Your self-esteem will determine your progress in life. As humans, we have opinions and the most important opinion is the opinion we have about ourselves because this opinion will influence our happiness and enjoyment of life. Do you know that people with low self-esteem don’t get to live a fulfilled life? Are you dealing with low self-esteem? It is very important to overcome your low self-esteem quickly because it might steal away your destiny. In this article, I will teach you practical ways to overcome low self-esteem. I will advise you to bookmark this article so that you can come back to it anytime.
I remember a client of mine who has low self-esteem. She was forced to work in the family business, even though she doesn’t show any interest in the business. Her father has forced her to study engineering and she graduated with distinctions. She wanted to become an army but she found herself working in her parents’ construction company. Her father always tells her that she’s good for nothing and no military will ever accept her. She feels helpless, worthless and depressed because she couldn’t follow her dream. Soon, she developed low self-esteem.
All her life, she always pleases everyone except herself. She felt she wasn’t good enough and had low expectations for herself. She couldn’t even talk to anyone about it. She’s afraid of being called ungrateful because many people pray to have the life she lives. Everyone envied her because she has wealthy parents, and she’s a member of the board for the company at 22 years old.
Addressing low self-esteem from the root
She came to me for help. She told me how she feels bad for not wanting to work at the family company, yet couldn’t find happiness for staying. We had a series of coaching sessions for her to reflect on herself, gain clarity about her life and set her priorities in life. I taught her how to overcome low self-esteem and we did some practical activities together. It’s easy to tell her that she should go for what she wants and become the army she wanted to become, but the truth is that that won’t stop her from having low self-esteem. Getting rid of a tree doesn’t mean that the tree won’t grow again since the root is still intact. You’ve got to get rid of the root cause of low self-esteem and not just address the current issue you are facing.
The question is what if she gets to the army and her superior tells her she’s not good enough, what do you think will happen? It’s obvious she’s someone who is easily affected by what people think about her. That’s why she tends to please others against her will and have low expectations for herself. So, we first have to build her self-confidence and help her develop high self-esteem so that she will be able to handle whatever situation she finds herself, make her own decisions and stand by it regardless of others’ opinion. We achieved our aim for coaching as she was able to overcome her low self-esteem and build self-confidence. The last time I saw her, I saw her in her army uniform. She has decided to find fulfilment for herself. Damn! She looks so sexy in that uniform (wink).
Are you willing to overcome your low self-esteem?
I want you to know that self-improvement doesn’t happen by accident, it happens by taking deliberate actions to improve yourself. Therefore, you must be willing to do what it takes to overcome low self-esteem. If you are willing, then you are welcome to continue reading this article. I don’t expect you to finish reading this article at once. If you can, please do and if not, you should bookmark it so that you can come back to continue reading from where you stopped. Let’s dive right in.
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If I am to teach you how to overcome low self-esteem, I need to first make sure that you understand what we are talking about. Your understanding of the subject will give you a clear picture of what your goals should be as you aim to overcome your low self-esteem. So what is self-esteem? Can you define low self-esteem?
I will define self-esteem as the opinion you have about yourself. The opinion could be influenced by you, people, situation or society. The opinion determines how much you will appreciate and like yourself. If the opinion is influenced by you, it will most likely result in high self-esteem. And if the opinion is influenced by people or situation, it will most likely result in low self-esteem.
Types of self-esteem
Self-esteem levels could be at the extreme high or low ends of the spectrum.
- Inflated self-esteem: this is at the extremely high level of self-esteem spectrum. People with inflated self-esteem think very highly of themselves and believe that others are inferior. The narcissists are found at this level.
- High self-esteem: this is at the healthy level of self-esteem spectrum. People with high self-esteem accept and value themselves. They believe in themselves yet they don’t think that others are inferior. This is a positive self-esteem everyone should aim to have.
- Low self-esteem: this is at the harmful level of self-esteem spectrum. People who have low self-esteem do not value themselves, and they lack confidence. They see themselves as inadequate, unworthy, unacceptable, and incomplete therefore they do not trust in their own abilities. Furthermore, you will agree with me that there are levels of ‘low’. A phone’s battery at 20% is low and a phone’s battery at 2% is low too. How low is your self-esteem? Are you at the extreme low ends of the spectrum? That has to change now.
I want you to know that opinion is not necessarily based on fact or knowledge, so is your self-esteem. Self-esteem is not based on fact; it is only based on what you think, feel and believe about yourself. And this forms the basis of self-esteem.
The 3 points of self-esteem (TFB)
TFB: Think, Feel and Believe. Self esteem is based on TFB. What do you think? Do you think you will succeed in life or do you think you are a failure? What do you feel? Do you feel like you are a valuable addition to the world or do you feel like you are a worthless person? What do you believe about yourself? Do you believe you deserve a good life or do you believe life is meaningless? Your TFB determines your level of self-esteem.
If you have high self-esteem, you will have confidence in your abilities. However, it doesn’t mean that your ability won’t fail you but when it fails; your high self-esteem will help you to move on. For example, you have confidence in your ability to manage a project. You did everything but the project failed. The fact that the project has failed doesn’t mean that you will lose your self-esteem. You know why? In the first place, your confidence in your abilities isn’t based on fact; it’s based on how you judge your worth (what you think about yourself).
