Nothing is more important than how you feel and think about yourself. A high opinion about yourself and who you are and what you do and basically a love for yourself is also one of the things that people often miss or have too little of in today’s society. But why is building and being able to maintain high self-esteem so important?
Your life becomes simpler and lighter. When you like or love yourself more then things simply become easier. You won’t make mountains out of molehills (or out of plain air) nearly as often anymore. You won’t drag yourself down or beat yourself up over simple mistakes or over not reaching a perfect and inhuman standard.
You’ll have more inner stability. When you like yourself more, when your opinion of yourself goes up then you’ll stop trying so eagerly to get validation and attention from other people. And so you become less needy and your inner life becomes much less of an emotional rollercoaster based on what people may think or say about you today or this week.
There will be less self-sabotage. Most people’s worst enemy are themselves. By raising and keeping your self-esteem up you’ll feel more deserving of good things in life. And so you’ll go after them more often and with more motivation. And when you get them then you’ll be a lot less likely to self-sabotage in subtle or not so subtle ways.
You’ll be more attractive in any relationship. With better self-esteem you’ll get the benefits listed above. You’ll be more stable and able to handle tough times better. You’ll be less needy and more of a natural giver. Being with you becomes simpler and a lighter experience with a lot less drama, arguments or fights based on little or nothing. And all of this is attractive in any relationships, not matter if it is with a friend, at work or with a partner.
These are just some of the most important reasons for improving your self-esteem. However low self esteem can trip you up when you need it to be at its best. So how can you improve your self esteem? Here a few ways that can help with your self esteem.
Think back to when you did something new for the first time. Learning something new is often accompanied by feelings of nervousness, lack of self belief and high stress levels, all of which are necessary parts of the learning process. The next time you feel under-confident, remembering this will remind you that it’s perfectly normal – you’re just learning!
Do something you have been putting off. Like writing or calling a friend, cleaning the house, tidying the garden, fixing the car, organizing the bills, making a tasty and healthy meal – anything that involved you making a decision, then following through!
Do something you are good at. How about swimming, running, dancing, cooking, gardening, climbing, painting, writing… If possible, it should be something that holds your attention and requires enough focus to get you into that state of ‘flow’ where you forget about everything else. You will feel more competent, accomplished and capable afterwards, great antidotes to low self esteem! And while you’re at it, seriously consider doing something like this at least once a week. People who experience ‘flow’ regularly seem to be happier and healthier.
Stop thinking about yourself! I know this sounds strange, but low self esteem is often accompanied by too much focus on the self. Doing something that absorbs you and holds your attention can quickly make you feel better.
Get seriously relaxed. If you are feeling low, anxious or lacking in confidence, the first thing to do is to stop thinking and relax properly. Some people do this by exercising, others by involving themselves in something that occupies their mind. However, being able to relax yourself when you want is a fantastic life skill and so practicing self hypnosis, meditation, or a physically-based relaxation technique such as Tai Chi can be incredibly useful. When you are properly relaxed, your brain is less emotional and your memory for good events works better. A great ‘rescue remedy’!
Remember all the things you have achieved. This can be difficult at first, but after a while, you’ll develop a handy mental list of self-esteem boosting memories. And if you’re thinking “But I’ve never achieved anything”, I’m not talking about climbing Everest here. Things like passing your driving test (despite being nervous), passing exams (despite doubting that you would), playing team sport, getting fit (even if you let it slip later), saving money for something, trying to help someone (even if it didn’t work) and so on.
Remember that you could be wrong! If you are feeling bad about yourself, remember that you way you feel affects your thoughts, memory and behavior. So when you feel bad, you will only remember the bad times, and will tend to be pessimistic about yourself. This is where the tip ‘Get Seriously Relaxed’ comes in!
Once you have tried out a few of these, consider making them a permanent part of your life. For most people, good self esteem is not just a happy accident, it’s a result of the way they think and the things they do from day to day. Good Luck!