What labels do you use when you talk to yourself? Do you feel like a victim? Do you focus on your mistakes? Where did you get your ideas about yourself? When you answer these questions, you will have an honest assessment of your self-esteem. Self-esteem should evolve and grow stronger as you grow and experience new things and meet new people but sometimes it doesn’t work that way. Your self-esteem, your beliefs about yourself, began to develop when you were very young with input from those around you. If you had a loving supportive family, your self-esteem had a good positive start. However, the minute you began interacting with others in school and play, things became more complicated and the input may not have always been positive.
It’s hard to pinpoint where all your opinions about yourself came from but when you see yourself as a work in progress, you can have control over your self-esteem. You can feel hope and optimism about feeling better about yourself.
Understanding your self-esteem
It’s important to understand the value of understanding your self-esteem because of the way of it affects your health, your choices, and your happiness. Those who have poor self-esteem, filled with negative self-talk and negative labels, often suffer from depression, feelings of regret and failure, have a ‘victim’ mentality, sleep poorly, overeat and may struggle with addiction. Unconsciously those with poor self-esteem feel unworthy of love, success and happiness. One common feature of many of my clients is poor self-esteem. The common denominator of most of the issues I encounter with my clients is poor self-esteem.
Don’t let your past define you
Whether it’s the result of a hard childhood, bullying in school, an abusive relationship or problems at work, you don’t have to allow the past to define you. When you can see your past failures as life lessons and learn from them, they can inspire growth instead of regret. When you can see criticism as ‘feedback’ instead of an attack on you personally, you can evaluate it and choose to accept or reject it. When you learn to like yourself, love yourself and respect yourself, your self-esteem improves.
Changing your opinion of yourself
If you are experiencing problems in your life that you aren’t handling well or if your self-talk is always negative and self-deprecating, you’re in need of a change in your self-esteem. How can you improve your self-esteem? Here are some simple first steps.
1. Make up your mind to reclaim your personal power.
2. Replace negative self-talk with positive affirmations by identifying and focusing on your strengths.
3. Design a new self-image that reflects your core values and begin to imagine, visualize and picture the way you will look and feel in that image.
4. Establish small goals to improve those areas that have been making you feel stuck in negativity.
5. Complete the past by learning from your mistakes and letting go of the regret.
6. Realize the power of forgiveness, especially of yourself, and letting go of grudges.
7. Use your vulnerability as a source of power and embrace it.
8. Refuse to take things personally and never make assumptions.
9. Be the change you want to see in your relationships.
10. Learn self-hypnosis!
These are just a few! It may seem like a lot but you’re worth it! It’s okay to ask for help, if you need it!