Since you think highly of yourself, if the project failed or not, you will still believe that you are good enough and that it failed due to unexpected circumstances. Yeah, you could identify a need for improvement and aim to do better next time. But even at that, you will still choose to think/ feel/ believe that you are good enough.
What if you have low self-esteem, what happens?
Due to the fact that you don’t have confidence in your ability, whatever people tell you is what you tend to accept. If the project you worked on becomes successful, it will look like you have suddenly become a magician. And when they start praising you for it, you might start to think that you are indeed good in project management and your opinion about yourself changes. But if the project should fail and they start telling you how you are the cause for the failure even though from all indications, you had nothing to do with it (let’s say it failed due to a natural disaster). You will somehow believe them and change your opinion about yourself; hence they influence your opinion either positively or negatively.
Instead of you to reason that you are truly not the cause since it was due to circumstances beyond your control, you will throw away logic and start to accept their opinion that you are indeed the cause for the failure and then you start to think that you are horrible at project management. Your opinion about yourself then changes for the worse. All because you have low self-esteem, what others think about you is what influences your opinion, forgetting that their opinion is not based on fact; it is based on how they judge your worth. But why would you let others judge your worth? It’s your worth; you are supposed to judge it yourself.
You are to determine your worth
Will a producer produce a product, release it to the market and then tell consumers to pay whatever they think the product should worth? Of course not, a producer will judge his/her product’s worth before releasing it to the market. Yes, negotiation is allowed but the price (worth) of the product will determine if negotiation is reasonable or not. If you don’t judge your worth by yourself, everyone will place varying worth on you, and most of it will be worthless. Your self-esteem should be based on how you judge your worth and don’t let other’s judge your worth for you. Yes, they might give good advice and that can help improve your worth but the basis of your worth should be solely based on your opinion.
What if the project failed because the person did something stupid indeed?
Let’s assume that the project failed because of the person’s poor planning. Then, we might say the people are right to blame that person for the project failure. Yes, they might be right with their judgment about that person’s worth, but then their judgement is still not a fact, so it shouldn’t affect that person’s self-esteem. Yes, the person did something stupid but it doesn’t mean that the person is horrible at it.
Something is right doesn’t mean it is the fact.
Sometimes, we make mistakes. I have done something’s in life and failed because I either made the wrong decision or did something stupid. However, I don’t let my mistake make the final decision that I am bad at any given task. Instead, I would learn from my mistake and repeat the task. Most times, if not all the time, the task ends up yielding amazing results and makes me look like a pro.
I believe you know the story of the singer Maren Morris. She was rejected from both “American Idol” and “The Voice.” It’s easy to say that since she was rejected by top singing competition platforms, she’s not a worthy singer. The judges for American Idol and The Voice judged her worth based on their own opinion. According to their opinion, they might be right but it’s not the fact because we all have various opinions.
Letting other’s judge your worth is the number one mistake someone can make in life. Yes, the judges judged her worth, but she didn’t accept their judgment because she understands that one’s judgment of self-worth should supersede all others’ judgment about one’s worth. Today, Maren Morris is one of the leading voices in county music. She has been nominated for various awards and has won a lot of awards including Grammy awards.
Have you heard of Shark Tank?
Shark tank is a business reality television series where aspiring entrepreneurs from around the world pitch their business model and persuade the panel of investors to invest in their idea. Jamie Siminoff, the company founder of Ring pitched the product ‘DoorBot’ on Shark Tank. Jamie asked for $700,000. The investors judged his company’s idea and worth and felt that the company doesn’t deserve much. All the sharks (investors) backed out except for Kevin who showed interest. However, what Kevin was asking in exchange for providing $700,000 was too much for Jamie. Ideally, everyone would have thought that Jamie will accept the deal since he didn’t get any offer from the other investors. However, Jamie didn’t let their judgment of his worth to determine how he should judge his own worth.
He has already judged the worth of his company and he’s going to uphold his judgment above others opinion (judgment). So he turned down the $700,000 deal and left shark tank empty-handed. The same company idea that got nothing from the shark tank (rejected) is the same company Amazon paid $1 billion for. Jamie Siminoff got $1 billion for his company, which is more than times 2 of the total net worth of the shark investor (Kevin O’Leary), who undervalued his company’s worth.
Self-esteem is very flexible
This is because self-esteem is an opinion and opinion changes over time and under different situation or circumstances. Your self-esteem today might be high and tomorrow, it might be low or vice-versa. However, what will help you sustain a healthy level of self-esteem is your worth. Knowing your self-worth will help you maintain a healthy opinion about yourself (self-esteem). Self-worth will boost self-esteem because you already know your worth. So how can you know your worth?
Self-worth vs. Self-esteem
Can you tell the difference between self-worth and self-esteem? Most people believe that self-esteem and self-worth are the same but it is not the same. What does self-worth mean? I have explained self-esteem above, so let me give you a quick definition of self-worth and then point out the difference between self-worth and self-esteem.
What is self-worth?
Self-worth is the recognition of your innate capacity and placing a value on it. Are you confused? Don’t worry, I will explain further, so just keep reading.
