has created each individual uniquely.
According to PROLIFIC living, we as individuals are shaped by our
- Core values
- Likes and Dislikes
Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power – TAO TE CHING
So try to know thyself. It will help you to understand why you lack self-esteem and you can devise a plan accordingly to tackle it.
8.Change your posture
People with low self-esteem not only suffer from inside, their battle is visible even from outside.
They tend to slouch a lot and take up as little space as possible.
They try to be invisible to others. This tendency is clearly visible when a person is feeling low or sad.
They tend to slump their shoulders and look down.
Therefore, in the same tone as Calvin Gaka, I would say that changing your physiology will make you change your frame of mind.
We all are aware of how our minds affect our body.
Any Cuddy, a social psychologist, in her research found that changing our posture can affect our mind.
In her powerful TED Talk, she explains how a holding a power pose for 2 min can change your mind.
Fake it, till you become it – Amy Cuddy, Author Presence: Bringing your boldest self to your biggest challenge
9.Every night, write down three good things that happened to you that day
Positive thoughts have a profound influence on us. It feels us with hope and courage to take on our lives.
As in point 1, you are starting your day with positivity, you should end your day with positivity as well.
This will make your subconscious work in your favour when you are sleeping.
Benefits will be:
- Your subconscious will begin to think good things can happen to you
- You will be getting up next day with positivity
- You will be much immuned to the negativity that will come your way
10.Spend time with positive people
As mentioned in this article, sometimes avoidance is what you need to get ahead in life.
Negativity people have a superb ability to demotivate you if you are trying to make a positive change in your life.
They will give you 100s of reasons that why your strategy will not work rather than encouraging you.
You don’t need these people in your life. I know it’s harsh for me to say this. But that is the truth.
Try to minimize your interaction with these people.
Find out people who are going through the same journey as yours or who is ahead of you on the same journey.
Hang out with them. It will fill you with positivity because the result of the efforts will be right in front of you.