Learning how to improve self-esteem is really important to almost every area of your life. Let’s face it: if you don’t feel good about yourself, your physical and mental health suffers, and your general enjoyment of life evaporates. On top of that, from a Law of Attraction perspective, when you don’t believe that you can achieve your goals and you don’t believe that you deserve to achieve them, you’re pretty much setting yourself up for guaranteed failure.
On the flip side, however, learning how to improve self-esteem – and maintain it – can provide you with all sorts of benefits:
- You are less dependent on external validation, becoming more emotionally stable and less likely to get drawn into that roller-coaster ride where your thoughts about yourself are based on what other people say to you or about you at any given time.
- You are better able to silence your own inner critic, and more likely to achieve your goals because you believe in yourself more.
- Your relationships with other people will be smoother and more pleasant. People are naturally drawn to those who are confident, and those who have high-esteem are happier, less needy, and more pleasant to be around than those who aren’t.
So, making sure your self-esteem is high is obviously of utmost importance. And with that in mind, I’ve put together a few practical strategies for boosting your self-esteem…
Recognizing your self-esteem saboteurs
The first step in learning how to improve self-esteem is to become aware of your automatic negative thought habits. These are the ingrained patterns of thinking that we develop over the course of a lifetime that cause us to have a really distorted view of the world around us. These negative thought patterns can take many forms, including:
- Seeing things in black and white. This is the tendency to view things from an all-or-nothing, all good or all bad, kind of framework. This one tends to show up in the form of “If I don’t get that job, I’m a failure” or “if I don’t get an A on this test, I’m a loser”.
- Dwelling on the negative. This is the tendency to focus only on the bad stuff, constantly worrying about it and reliving it until it’s all you can even see anymore.
- Jumping to conclusions. This is the tendency to view yourself negatively as the root cause of someone else behaviour, with little to no evidence. (e.g. You left a message for your friend and she still hasn’t responded so you assume she’s mad at you.)
Strategies for how to improve self-esteem
Once you become aware of your own automatic thought patterns, there are several strategies that you can use to help you overcome them:
- Silence your inner critic. Putting a stop to all those little negatives running around you head is critical for improving self-esteem. It’s impossible to feel good about yourself and feel motivated to achieve your goals if that little voice inside your head keeps telling you you’ll never make it or that you’re not good enough.
- Find good motivational strategies. When you’re feeling down, accomplishing something worthwhile can really give you a boost. So find ways to motivate yourself to work towards your dreams and goals, and when you reach those milestones, be sure to give yourself the credit you deserve!
- Let go of perfectionism. Being a perfectionist can lead to “analysis paralysis” and cause you to procrastinate endlessly when it comes to getting things done. And it becomes a vicious circle – you put off doing things, so you don’t get the results you want, so you think you’re a failure, so you put off doing things some more…. (see where this is going?).
When you don’t believe that you are capable of achieving, or even deserving of the things that you want most, it makes it really hard to be successful with your goals. Learning how to improve self-esteem will not only help you make your dreams a reality, it will improve every other area of your life, too!
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Wow, that was great. Just what I was thinking this past week. Caring about someone with low self esteem is painful if you deeply care about them, when they would say very negative things and feel so bad about themselves you just have to let them work on themselves.
It’s true! Life gets good when you feel good about yourself and respect yourself. It’s not being selfish, per se in the negative sense, but I look at it more along the lines of self preservation as a pre-requisite to thriving. I’ll never forget the story of Alexander the Great’s encounter with a yogi. The conqueror (who, in the eyes of the yogi, was not so great but rather disturbed) demanded a yogi tell him something after which the yogi responded for him to get out of the way, for he was blocking his sunlight. And no, he did not get killed. When you have self esteem, you are spared. At least that’s how I explain it.
I think that’s got to be one of the hardest things in life — seeing so much that’s wonderful in another human being, and knowing that they cannot see any of what you see in themselves. Even when you know that it’s a part of their journey, and therefore a valuable part of their personal growth, it is hard to watch.
And yes, the better you feel about yourself, the better life gets! I agree that learning to love and accept yourself should be everyone’s highest priority. It’s not selfishness, it’s vital. You cannot give to others what you don’t have… if you want to see more love and light in the world, then you have to have found it within yourself before you can effectively help others find theirs.