I decided to start running every morning but realized that I didn’t have good shoes to run with so I went to a store to buy sports shoes (sneakers). In the store, I saw similar looking sneakers with different price-tag on it. I was wondering why the difference in price since they both look similar. The salesperson told me that it’s of different brand and I saw that the more expensive one as the Nike logo on it. I wasn’t surprised as soon as I saw the Nike logo.
Why were the sneakers worth (price) different even though they look similar? It is because of their branding (where they came from). Each brand has a reputation (opinions) and Nike’s reputation is higher than that of the other brand in the store. Due to the capacity of Nike to produce comfortable, stylish and durable shoes, and the value they place on it, the brand was able to build a good reputation. The worth of Nike shoes is as a result of the capacity of the brand.
Innate capacity is a person‘s ability that he/she is born with. Knowing your innate ability and placing a value on it (good or bad) will determine your worth. The Nike sneakers were expensive than the other unknown brand because the Nike brand already know their capacity and they have placed good value on their capacity (price).
According to the dictionary, capacity is the ability to use and understand information to make a decision and communicate any decision made. Nike understands that people (users) don’t want to be buying sneakers every week, and they want to be comfortable when wearing their sneakers so that they can carry out sports activities smoothly. Nike used this information to make a decision to create durable and comfortable sneakers and then communicate the decision made via the marketing of their brand.
I want you to know that everyone has innate capacity. What is your innate capacity? Have you figured out your purpose on earth? Your understanding of your purpose on earth will help you make a decision about your life and communicate that decision to the world. Furthermore, what value are you willing to place on your purpose on earth? This will determine your self-worth.
If you place good value on your purpose in life, it will result in high self-worth and if you place a poor value on your purpose in life, it will result in low self-worth. But how can you place a value on your innate capacity if you are yet to recognize it? I will advise that you should start self-reflection today and seek to know your purpose in life. It is never too late to discover or re-discover yourself. If you keep reading this article, you will learn how to practice self-reflection.
Self-esteem cannot be imitated
The unknown brand designed their sneakers to look similar to the Nike brand; however, buyers won’t be deceived by the similarities because they know the reputation of each brand. In life, you can choose to copy someone’s lifestyle but you won’t have the same worth as that person. Building your self-worth is a personal thing that you have to do. Nike placed good value on their capacity and that’s why a buyer looking to buy quality sneakers won’t hesitate to buy the Nike sneakers even though it is more expensive than the other one.
Self-esteem comes with originality; therefore, you have to be real with yourself.
Difference between self-worth and self-esteem
Self-worth is knowing and placing a value on your capacity while self-esteem is the opinion you have about yourself/ capacity. Let me use the story of the Nike brand and the other unknown brand in the store to explain self-worth and self-esteem. This explains self-worth- Nike placed a good value on their ability to produce comfortable and durable shoes and that’s why it’s more expensive than the unknown brand I saw in the store. This explains self-esteem- Nike has a reputation (opinion) for its brand for producing comfortable, stylish and durable sneakers.
Opinions are subjective
You know, reputation is subjective. Someone else might say that the Nike sneakers are not durable or comfortable for them. Nike’s reputation (opinion) is not a fact because everyone has their own opinion.
Regardless of other’s opinion, Nike will still uphold the opinion of their brand because they already know their capacity. They know the materials used to produce the shoes and the materials have their distinct characteristics that cannot be altered. Nike uses materials such as polyester, rubber, Eva foam, cotton, synthetic leather, and leather to make their shoes. For example, rubber has tear resistance, tensile strength, specific gravity, abrasion resistance and resilience. Therefore, due to rubber properties, Nike can always believe their opinion (self-esteem) that their shoes are durable and comfortable irrespective of what some people might say.
Your self-esteem (opinion about yourself) is not based on fact but your self-worth (innate capacity) is based on fact. Self-esteem is determined by what you think, feel and believe (TFB) while self-worth is at the core of your thoughts, feelings and actions. That’s why your self-worth feeds your self-esteem. Therefore, we can say that self-esteem is confidence in one’s own worth. When people question your opinion (self-esteem), knowing your capacity (your worth) will help you hold on to your opinion regardless of what people say. If you have a deep knowledge of your worth and believe that you deserve a good life, it will fuel your self-esteem by giving you the confidence that you will surely have a good life regardless of hustling or your current ugly situation.
Characteristics of low self-esteem
Do I have low self-esteem? I know you can’t stop yourself from asking this question every time. However, you are not sure if you are dealing with low self-esteem or not. If that’s the case, I want you to check out for the following low self-esteem symptoms:
- Negative self-talk.
- Poor body image.
- Low expectations.
- Feeling unloved and unwanted.
- Low levels of motivation and interest.
- Intense fear of failure/ fear of the future.
- Avoiding social situations.
- Constant approval seeking.
- Feelings of inadequacy.
- Lack of confidence.
- Inability to express your needs.
- Comparing self negatively to others.
- Inability to handle criticism.
- Difficulty accepting compliments.
- Neglect of own needs, particularly emotional ones.
- Inferiority complex.
- Always overthinking.
- Putting the needs of others before self.
- Difficulty in making/maintaining relationships.
- Difficulty in trusting own judgment or opinion.
- Distorted view of self.
- Earlier or frequent sexual activity.
- Drinking alcohol and/or taking drugs to feel better.
