Self esteem…what does the term mean to you?
Most people define it as the opinion they have of themselves. They usually base it on their attitude towards a number of factors like the way they look, the work they do, their achievements, what they believe others think of them, their purpose in life, their potential for success, their strengths and weaknesses, their social status, their ability to be independent and so on and so forth…
For all those who have a positive attitude about themselves have high self esteem while those in self doubt usually have a low self esteem. Low self esteem – the secret of lack of achievement! The unfortunate part is that it’s a vicious circle, low self esteem results in non-achievement which in turn reinforces the feeling of inadequacy and low self esteem. So is it a no- win situation?
Your self esteem can easily reach new heights if you have a keen desire to do so and a willingness to learn. This article is only going to touch the tip of the iceberg and give you 10 simple techniques to start with.
Define the attitudes that make up your self-image. Your self-image is how you see yourself in relation to others. This may be how you see yourself physically, professionally, socially and so on and so forth…You need to define and identify what determines your self-concept for you.
Closely observe the language used by you. Is it more negative in nature? If you’re low on self esteem, chances are there would be a lot of negative content. So here’s the challenge… convert each one of those negative statements into positive ones. Yes yes, I hear you saying “but that won’t be the truth”. That’s perfectly okay. We are not looking at getting the ‘honesty award’; we are looking at getting ‘high self esteem’!
Highlight in bold letters everything that you love about yourself. Make a list of a minimum of 30 strengths. I know… you don’t have 30 strengths is what you’re saying now. So I’ll make it easier for you. Over the next 2 weeks I want you to make a daily note of a minimum of 2 things that you believe are your strengths or 2 compliments received or 2 small or big achievements accomplished or 2 skills known or learnt or 2 changes you brought about in yourself. I’m waiting for your list to touch a 100 before you start to believe you’re done with this step.
Stand in front of the mirror. Now read aloud to yourself both the positive lists a minimum of 10 times, twice a day. Sounds silly? But it works… Practice it for the next 6months without a question and see the difference for yourself.
Kill the bug called ‘comparison’. ‘Comparisonitis’ is a deadly disease. It kills our self confidence in seconds because our energy is wasted in checking the environment for better or worse rather than focusing on what’s good in us. If this bug runs deep in your system and you just can’t get yourself to destroy it, make it work for you. How would you do that? Only make comparisons with yourself. Monitor your progress in various respects and try and outdo your performance each time!
Lighten up! You don’t have to take yourself and others seriously all the time. It’s good to add some fun and frolic in everyday life and situations. Each time you smile and laugh your mind, body and soul relaxes. This helps boost the ‘feel good’ within us and adds to our confidence.
Have you ever wondered why they don’t have a noble prize for ‘perfection’? That’s because no one can ever be perfect! If you are one of those who are striving to be perfect, my guess is you’re mastering the art of self-criticism. This means your mind, body and soul are being steadily killed with this slow poison without you even being consciously aware of it! Contrary to what a lot of people believe, self criticism is not a motivator. By default, criticism is negative in nature and negativity cannot yield positive results! Stop criticizing yourself.
Pick up a hobby or develop an interest in a subject that you can be passionate about. It will not only help you learn new things but also give you something to look forward to do when you’re not feeling good about yourself.
Make a list of positive affirmations and paste them in places which you notice a number of times a day. For example, you could paste them on the inside of your cupboard, your mirror, your computer/mobile wallpaper and so on. Positive affirmations could be sentences, quotes, short moral stories or anything else that you can relate to and is motivating for you. Few of the common positive affirmations used are:
- I deserve to be happy and successful.
- I have the power to change myself.
- I can make my own choices and decisions.
- It is enough to have done my best
- I am a lovable person
Read. All successful people read positive books. They can be self help books, biographies of successful people or even books related to your field of work or study. If you make a habit of reading for at least 20 minutes a day, you would be able to see significant changes in your thinking, feeling and actions.
So that’s the start my friends. There is a lot you will find difficult to do at start and that’s perfectly alright. In the race of the hare and the tortoise, do you remember who won? Yes, it was the tortoise, because ‘slow and steady wins the race’! Steady is the keyword here… just keep going and going and going and… before you know it, you’ll be right on top!