Showing yourself warts and all to the world can take courage and strength and inner belief! For some however that inner strength of putting yourself out there with all your insecurities can be a very debilitating experience!
So what distinguishes those who shine their light bright and those who melt into the background. It comes down to how you perceive yourself and your own inner feeling of self-belief and self-esteem!
So how does Self-Esteem work then? Does everyone have it?
What is self-esteem?
Self-esteem is how we value ourselves; it is how we perceive our value to the world and how valuable we think we are to others.
Self-esteem affects our trust in others, our relationships, our work and nearly every other part of our lives.
Positive self-esteem gives us the strength and flexibility to take charge of our lives and grow from our mistakes without the fear of rejection.
Here are some outward signs of positive self-esteem:
An awareness of personal strengths
An ability to make mistakes and learn from them
An ability to accept mistakes from others
An ability to solve problems
An independent and cooperative attitude
Feeling comfortable with a wide range of emotions
An ability to trust others
A good sense of personal limitations
What is low self-esteem?
Low self-esteem is a debilitating condition that keeps individuals from realizing their full potential.
A person with low self-esteem feels unworthy, incapable, and incompetent. In fact, because the person with low self-esteem feels so poorly about him or herself, these feelings may actually cause the person’s continued low self-esteem.
Here are some signs of low self-esteem:
Negative view of life
Mistrusting others — even those who show signs of affection
Difficult childhood experiences — negative experiences in childhood, such as bullying, difficult family relationships or having a hard time at school.
Difficult life events — difficult experiences as an adult, such as the end of a relationship, long-term illness, the death of someone close to you or being unemployed, can lower your self-esteem,
Personality and temperament — elements of your personality, such as a tendency towards negative thinking or finding it hard to relate to other people, could contribute to a poor self-image.
Feeling ‘different’ — feeling like the ‘odd one out’, or under peer pressure to conform to social norms you don’t agree with, can affect the way you see yourself.
Relationships with other people — other people may feed into your low self-esteem, being negative about you or making you feel like you have little worth. Or you may feel you don’t live up to other people’s expectations.
So What can I do to build my self-esteem?
In order to increase your self-esteem, you need to challenge and change the negative beliefs you have about yourself. This might feel like an impossible task, but there are a lot of different techniques you can try to help you.
Do something you enjoy
Doing something that you enjoy, and that you are good at, can help build your confidence and increase your self-esteem. This could be anything from paid work, volunteering, caring or a hobby.
Work can provide identity, friendship, a steady routine and a salary. Some people thrive in a busy environment and enjoy working to ambitious targets. Other people see their job as a means to an end or work in unpaid, volunteering roles. Whatever you do, it is important that you feel confident and supported in your role, and that the balance between your work and your home-life feels right for you.
This could be anything from learning a language, to singing, to a painting class. Think about where you feel you have some natural ability, or things that you have always wanted to try. Try to find activities that will not challenge you too much to begin with so that you can feel you have achieved something and have a chance to build your confidence
Try to build positive relationships
Try to associate with people who will not criticise you, and who you feel able to talk to about your feelings. If you spend time around positive and supportive people, you are more likely to have a better self-image and feel more confident.
In return, if you are caring and supportive to other people, you are more likely to get a positive response from them. This will help you feel better about yourself and how other people perceive you.
Look after your physical health
Looking after your physical health can help you feel happier and healthier, and improve your self-image. Physical activity helps improve people’s sense of wellbeing and image of themselves. Exercise releases endorphins — ‘feel-good’ hormones that can help improve your mood, particularly if you do it outside
Lack of sleep can cause negative feelings to be exaggerated and means you can feel less confident, so it’s important to make sure you get enough sleep.
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