- Avoiding new things and not taking up opportunities.
- Blaming others for your own mistakes.
- Fear of committing mistakes.
- Unable to deal with normal levels of frustration.
- Jealousy/ envy.
- Codependency and/or overdependence.
- Excessively apologizing for the smallest things.
- Constantly avoiding confrontation or challenges.
- Addicted to gossip.
- Lower standard of decency.
- Not keeping to promises.
- Suffering from an eating disorder.
- Dropping out of school.
- Hard on yourself but lenient with others.
- Frequent anxiety and emotional turmoil.
- Being a workaholic.
- Overachieving or underachieving.
- Focus on your weaknesses.
- Too much concern over the impact you have on others.
Causes of low self-esteem
Have you ever asked yourself: Why is my self-esteem so low? Or why do I have low self-esteem? The truth is that you are not born with low self-esteem. All kids have a healthy self-esteem. Kids feel good about themselves because they don’t care about anyone’s opinion. They talk and act freely. So, when does low self-esteem develop? Self-esteem issues develop as soon as you start growing up. You start having issues about your look, your level of intelligence, people’s opinion about you, your expectations, etc. Do you know why you have low self-esteem? It is very important to reflect on your life and discover the root cause of your low self-esteem. A problem can be solved when the cause of the problem is known.
What causes low self-esteem? The following are the common causes of low self-esteem:
- Unsupportive parents, carers or others that play an influential role in your life.
- Stressful life events such as divorce or moving houses.
- Being on the receiving end of someone else’s stress or despair.
- Environment and societal expectation.
- Family, group or friends constantly comparing you to others.
- Bullying or loneliness.
- Lack of praise, warmth and affection.
- Negative thought patterns.
- Living with poverty.
- Body Image.
- Friends who are bad influences.
- Harsh parental standards.
- Frequent punishment.
- Trauma or abuse.
- Poor performance at school.
- Setting unrealistic goals.
- Mood disorders.
- Medical condition/ ongoing medical issues.
- Previous bad choices/ regrets.
- Frequent neglect.
- Own prejudices.
How low self-esteem affects your life
Is it that important to overcome low self-esteem? It all depends on you and what you want. I do hope you know what you want. Well, I am going to tell you how low self-esteem can negatively affect your life. It’s up to you to decide if you want to stop the negative influence on your life and go for what you truly deserve or not. But remember this; low self-esteem will stop you from fulfilling destiny and living a happy life. Here are some of the effects of low self-esteem:
1. Self-limiting beliefs
When you have low self-esteem, all you do is to always find excuses for yourself and this hinders you from achieving success in life. Self-limiting beliefs make you conclude that you are a loser, a failure, not good enough, unlovable, unwanted, or worthless and these negative thoughts drain your mental strength and prevent you from doing your best to achieve success. Low self-esteem gives you the ‘I can’t’ attitude and denies you from unleashing your potential. Self-limiting beliefs undervalue your capacity and ability, making you believe that you are helpless and powerless to change anything in your life.
2. Be treated poorly
Many people are opportunists and will always take advantage of you when they know that you don’t know your worth, and you have low self-esteem. Don’t expect people to give you what you deserve, they won’t. You have to demand what you deserve from them but low self-esteem will silence you and stop you from demanding your rights.
3. Lack of confidence
You will miss out on so many opportunities physically, socially, financially, and spiritually simple because you don’t have the confidence to go for what you want. Low self-esteem makes you doubt every action or goal you’re set to accomplish and give you the ‘what if’ attitude. You will stay in your comfort zone because you are afraid of failure or rejection. This prevents you from leaving a bad work situation, toxic relationship, or pursuing your dream. Low self-esteem makes you overly attached to a toxic relationship because you lack the confidence to get out of the ugly situation.
4. Poor interpersonal skills
Low self-esteem makes you struggle with maintaining personal relationships; friendship, marriage, family, and professional relationships. You become self-critical and think that you are an idiot because of your inability to express yourself and communicate your want, desire or opinion effectively. Low self-esteem holds you back from speaking up in meetings, sharing your ideas and voicing your opinion. You become overloaded with emotions because you feel lonely, lost and depressed.
5. Lack of self-expression
You are constantly afraid of being judged. Your worst nightmare is criticism so you do everything you can to avoid criticism by pleasing everyone but yourself. In the process, you lost your true self and creativity. You become depressed because, despite everything you did to please everyone, you realize that they can’t be satisfied; they still went on to talk bad about you. Low self-esteem fills you with concerns and fear of what people will say and that hinders your progress in life. You can’t be in a role you enjoy, do the things you love, express your creativity and live a happy and fulfilled life.
6. Negative mindset
A negative mindset undermines your success. You tend to think of the times you fail rather than when you succeed and this increases your self-doubt to achieve your future goals. Low self-esteem reduces your expectations by considering the worst possible scenarios. You tend to question everything and find the worst in everything. Negative mindset makes you lose focus on your goal, reduce your motivation and make you give up easily. This can lead to anxiety, frustration, irritability, anger, unhappiness and depression. Are You Feeling Hopeless And Depressed? 7 Things To Do
7. Increased vulnerability
Low self-esteem expose you or puts you in the position of being easily hurt or attacked. It further reduces the little self-esteem you have to no self-esteem and you start having issues with your self-image too and become excessively self-conscious. You constantly get messed up emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Low self-esteem makes you believe that you have nothing to offer and so you tend to justify your abuser’s action. You start reflecting a deep-rooted sense of worthlessness and lack self-care. Also, your increased level of vulnerability will not make you learn from your mistake. Therefore, you won’t grow, and you won’t even think that you deserve to grow.
