Adapted from ReachOut.com
Self-esteem is made up of the thoughts, feelings, and opinions we have about ourselves. That means self-esteem isn’t fixed. It can change, depending on the way we think. Over time, habits of negative thinking about ourselves can lower self-esteem.
Healthy self-esteem is feeling good about yourself, and feeling that you are a worthwhile person. This doesn’t mean being overconfident – just believing in yourself and knowing what you do well.
Having good self-esteem feels like:
- Believing that you are an OK person and that other people like you.
- Feeling relaxed inside.
- Feeling confident that you will be able to achieve things in life that you want.
- Feeling that it is worth trying to do things well.
- Feeling proud, satisfied and happy when you achieve the things you set out to do.
- Knowing you can make things happen in your life.
- Being able to think of creative ways to get around things that get in your way to success because you believe that you have the ability to achieve what you want.
- Noticing and enjoying your successes.
What if I have low self-esteem?
It’s totally normal for people to feel down about themselves from time to time, but when these feelings start to hang around all the time it’s usually an indication of low self-esteem. If you have low self-esteem it means that you have negative ideas about your worth and value as a person. There are various signs of low self-esteem, including:
- Being really critical of yourself
- Focusing on the negatives and ignoring your accomplishments
- Comparing yourself to others
- Not accepting any compliments that you receive
- Negative self-talk
What causes low self-esteem?
The first step to building up self-esteem is figuring out why it’s low in the first place. There are lots of different things that could be the cause of low self-esteem, including:
- Poor academic performance
- Feeling like you’re the odd one out
- Being unemployed
- Something going on at a deeper level
- Sometimes it can be hard to identify what the cause of your low self-esteem is. It might be something that you’ve never really thought about, or maybe it’s too difficult to determine when it first started.
What can I do to improve low self-esteem?
- Positive self-talk
The way that you think about yourself has a huge influence on your self-esteem. If you keep telling yourself that you’re no good, you might just start to believe it even though it’s not true. If you notice that you practice negative self-talk often, check out some ways that you can challenge your negative thinking and build your confidence levels.
- Don’t compare yourself to others
It can be really tempting to measure our own worth against other people. So what if your friend is awesome at table tennis and gets great marks? You just need to figure out what your niche is. Everyone is great at something – what are your strengths?
Exercise helps to improve your mood. End of story.
- Don’t strive for perfection
It’s really great if you want to do things well, but keep in mind that perfection isn’t possible. Check out one person’s story of coming to terms with their sweet imperfection.
- Don’t beat yourself up when you make a mistake
Everyone on the planet makes mistakes – it’s in our basic human nature. Why should you be any different? When you stuff up, don’t stress, just learn from it and move on.
- Focus on the things you can change
There’s no point wasting all your energy thinking about things that you can’t change. Why don’t you have a think about some of the things that are in your power to control and see what you can do about those?
- Do things that you enjoy
If you’re doing things that you enjoy you’re more likely to be thinking positively. Schedule time for fun and relaxation into every day.
- Celebrate the small stuff
Start small and work your way up – you can’t expect any huge progress to be made overnight.
- Be helpful and considerate
Not only is helping people a great way to boost the moods of others, but you might find that you feel better about yourself after doing something particularly excellent.
- Surround yourself with supportive people
Don’t hang around people who bring you down. Find a group of people who make you feel good about yourself and avoid those who tend to trigger your negative thinking.
If you’ve tried putting these tips into action for a while and you haven’t noticed any differences in the way you feel about yourself, it’s a good idea to talk to someone you trust about it, like a friend or family member. You might also want to make an appointment with a counselor who can work with you to figure out exactly what’s at the root of your low self-esteem, and how to fix it. Dealing with self-esteem isn’t easy but help is available for those who need it. Stay strong.
(This information taken from here.)