Self-esteem can be described as confidence in one’s own worth or abilities. I believe that there’s a shortage of self-esteem these days. The longer I work with people the more aware I become of just how many people are struggling with low self-esteem and confidence.
When we have low self-esteem we’re often sensitive and vulnerable to negative opinions and remarks. This creates doubt in our own ability to do things successfully and to make our own decisions. A simple mistake may result in a highly critical self-talk and feelings of shame, worthlessness and helplessness and a reluctance to try things again.
You can’t get self-esteem by reading about it, rather it is earned over time. To build and develop self-esteem we need to break the cycle of negativity and doubt by practicing, testing and experimenting. In time we can learn to trust ourselves to do things well, to make our own choices and be realistic about the consequence of failure.
When we have strong self-esteem we have the courage to choose our own response and reaction to our own feelings, to make our own decisions, which in turn, builds confidence to do it again.
My tops tips for building self-esteem:
- Recall your past achievements. Make a list of the achievements you are proud of and the skills you have acquired. Then use the list to bolster your confidence and challenge negative thoughts when you feel doubt.
- Identify a few small steps you can take towards your goals. Consider them an experiment or a test and go ahead and do them.
- Celebrate the successes. Even the small ones.
- Reframe failures or challenges in a positive light. Try to see them as part of your learning journey. Reflect on what didn’t go according to plan and identify the lessons and insights that you receive.
- Practice self-compassion and use a mindfulness approach.
- Be mindful and acknowledge your failure and disappointment rather than avoid feeling it.
- Be kind and non-judgemental towards yourself
- Share feelings of disappointment with other people you can trust rather than feel isolated. Accept negative thoughts and feelings as they arise, observe them rather than struggle against them and let them subside.
- Stop comparing yourselves to other people because doing this can be demotivating. You don’t know their full story and everyone has their own situation to deal with.
- Consider working with a coach or therapist to help you challenge negative thoughts and limiting beliefs and build your self-esteem.
If you’d like some professional help to build your self-esteem or to explore and improve any aspect of your life, please contact me to arrange a complimentary coaching session. (We can do it face to face, via Zoom or Skype). Take time to invest in yourself and your future.