8. Jealousy /bitterness
Low self-esteem makes you spend more time thinking and worrying about what other people are doing than what you are doing. Therefore, you lose focus on your competence and potential and then become overwhelmed with jealousy or bitterness. You don’t see anything good in yourself. You keep comparing yourself to others and wish that you should be in their position whereas you already have the talent, resources and skills you need to push yourself to excel and be in a great position. The low self-esteem you feel about yourself then makes you wallow in self-pity.
Low self-esteem makes you so defensive. You are not willing to learn or yield to advise because of your insecurities. You see every advice or opinion as a threat and you won’t compromise. Your defensive behaviour caused by your low self-esteem affects your personal and professional growth.
Now that you know why low self-esteem is bad, what’s your next line of action? If you are interested in boosting your self-esteem, you on currently on the right track. All you have to do is to continue reading this article.How to #overcome low #self-esteem quickly like magic. Click To Tweet
How to overcome low self-esteem quickly like magic
You have come a long way reading this article; therefore I believe that you are determined to overcome your low self-esteem. Building self-esteem is intentional; I will give you 3 proven ways on how to overcome low self-esteem quickly like magic.
- Change negative mindset.
Self-reflection is a way of assessing yourself, your situation, people around you and life as a whole. It is a processing of becoming familiar with your inner self. People who have poor self-esteem are those who are yet to realize who they truly are, and what their values are. Therefore, if you want to increase self-esteem, the first thing to do is self-reflection. I told you earlier that your self-worth will boost your self-esteem but to determine your self-worth, you have to first know your innate capacity and then know how to place a value on it. The good thing is that self-reflection will help you to discover your innate capacity and ability. It will help you to understand yourself better, determine your weakness and strength and know your purpose in life. Self-reflection also helps to build emotional self-awareness.
Real, rooted, unbeatable self-confidence comes from self-esteem and self-esteem comes from self-worth. Can you see the interrelation? If you build your self-esteem, it will influence your confidence, therefore boosting self-confidence too. You have to know that building self-esteem doesn’t work from the outside, it operates from within. The greatest mistake you can make is to rely on someone to help you deal with your low self-esteem. If you rely on someone to help you overcome your low self-esteem, you are subject to that person’s character/attitude and you are putting yourself at the mercy of that person. It is good to be surrounded with people that help boost your self-esteem but if you rely on people to help you deal with your self-esteem issues, just know you are setting yourself up for failure. This is because people change.
She met a man in one of the conferences she attended.
A woman was married to a man who maltreats her daily. He calls her various awful names and beat her too. He tells her she’s too fat, ugly, worthless and useless and this reduced the woman’s self-esteem. She went for a conference meeting and she meet a man. The new man was so sweet to her. He treated her like a queen, told her how beautiful she is and that she deserved a good life. The new man helped her to find the strength to get away from her abusive marriage. She got divorced and after 5 months, got married to the new man. Everything felt like paradise for her, she couldn’t believe her luck. She trusted the new man with her life and was grateful that she met the right person after being unfortunate earlier in marriage.
She was married for 2 years without any issues, but one day, the new husband lost his job and he transferred his frustration to his wife. He started telling her hurtful words that one should never say to a partner. This man happens to know the exact words to say to hurt her. The same man who helped her to build her self-esteem by being kind and nice to her is the same man who has shattered her by being mean and insensitive. The woman couldn’t bear it anymore, she was broken, even more than she was in her first marriage and she made an attempt to commit suicide. Luckily she was rescued by her sister and was taken for Psychotherapy.
It is never a good idea to rely on someone to help you overcome your low self-esteem.
This is because we are all humans and we change with time and situation. From the story, her second husband was going through depression and frustration due to change in his situation (loss of his job). He’s not necessarily a bad person; he just doesn’t know how to deal with his shit, he needed help. The woman was greatly affected by his attitude because she had relied on the man to be the source of her self-esteem.
She didn’t address her self-esteem issues from within, getting to the root cause of low esteem and building herself from inside-out to increase her self-esteem. Therefore, she couldn’t respond to challenges in her life. The reality of life is that we will always encounter challenges in life, the ability to rise above our challenges enable us to live a happy and fulfilling life. If you truly want to overcome your self-esteem, you have to do it by yourself and for yourself. To connect to your ‘within’, you need self-reflection. To stop having low confidence, low self-esteem and low self-worth, the first thing to do is to identify your inner self and then visit the root cause of your low self-esteem.
How to do self-reflection
When you grow your understanding of who you are, what your values are, what you worth, what you think, and why you act the way you do, you will be able to build a healthy self-esteem. The opinion (self-esteem) you will have about yourself will be influenced by you/ capacity. 7 quick tips to do self-reflection:
1. Get away from distractions
Go to a very quiet place or make where you are to be quiet because you are about to do serious thinking. A high level of focus in needed here. Before starting self-reflection, please assume a neutral state of mind. Don’t try to judge what’s right or wrong. Drop all self-belief, opinion or expectation. Go into self-reflection like a baby (embrace openness).
