Self-esteem is as important to our well-being as legs are to a table. It is esstential for physical and mental health and for happiness.
How To Overcome Low Self Esteem
Self-esteem is the immune system of consciousness. It can regenerate, provide strength and helps you fight external attacks on your consciousness. With less self-esteem, the consciousness has to work harder to remain in a positive state of mind. A lack of self-esteem essentially causes you to become very negative, defensive and easily offended. Although unlike the immune system you do not need self-esteem to live, however, you will be living a pretty miserable existence without it. Unfortunately, despite this many people do not know how to raise their self-esteem. This was something I had to do myself and today we’ll go over exactly how to do that.
A Mindset of Self-Esteem
The first step to building your self-esteem is to begin to be more conscious of what’s going on in your head. A lot of people don’t study the psychology of their own minds. This is a topic I am personally very interested in and have written about numerous times. The best thing you should realize right now is that three things affect how you perceive a certain situation. They are facts, interpretation, and emotion. More specifically they are; what is really going on, how you interpret what is going on and how skewed your interpretation is because of your current emotional state.
So in order to get the most accurate information, the first question you need to ask yourself throughout the day is “How am I feeling at the moment?”, “Do my actions match my feelings?” When you see a person frowning you may interpret that as anger which then makes you feel hurt. Are you yourself angry at this person? Did you even see this person frowning or did you just mistake it? Ask yourself how your current feelings may skew your interpretation of the situation. This is often the reason why we make judgment errors when we are in an extremely emotional state. Our interpretation of everything gets completely skewed and we have to calm down, evaluate the situation and proceed from there.
Self-Acceptance and Self-Responsibility
Self-acceptance and self-responsibility is another huge step in building your self-esteem. When I say self-acceptance I don’t just mean accepting who you currently are. That is important but you need self-acceptance with self-responsibility in order to truly build your self-esteem.
For example, have you ever recently done anything you regret? A self-acceptant person may say, “Well, humans make mistakes, and me, being a human need to accept these mistakes into my personality. I should embrace not only the good but also the bad parts of myself.
Alternatively, a person with maybe a weaker form of self-acceptance may look at what they did and try to justify it. They will try to reject it as sort of an outlier of themselves. They would say “What I did was not me. I don’t know why I did what I did, I was stressed out, maybe a little emotional but that person was not me.”
In order to gain self-esteem you sort of need a combination of the two scenarios above. You need to accept what you did and also find out why you did what you did. Always figuring out why you did what you did is important to learn more about yourself and reduce the chance of it happening again. Were you stressed out? Tired? In a bad mood? Remember that only you can take responsibility for your behavior. Instead of saying “He pushes my buttons.” Or “I wouldn’t have said that if she…” ask yourself what can I do about it? Only you have the power to control how we act. Accepting who we are and also taking responsibility for our actions is a big step to improving your self-esteem.
Self-Assertiveness is a statement of your personality and your opinions. Whenever you assert your personality you are asserting that you have the right to exist.
All of us would agree that this is an unalienable right and yet most of us fail to assert our own personality and ideas. The subtle fear is this. “If I assert myself people may disapprove of my ideas.” “If I assert myself I might provoke resentment.” It is always safer to not say anything – or say things in a weak manner, which is what many people do. If you want to learn how to apply your assertiveness in conversation I would recommend my article on Effective Communication Tips
At a simple level if you want to be more assertive you simply need to be more open to who you are. One of the subtle things we do to move away from being assertive is we use words like “I think”, we talk softly and some of us even mumble. It’s like we are asserting our personality by saying the words but we want to show other people that we don’t fully believe in them; that way we kind of have an out.
Saying I think, and speaking quietly are both ways where if you had faced resentment you can just say “Well I thought, I wasn’t sure, but I’m glad I now know what my real opinion should be.” Or maybe the person can just outright not hear you which would give you the chance to change your idea. These kinds of things sort of ‘softens the blow’ and ultimately comes from the fear of being completely wrong about your ideas. If you want to be more assertive you also have to embrace being wrong. Back up your ideas 100% but also be open minded enough to admit when you are wrong.
To be more assertive you can start by saying what’s on your mind – Your opinions, even if you think they are unpopular. It’s very likely that you are not the only person in the room thinking it. It’s hard to be upset with somebody who voices their opinion. And if they do, you can simply state that it was your opinion and it may not necessarily be true, it’s only what you think.
For example, say you are at a party and you hear or see something that you believe to be sexist. This is something that you should not only say but say assertively. Instead of saying “I think that was sexist” say “Well, that was sexist.” You also need to say this loud and clearly, so everybody can hear you. Again, we use these words like “I think” as a way to escape our statements of assertiveness. I think this, or I think that. If you really believe your opinion is true then don’t use words like ‘I think’. You saying the words already shows that you are also thinking it, there is no need explicitly say it.
Clearly expressing your opinion and being open to judgment will quickly build your self-esteem and also your confidence over time. Even doing something small like stating your opinion about a recent movie you watched or football game all helps in boosting your self-esteem.
Self-esteem is not only about believing in yourself it’s also about putting your personality and ideas out there to be judged and maybe even ridiculed. You can either live a life afraid to say what is truly on your mind or you can live a life shackled by the opinions of others. It’s your choice and I hope you make the right one.
Have a great day!
Feel free to leave any questions below! I would love to get to them all!