Do you value yourself or not? Are you happy, self-confident, and comfortable with yourself? Would it surprise you to learn that many people quietly and privately do not have a high opinion of themselves? If you feel that you are one of life’s failures or just not where you want to be, read on.
Self-esteem is your opinion of yourself. It is how you regard yourself in terms of your accomplishments, your job, your relationships, and how you think you fit in with the world around you. Having healthy self-esteem means you value your contribution and have a high regard for yourself. Conversely, having an unhealthy (or low) self-esteem means you feel your contribution is negligible and you are of little no value to anyone.
What’s more, if you do see yourself as a failure, your ego has a vested interest in creating self-sabotage to make sure eternal failure stays that way. Why? To reinforce the self-image it has created and, at the same time prove it is right! Always remember your ego likes to reinforce its viewpoint by being proved right, and it doesn’t like change!
Your self-esteem develops at an early age, beginning with how you were treated as a child. It continues into adulthood and can be impacted by failed relationships, rejection, disappointments in school, job, relationships, etc. In many instances, it was formed by our interpretation of how someone acted or what they said, regardless of their intentions. Today at this very moment, you are carrying around an entire suitcase of self-opinions some as old as your days as a toddler.
The following is a plan you might consider if you want to raise your self-esteem. Some will tell you that raising your low self-esteem is not going to be easy. If you think it will be, you are right. If you think otherwise, you are equally correct. The only person who can do it is you – no one else can do it for you. No amount of external intervention can help you raise your self-esteem if you don’t want to do it. Wanting to have healthy self-esteem is your conscious choice.
So how can you develop healthy self-esteem? Listed below are ten areas you will want to address.
Identify the Real You
Self-esteem starts with self-acceptance and self-acceptance is built through identifying your own strengths and weaknesses. Recognizing your true strengths and weaknesses can be a useful tool in becoming a better person by having a better feeling towards yourself.
Know Your Strengths
Everyone has strengths; yes everyone. Take time out to understand what you are really good at. If you are not sure, ask someone who knows you well. It is important to identify and nurture any talents that you are naturally gifted at. Whether it’s the ability to sing, paint, run, write well, put together a watch, have a photographic memory, tell a story, assemble a wardrobe, throw a football, be a friend, or stand on your head – celebrate it. Whatever it is, you will want to find a venue for your talents to flourish. OWN your strengths!
Acknowledge Your Weaknesses
Yes, illuminate the negative. Shine a light on what you consider your weaknesses to be. The worst thing you can do is try to ignore or hide a weakness. Acknowledging your weaknesses is actually a sign of strength and confidence. No one else is perfect so why should you be?
Stop Comparing Yourself to Other People
Comparing yourself to others sets you up for continual frustration. Judgment is a form of fear and will beget more negativity to you. There is only one you. You are who you are and you are unique, so comparing yourself to anyone else is a pointless exercise. Be yourself and let others be themselves.
Learn to let go of mistakes
This will often be easier said than done, but forgiveness is a huge step in self-development – and so liberating! Dwelling on your mistakes is a habit that must be broken. Let go of your mistakes and move on. Learn the lessons and then leave the negative things behind. Recalling mistakes will drive your self-esteem lower and lower and eventually you will have nothing left.
Re-train Your Inner Voice
Call it “monkey talk,” mind chatter, or whatever, but your inner voice is the small voice inside your head, which tells you why you cannot achieve something. It is your ego keeping you small and fearful, creating all types of scenarios as to why you can’t or shouldn’t do something or feel a certain way. It is the voice in your head that seeks to convince you that you are about to fail – yet again. It works to keep your self-esteem down by dwelling on your faults and weaknesses. Stop listening to this and learn to address yourself in a positive tone. Make a conscious effort to always use positive remarks and try to leave out the destructive criticisms.
Don’t Take Responsibility When You Are Not Responsible
While you should always learn to be accountable for what happens to you, you may not always be responsible for it. Learn to detach from situations and take a logical view of things. (You may have to do this after the event, but do it anyway).
Be prepared to accept responsibility that is truly yours, but never let others lay blame on you and make you feel bad just to make themselves feel better. Avoid these people like the plague! Trust me, this will be worth it.
Eliminate the Negative Influences in Your Life.
These negative influences want you to stay just the way you are for a variety of reasons. They can include other people who try to lower your self-esteem or the fearful messages. They can come from the media, advertisers, politicians, and even well meaning people like educators, religious leaders, and sometimes friends and family members. Step back and analyze those messages directed at you. Likewise identify those that actually are negatively bringing you down. These are the people and influences you should avoid if you want to raise your self-esteem to a healthy level. Ignore or better separate yourself from these negative influences. Sometimes that is not altogether possible, but you certain can discount them, for they are no doubt dealing with their own hurt, low self-esteem, or control issues – and it’s not necessarily about you.
Know What You Can Control
Your attitude and response to life are actually some of the few things in life that you can control. You can choose to have a positive or negative response to any situation at any time, but you know there should only be one choice! Your attitude is the vehicle to make all things possible, and with a truly positive attitude you will be amazed just what you can achieve. By having a positive belief system, you will begin to incur good feelings. And should you experience ill feelings, that is a gift signal to you that you should change your beliefs.
Learn to Enjoy Your Life
Life is a journey and not a destination. Therefore while we may experience detours, we can never experience failure. The world is a strange and bizarre place. You should accept the absurdity of life and don’t take things too seriously. Look hard for the blessings in the lessons that life throws your way in the form of disappointment, hardship, and seeming tragedy. Identify and enjoy the company of others on the understanding that they all are here to help you and are taking their own journeys to better themselves as well. When you truly become aware, you will uncover the fact that there are people and things all around you to HELP YOU toward fulfilling your life’s purpose.
Don’t accept your low self-esteem. You can always improve it, especially now that you know how. You are the Producer, Director, Writer, and Lead Actor in your life’s play. Don’t allow or accept what others might expect or want you to be, control it yourself. And for those of you so inclined, invite God or Source Energy (love) to help you. It’s your choice and always will be.