2. Reflect on your life
Think of your life. Start by thinking of the events, situations and experiences you have gone through in life. Think of your life as if you are asked to write a detailed screenplay about your life.
3. Recall your reaction to events in your life
Consider the events that happened in your life and try to remember your actions or reactions to it when it first happened. For example, you remember how your parents always compare you to your younger sibling and call you stupid. How did it make you feel the first time they did that to you? This step is focused on helping you identify how you act in the past.
4. Pour out your emotions
Recalling your reaction to events in your life could open up old wounds and make you feel more vulnerable. I know to think and ponder about your life, might not be an easy thing for you to do because you might have experienced serious ugly situations or events that you just want to forget that it ever happened. But it is the right thing to do. You have to uncover all your repressed emotions if you want to have a clear head and progress in life. Cry if you need to, get angry if need to, yell, feel the shame if you need to. Just keep in mind that the point is to help you understand yourself better and set yourself in the process of solving your self-esteem issues.
5. Ask yourself questions
It’s time to discover or rediscover yourself. The 6 basic questions to ask are “why, what, where, who, when and what if.” These 6W’s are questions nobody can answer on your behalf. It is up to you to take enough time to answer those questions sincerely. Self-honesty is the key to unlock effective self-reflection.
Ideas of questions to ask yourself:
- Why am I on earth?
- What am I doing here on earth?
- Why do I feel this way?
- Who is taking me for granted?
- What am I to do on earth?
- What is my talent?
- Who am I afraid of?
- What is my purpose in life?
- What do I like to do?
- Who am I for real?
- What makes me feel like me (my authentic self)?
- What do I appreciate about myself?
- When did I start showing signs of low self-esteem?
- What do I want to become in life?
- What do others think about me?
- When did I start feeling insecure?
- What would I change about myself?
- Why do I get hurt easily?
- What am I afraid of?
- What am I capable of doing?
- Where is my talent leading me to?
- What is my worth?
- What are my strengths and values?
- Who am I supposed to be?
- What is important in my life?
- What is my dream?
- Why do I matter?
- What have I given up on?
- Where will I be in future?
- What if no one is judging me, will I react to things in my life differently?
- What if I have no limitation, what will I do?
- Where did I let myself down?
- What if I have a new life, how will it look like?
6. Talk to yourself
Write down your answers to the following questions above and start talking to yourself. Tell yourself how you feel, what you think and what you believe. Talk to yourself about your passion, what you enjoy doing, and what you missed doing. Tell yourself what you are capable of doing if no one is watching or if you don’t have to deal with the fear of other’s judging you.
Talk to yourself freely, express yourself genuinely and take a mental note of your discussion with yourself. If you want, you can record your conversation with yourself. It’s your world, so enjoy it without a need to be cautious or polite.
7. Gain insight
Now is the time to merge everything you have discovered about yourself together. What is your self-reflection outcome? What deeper insights into your thoughts and a vast array of experiences did you uncover? How well are you willing to learn from your failures, mistakes, and experiences? Clarify your values, capacity, priorities, and strengths.
To help you get a head start to self-reflection, I have the following suggestions for you.
Read about your zodiac sign: This is because reading horoscopes allows one to reflect on life and everyday problems. I know that not everyone believes in horoscope but trust me, it is a good start to self-reflect because you will have a clue to your personality traits. I recommend the following free horoscope reading sites:
Seventh Lifepath (Life path)
Take personality test: This will help you understand your likes and dislikes, better understand your strengths and weaknesses, understand your situation and other people. I recommend the following free personality test you can take online:
Good Therapy ($9.99 for full report)
Queendom ($9.99 for full report)
Self-esteem is your opinion about yourself; therefore if you want to improve this opinion, you must be good to yourself. You will agree with me that when someone is receiving love and care, the person will feel valued and honoured. Also, if you treat a dog well, the dog will be completely loyal to you. The trick here is that if you treat yourself well, your opinion (self-esteem) about yourself will be good. But you can only treat yourself well if you love yourself. Self-love simply means being good to yourself.
Practising self-love might not be easy for you because people with low self-esteem generally don’t know how to treat themselves well, especially during challenging times. Loving yourself could perhaps feel strange to you, but the truth is that you deserve to be loved and the best person to love you is YOU. Loving yourself is about getting in touch with your inner self, embracing who you are, regarding yourself and finding happiness within you. Self-love is not the same as narcissistic. Self-love is allocating the right dose of love to yourself while narcissistic is relating to an excessive interest in oneself, which is often unhealthy because anything in excess is unhealthy.
How to practice self-love
I will give you 9 easy ways to practice self-love. The more you treat yourself well, the better you will feel about yourself and this will boost your self-esteem.
1. Accept yourself
Most people with low self-esteem are self-conscious due to their insecurities. Most issues causing low self-esteem have to do with perception, body image, self-respect, and dissatisfaction. Therefore, if you can change your perspective, everything will change. Stop wishing for something’s to change because it won’t change. You have to accept yourself for who you are. If you can’t control that thing, then just accept it by changing your perspective towards it.
