How Can you Develop High Self-Esteem? (Part 2)
How do you see yourself? Are you happy with who you are?
Last week we looked at three ways to increase your self-esteem: being connected with others, having a sense of purpose, and finding ways to cope with life's pressures. This week we'll explore three more ideas to help you feel happier with who you are:
How do you feel about the way you look? How do you think about yourself as a person? Do you care what people think about you? Are you aware of your strengths and weaknesses? Your answer to these questions can reveal important things about your self-esteem. Self-esteem is our confidence in our worth, so if we don't feel that we are worth anything - that is, if we don't feel we have something valuable to offer the world and our relationships, that we have no ability to make a difference - then this directly impacts our self-esteem. We all need to have a balanced view on our strengths and weaknesses. We can be comfortable with and improve on both at the same time. One way to do this is to write down ten things you like about yourself, and ten things you want to improve. Be positive about what you do have to offer, and recognise that we are all works-in-progress.
How often do you have fun? Fun is simply something that has no practical point to it - it's doing something just for the enjoyment of it. Other things can stop us from having fun - responsibilities at home, work and school commitments, family expectations - but it's still important to do what you can to give it priority in your life. Make time to hang out with your friends, to play games, and/or to invest in a hobby you enjoy. By doing this, you're giving your mind a break from negativity, increasing endorphins and proving to yourself that you are worth spending time on. Try writing down three things you love to do, and three new things you'd like to try. Then map out some steps to make these things a reality.
Are you aware of the attitude you bring to each day? Attitude is our way of thinking about something, and it can have a huge impact on our behaviour. If our attitude is that education is pointless, for example, then we will act in a way that resists it. If our attitude is that it's beneficial, then we will find the energy to invest in it, and maybe even enjoy it. Are you enjoying every day life? Or is your attitude working against you? Most importantly, how is your attitude towards yourself? Do you feel that you have nothing to offer, and then find yourself acting in a way that 'proves' it? You alone have power over how you approach each day, and if you work to improve your attitude - to expect good things from life and people, and to be positive about yourself - then you will also feel better about who you are.
Overall, it's important to be aware of how your self-talk affects your self-esteem, but to also explore the roots behind low self-esteem. Think of what you can do to recognise your worth, to have fun and be happy, and to have a healthy attitude towards yourself. Whatever someone may have said to you, however someone may have treated you in the past, you do have something to offer, but for it to make a difference both within you and your circumstances, recognise it in yourself first.