Our self-esteem is the opinion we have of ourselves and it may be the most influential aspect of our personality on our well-being. Without having an appropriate view of ourselves, it is very difficult to be a healthy, well-adjusted human being.
The many resources and books written on this topic is a good indication of the importance in our lives. It is also indicative of the need for so many people to look at the way they value themselves and to re-think their power and importance.
Let’s be honest, there are so many things in today’s world that can siphon the self-esteem from our bodies. Foremost is this pandemic and Covid-19. We are powerless to this virus and the fear can bring us to our knees if we allow it. Powerlessness is a cause for low self-esteem.
“Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”Louise L. Hay
Other causes for low self-esteem:
- Negative messages of our worth from parents, siblings, friends, or teachers
- Negative messages from the media
- Difficulty living up to someone else’s (or our own) expectations
- Difficult life events such as loss of a loved one or serious illness
- Personality – having impossibly high standards or being prone to negative thinking
Having a low self-esteem can negatively affect almost every aspect of your life. It can influence your job, your relationships, and even your health.
There are things we can do to help uplift our self esteem.
- Be aware of difficult situations in your life – what triggers you to thinking poorly about yourself
- Become aware of your self-talk – avoid thinking of the negative possibilities, make sure your thoughts are based in reality
- Challenge negative or inaccurate thinking – don’t think in terms of all or nothing, don’t “should” all over yourself (I should do this or that), don’t make feelings into facts (you are not a loser if you make a mistake)
- Adjust your thoughts and beliefs about yourself – turn negative thoughts into positives, treat yourself with kindness and respect
In other words, go easy on yourself. Instead of trying to stop the negative thoughts and feelings from occurring, make a decision to let them pass through your mind without letting them stick around. Make your goal to NOT allow them to influence your belief in yourself. This will take some practice, but eventually you will feel the effects on your self-esteem.
In addition to adjusting your thoughts, take actions to help you feel better about yourself physically. Exercise every day (even just a walk helps) and control your eating by limiting foods that you know are bad for you. Make a list of activities you enjoy doing and try to fit at least one into your day. Most importantly, surround yourself (even virtually) with people who will uplift your self-esteem. You do not owe it to anyone to subject yourself to negative energy.
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”Buddha
Give it a try! As your self-esteem swells, your confidence and belief in yourself will increase, and from there, the sky’s the limit!