I have a friend in college who has very big ears. He does feel insecure about it because he gets bullied all the time. Somehow, he accepted the fact that he can’t change the shape of his ears, so he changed his perspective instead. Anytime other students start to tease him, instead of getting offended, he would also laugh about it and say that “God purposely gave me big ears so that I can listen to all the problem of the world and solve it.” Everyone started laughing with him and not at him. Later on, he is even always the first to comment about his ears and make fun of himself. In no time, everyone accepted him because he has already accepted himself. There was no subject for the bullies to focus on anymore. His confidence increased and his self-esteem increased too.
Beauty is subjective and shouldn’t be relied on.
You don’t have to keep struggling with body image. If it is something you can change, go ahead to change it as long as it won’t put your life in danger. If you can’t change it, accept it. You know, you shouldn’t worry about beauty because it is subjective. There was a time when small breasts were a thing, and those with big breasts felt left out. But now, big breasts are the reigning thing and those with small breasts are seeking to have a breast implant. And I won’t be suprised if the trend changes again. Also, there was a time pale skin was a thing, now tanned skin is considered more attractive. The truth is that beauty cannot be defined so stop giving yourself headaches over temporary things like beauty. Just accept yourself for who you are.
Is everything you do end up failing?
If there is nothing you can do to change your situation, perhaps it’s beyond your control, then change your perspective towards it, and you will see the good in your situation. No matter the situation, if you look deeper, you will discover something good about it.
2. Eat well and do exercise
Give yourself a good treat (eat good food). Research reveals that eating good food can help improve positive outlook, mental acuteness and staying emotionally balanced. When you are emotionally balanced, you will be in tune with your emotions and you will be able to increase your opinion about yourself. Exercise can help improve your mental health and mood and can also boost your confidence. Start doing exercise at least 3 times a week so that you can start feeling good about yourself.
3. End toxic relationships
Free yourself from all toxic relationships to minimize emotional drains. You should avoid anyone who makes you feel less than who you are, and take you for granted. It’s not worth it to stick with them because you are causing yourself more harm than you can ever imagine. Release emotional attachment to people, things, and events. Also, expand your perspective and understanding of people and situations and set healthy boundaries. The more you strive to be independent emotionally, the more your chances to increase your self-esteem.
4. Surround yourself with people who love and treat you right
You need to surround yourself with people who radiate positive energy. People who will influence you to see the good in life. People who are willing to believe in you despite all odds. You need people who will treat you well and show you kindness because you are probably at your lowest moment now and their kindness and positive attitude will help to boost your confidence.
5. Stop the comparison
Stop comparing yourself to others, learn to live and enjoy your own life. The truth is that everyone has their weaknesses and strengths. Also, no one has it all; we all are facing one challenge or the other. The fact that someone is flourishing in one aspect doesn’t mean that the person flourishes in all aspects. Comparing others to yourself is unfair because you might just be comparing their strength against your weakness, and you won’t stand a chance to feel good. Appreciate what you have and where you are as you strive to keep growing.
6. Show others love and kindness
I know this is the last thing on your mind. Perhaps, you don’t even like talking to people. It’s ok; there are various ways to show others love and kindness without talking to them directly. Someone said he saw a video on youtube and saw that the video has 999 likes. He added his ‘like’ to make it 1K. He said, all through that day, he felt so happy, as if he has achieved something great. Little act of kindness makes you feel good. You might ask, how is showing love and kindness to others practising self-love? Research shows that being kind to others will make you feel happier and more fulfilled. This will change the way you view yourself and help you to improve your self-esteem.
7. Be grateful for your life
Your life is valuable; be grateful for it. I want you to know that your existence on earth is not by chance; it has been ordained from above. You surely have a purpose to fulfill here on earth. Be grateful that you are still breathing. As long as you are still breathing, there is hope for better days.
8. Say ‘no’ loudly
You don’t have to say ‘yes’ to everyone or everything. Learn to say ‘no’ too. If you are always afraid of saying no, start practising it in your room. Start by saying ‘no’ loudly and repeatedly in your room. To overcome low self-esteem, you have to stop putting yourself in a helpless position. Whatever is demanded from you, if it not healthy for you, please turn it down politely without a need to apologize. You have to start making a firm decision and start taking your ground.
9. Be realistic
Don’t set yourself up for failure over and over again. Be realistic with your expectations. Stop expecting that things will change overnight. Change is a gradual process and it takes time. The secret to achieving your goals is consistency and persistency. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You might have done everything to stop feeling low self-esteem but somehow you are still dealing with low self-esteem. You know what, you should give yourself time. Keep doing what you are doing and with time (very soon), you will achieve your goals.
3. Change your negative mindset
Low self-esteem has a lot to do with a negative mindset. If you are always thinking negative or talking yourself down, you won’t be able to value yourself, hence you will have low esteem. To increase self-esteem, you have to start challenging your negative thinking. I am sure you have heard the saying that a man is the product of his thought. If you think you are worthless, only time will tell before you become worthless. And if you think you are valuable, even if you don’t feel valued, soon enough you will indeed be valuable. One of the effective ways to build self-esteem is to change your negative mindset. See 5 Reasons Why Positivity Is Absolutely Important For Success
Be mindful of what you think, feel, and believe (TFB) because it will determine your self-esteem. Criticism, self-beating, anxious thought and worry, guilt, failure, problems, and regret are the major causes of a negative mindset. To overcome low self-esteem, you will have to overcome the causes of your negative mindset and develop healthy TFB.
