“You can have anything you want if you are willing to give up the belief that you can’t have it.”~ Dr. Robert Anthony
Self Esteem is how we feel about ourselves. It is essential to have a positive perception of ourselves and our abilities.
Some of us appear to have a naturally positive attitude and always feel good about themselves. Other people may not, and It affects their day to day activities. I believe it is normal to have an ebb and flow based on what experiences we have and how we respond to them.
Let’s face it; we all have our good and bad days. We can be affected by our family, our friends, our co-workers, and strangers that we interact with by chance. We are affected by the nightly news and the negativity we find there.
Sometimes we are our harshest critic. When we do something wrong, we might berate ourselves with snide, nasty little comments. Been there, done that. How many times have I said to myself, ” That was dumb, why did you do that; it was stupid.” We also might think, “OMG. I hope no one saw or heard me; that was so embarrassing!”
On the other side of that is the possibility of praising ourselves. Do we? No, usually we do not recognize our worth, and we do nothing to acknowledge we were successful. We should; it is good for our self-esteem. Why do we tend to knock ourselves down, but we do nothing to build ourselves up?
We all have strengths and weaknesses. We need to focus on our strengths and work to keep improving them. We should not focus on our shortcomings or allow them to influence our decisions. I do think we need to be aware of what weaknesses we may have. We can look for ways to improve and turn the weaknesses into growth opportunities.
My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.”~ Michael Jordan
Our self-esteem, or how we view ourselves, will influence the decisions we make. If we have high self-esteem and feel great about ourselves, it motivates us to have a productive day, get up, and do something meaningful. We want to be successful, and we want to improve. We have a positive attitude and will make the most of every situation.
If you have low self-esteem, you are less likely to be motivated. You believe that you cannot succeed, or that it will be too hard. Maybe you can do this portion of a job, but you think you are not smart enough to complete it. Because you doubt your capabilities, you are less likely to push yourself to do more, and you allow yourself to be stagnant. You think there is no sense putting in the time because you know it will be a disaster.
How can we improve, feel better about ourselves, and improve our self-esteem?
Recognize your strengths. Everyone has something they are good at, and they also have things they are not as good at doing. Examples might be someone who is outstanding in their math abilities, but has difficulty describing concepts. Maybe someone is creative and an excellent artist, but they have terrible communication skills. Do not doubt yourself because you have trouble explaining something, or do not like interacting with someone. Focus on what you are confident about and good at doing.
Practice mindfulness. Be aware of your thoughts and do not engage in any negative self-talk. When you find yourself being self-critical, be mindful of your thoughts, and remind yourself that they are only thoughts. Thoughts are not facts; they are annoying little bits of negativity, but they are not valid. Shift your way of thinking and focus on your abilities and positive attributes.
Use affirmations. The use of affirmations can be empowering. We all have these ingrained beliefs about ourselves that are not true, but they have a hold on us. Get rid of the negative nuggets you carry with you by replacing them with an affirmative statement. Make a list of affirmations. Write down the little negative nuggets and develop an affirmation about them. Choose an affirmation that is the opposite of the negative belief. Examples might be:
“I have the knowledge and experience to be promoted this year.”
“My boss values my opinion.” “I am creative.”
“I am going to work hard until I am successful.” “I have a positive attitude.”
Make a list of positive affirmations and read them every day. Keep the list where you can look at it multiple times a day or when you start having negative thoughts.
Accept Compliments. How many times have you shrugged off a compliment you have received. Instead of denying a compliment and having negative thoughts such as, “Oh, they really do not mean that. ‘ or “They are just saying that because they think they have to.” Take a few moments to respond and to contemplate the compliment. Respond with a “Thank you” or “What a nice thing to say”. When you accept compliments, they will have a positive influence and raise your self-esteem.
Practice Self Compassion. When something negative happens, such as not getting a promotion that you wanted, instead of beating yourself up and dwelling in negativity, try some self-compassion. We are compassionate toward our friends and important people in our life, so we should do the same for ourselves. Think about the conversations you had with a friend when they were working through a problem. What did you say to them to make them feel better? Do the same for yourself. Help build your self-esteem instead of knocking it down. As we often tell others, “You’ve got this.”
Building our self-esteem does take some effort, particularly if we have just had a setback or disappointment. You may enjoy helping others improve, and you should feel the same about yourself. It requires strengthening your talents, developing new ones, and creating habits like those listed above. You’ve got this; you can do it!
As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a great day!
A re-post of a October 16, 2019 post.