Low esteem can be a vicious cycle. You feel bad about yourself which makes you feel low, which demotivates you, you feel worse about yourself and your low esteem keeps heading to the floor. This is a major issue and not easy to deal with. Your need to find inner strength and for that you really do have to go into attack mode. You can only build self esteem by actually building it. It’s not a God-given thing. If you’re ready to tackle it, here’s how:
The best place to start is to try to get your mind in the right place, and to do this you need to make the effort not to use overly negative words when describing yourself or your situation. Words like ‘broken’, ‘lost’, ‘low’, ‘worthless’ … anything that paints a picture of you as anything less than confident should be avoided. Always look for the positive spin: ‘in transition’, ‘seeking new paths’ or ‘temporary undervalued’ are much better ways to describe yourself in a low period.
Sit down and write a list of all the things that you want to stop doing in order to help build your self-esteem again. This could be stopping buying fashion magazines that you use to constantly compare yourself to other women, it could be throwing out the chocolate tin in your house so that you don’t have the chance to feel guilty, or it could be going tea-total so that you don’t get drunk and emotional too often.
What you need to realize is that nobody on this earth is perfect. We all have our flaws and our insecurities, but the trick is to be lenient with yourself and not constantly beat yourself up about things that you are not able to do or things that you haven’t completely perfected. Give yourself a well-deserved break from self-hate.
If conversation with friends and family always tend to end up in the same place - a discussion about your life and how much negativity you feel towards it - then make a conscious effort to guide conversations in to new places that don’t culminate in an examination of your life choices. There is so much more in the world to talk about!
If you do not feel that you can do it alone, then try to surround yourself with people who you know are strong and can guide you in the right directions whenever you are feeling low. This can be friends, family or you might even seek out a dedicated support group where you can experience the sort of tailored environment that you need.
This isn’t just a term and practice that is used by addicts; anybody can have a sponsor to help them get through anything. Find a friend who is willing to pick up every call and reply to every text that you send whenever you are feeling particularly low. It is so reassuring to know that there will always be someone to talk to.
The saying ‘knowledge is power’ really is true, so do some actual research about self esteem and confidence and try to work out exactly what in your life can be tweaked and changed to try to help you gain some of your spark back. It’s not an exact science of course, but to be well informed is never a bad thing.
It’s time to consider your needs over the needs of everyone else, even if you think that sounds selfish. Do not put yourself in a situation where you are doing something to please someone else at the expense of your own comfort or happiness. Life is too short to make yourself feel bad for the satisfaction of other people.
Being mindful and present can be very hard when you have memories, doubts or regrets that are pulling you back in to the past. Engaging in activities like yoga and meditation can really help you to focus your mind and open up your perspective to see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and you can certainly build your self-esteem back up again.
It is a good idea to keep a journal where you can express your thoughts and feelings. They can be good things to look back on when you are feeling really low to help to show you that even though you might not think it, you have definitely made lots of progress over the days, weeks and months.
Make the conscious effort every morning to look at yourself in the mirror and say out loud all of the things that you are grateful for, as well as taking on the challenge to make sure that everybody in your daily life knows that you are thankful for them. This positive energy can do wonders for your confidence and overall outlook on life.
This does not mean sacrificing your own happiness for theirs like I have mentioned previously, but more doing something like an afternoon volunteering or even looking after your baby niece or nephew while your sibling goes out to get a much needed massage. These small things can mean a lot to others.
Don’t try to do too much too soon. There is no shame in staying within your comfort zone while you are feeling fragile and vulnerable. When the time comes, you may feel confident enough to burst the bubble, but for now, just focus on reconnecting with your own positive energy.
Being compassionate towards others breeds a lot of positive energy, and you will be able to take this positive energy and direct it in such a way that it makes a really meaningful impact on your life. Don’t underestimate what being kind to others can do for your own self-esteem.
You can really get yourself down if you fall in to the trap of thinking that everything has to be perfect for you to be happy. True happiness comes from making the most of what you have got, not from bemoaning all of the things that you don’t. Learn to be satisfied with your lot and you will have much happier life.
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