Ways to change your negative mindset
Focus on your mind and give it the attention it craves. If it’s your first time to meditate, don’t worry it’s simple to do. Just sit down or lie down (make sure you are comfortable), and close your eyes to avoid distractions (you can open your eyes if you know you won’t be distracted). If you are the music type, put on cool music to make you feel calm and relaxed. You might want to set a timer just to keep track of how long your meditation lasted. Breathe normally and focus on the breath moving in and out of your nostrils or on the rise and fall of your belly.
Be careful not to drift off and when you notice your mind is wandering, bring it back to focus on your breath. Meditation will help you reduce stress, increase calmness and clarity and promote happiness. When you are happy with yourself, your self-esteem will increase.
2. Control your inner voice
Pay attention to your inner voice. Listen to yourself to know your thought and your thought pattern. This will help increase your self-awareness. When you pick on a negative thought pattern, start to deliberately change that negative thought by focusing on positivity, imagining something abstract, creating a fantasy, and telling yourself something really positive. When you learn to control your inner voice, it will help you make better choices, independent decisions, and new associations.
3. Trick your mind
When you can’t help yourself from having a negative mindset, you can always trick your mind to work in your favour. For example, you will be having an extra year because you failed your exam and you are feeling sad and depressed. Instead of thinking that you will waste another year on campus, think of the places you love to visit or the things you love to do on campus and tell yourself that you’ve got another year to enjoy those things. This will motivate you to be in a good mood. Mind trick helps to remove inner roadblocks that hold you back from success.
4. Pay attention to small things
Start appreciating the small things by noticing the everyday thing you take for granted. Focus your attention on what nurtures and sustains you in life. Smile more; spend more time in nature; observe more; take a break; have fun; do a nice hairstyle; make eye contact; change your wardrobe; challenge yourself; do the things you love; live in the present; reward yourself; be kind to others; celebrate small wins, little successes etc. Paying attention to small things will help you shift your focus away from a negative mindset. Paying attention to small things also help you to better spot potential problems and opportunities in advance. It empowers you to respond calmly and appropriately to challenges that may have otherwise hindered your progress.
5. Challenge yourself
Start pushing yourself beyond your limit. Enough of staying in your comfort zone, it’s time to unleash your potential. Constantly seek to be a better version of who you are. Start writing down your thoughts. It doesn’t matter if you think it is ridiculous or not. If you are not the writing type, you can use creative skills like drawing, to express your thoughts. You will be surprised at the great advantage it offers. I have written down some silly thoughts 7 years ago. One day I was going through my journal, saw it and read it. You won’t believe that what I wrote down 7 years ago was actually the solution to the problem I was currently facing.
Don’t put away your thoughts, ideas or feelings; it’s good to write them down. Take up new challenges and always strive to learn new things daily. Get in touch with your creative side. Figure out what scares you and face your fears by doing it. Get a mentor or coach to challenge you and help you bring out the best in you. Challenging yourself will help you overcome negativity; uncover hidden dreams and aspirations as well as undiscovered potential. It will also expand your perspective and understanding of people and situations.
6. Don’t play the victim
Stop playing the victim card. It is easy to think that you are the victim of circumstances or injustice. Yes, you truly might have been the victim but you have to stop playing the victim if you don’t want your progress to be hindered. Are you being bullied? Stop playing the victim of bullying; you should turn the game around. Are you facing problems beyond your control? Don’t wallow in self-pity by playing the victim. Were you sexually abused? Refuse to see yourself as the victim even though you were the one who was abused. Refusal to not play the victim makes you more powerful than your penetrators. You will be mentally strong enough to fight back.
Do you know that the greatest defeat in life is mental defeat? Abusers are aware of this and that’s why they always aim to drain your mental strength. And once you are defeated mentally, you will be defeated in all aspect. Examine your habitual behaviour patterns and intuitive feelings. Learn to be assertive and it will help boost your self-esteem.
Your self-esteem has nothing to do with your ability. Don’t think that because you have low self-esteem, you are less intelligent, less smart, or less capable. Some people have high self-esteem yet they are unintelligent and unskilled. You have low self-esteem only because you are yet to know your value; you are underestimating yourself.
Low self-esteem will hinder your success in life that’s why it is very important to overcome it. Overcoming low self-esteem requires taking deliberate and intentional actions. Your self-esteem will increase when you know your self-worth. To know your worth, you have to first understand yourself better and uncover your hidden potential through self-reflection. Showing yourself love by putting yourself first and expressing yourself is very crucial to overcome low self-esteem. Also, changing your negative mindset will help you feel better about yourself. The more you feel better about yourself, the higher your opinion (self-esteem) about yourself.
Overcoming low self-esteem is not a one-off thing because self-esteem has a fluid character. It changes with time and circumstances. I advise you to embrace reading. The more you read about yourself, the more you discover your strengths and values, and the more confidence you start to have in yourself. Have a habit of reading self-help books.
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Copyright by Ayobami Abiodun