While the belief that we can achieve anything we set our mind to is not enough to fulfill all our dreams, it is one of the important factors that contribute to healthy self-esteem. The luckiest among us are taught by our parents to believe in ourselves and to love ourselves for who we are. However, some people grow up in a dysfunctional family or are exposed to negative childhood experiences that have a negative impact on their development and mental health.
Furthermore, self-esteem issues can be a consequence of an abusive relationship, negative experiences, or a mental health disorder. Poor self-esteem is often associated with depressive disorder, anxiety, and negative thoughts. A poor opinion about ourselves, whether it is about our physical appearance or our intellectual ability, can be an indicator of deficient self-esteem.
If you are aware that you have low self-esteem, you are already one step closer to a solution. Take the time to learn more about self-esteem and what may interfere with it, talk to a therapist, and allow them to guide you through various types of therapy such as but not limited to cognitive behavioral therapy toward positive self-esteem. During your healing process, you can also make use of these 7 effective self-esteem tools and practices:
Get to know the real you
The path to healing starts with a clear image of ourselves. Take a step back from everything mundane in your life and get to know yourself. Learn about what you like, what you desire, what makes you happy! Evaluate your emotions and see what you can do to balance or strengthen them. Maybe there are some things you should stop doing to make more room in your life for yourself! Find what you are passionate about and what motivates you. People who are doing things they truly love have more chances to improve their overall quality of life and cultivate healthy self-esteem.
Learn to say no
Saying no to other people’s demands of you doesn’t make you a selfish person. Many people neglect their own health and sacrifice their self-esteem to please everyone else around them. But what does this really accomplish? Always trying to please people, to get in activities you don’t actually like, or to pretend to have qualities you don’t possess will only hurt you in the long term and take away from your self-esteem. Every time you try to please others, despite what you desire, you are telling yourself that you are not good enough to be loved and accepted for who you are. One of the first things you can do for positive self-esteem is to say no to others and yes to yourself!
Make yourself a priority
I know this is a lot easier said than done but it’s a necessity if you want to have healthy self-esteem. This is especially hard to achieve for parents and people who have others relying on them. However, when putting other people’s needs above our own, we are neglecting ourselves which may lead to hurting our self-esteem. I am not saying to ignore other people’s needs but I am strongly recommending to meet your own needs too. You matter! You have value!
Keep a self-esteem journal
Psychologists often recommend keeping a journal as a form of release but also as a way to acknowledge your true emotions. Your self-esteem journal should be filled with positive thoughts and good things that happened during the day. People with low self-esteem tend to have a negative outlook on life, so a positive journal is a valuable tool to unveil the good in their life. Write every day about positive things that happened to you and, with time, you will see there is more positivity than negativity in the world and in yourself. A self-esteem journal is a great way to discover the real you and boost your life satisfaction.
Put a stop to negative self-talk
Words matter! Especially words with negative connotations directed toward ourselves. If you move towards having healthy self-esteem you may want to look at the way you talk about yourself. Whether you are bad-mouthing yourself out loud or just in your head, the damages you do to your self-esteem are significant. Negative self-talk leads to lower self-esteem that consequently leads to more negative self-talk creating a vicious cycle that only you can break. How? Through positive self-talk. Every time you feel the need to say something negative about yourself, stop and instead write something positive. Break the negativity cycle with a wave of positivity!
Forgive your mistakes and acknowledge your success
People make mistakes! It’s the way we grow and learn. So, don’t beat yourself up over your mistakes. You are not a bad person because you made a mistake. Mistakes make you who you are. They give you the chance to learn and improve yourself. To make a mistake is human and it’s a great opportunity to adapt and change the way you think. Accept them as part of your own and use them to find the motivation to do better next time. While it is very important to stop blaming ourselves for our failures, it is equally important to acknowledge our achievements and use them to boost our self-esteem. Do not downplay your success! It is a big deal and you deserve the praise.
Be mindful and exercise
I can’t stress enough the importance of mindfulness and exercise. The combination of the two can help us improve our mental health, our everyday performance, and our self-esteem. Mindfulness helps us to live in the present without unnecessary worrying about a past that can’t be changed and a future that can’t be foreseen. Only 10 minutes of meditation a day can help you get in touch with your true self and put you on the path to healthy self-esteem. Add to this regular exercising, like running, swimming, dancing, or any other physical activity, and you will notice improved stamina and physical health, as well as an “inclination” to feel good and have a healthy relationship with yourself.