Self-esteem is the ideas, values, and beliefs that you hold about yourself and how you feel that you are viewed and perceived by the world. Your self-esteem feeds your self-concept, which in turn fuels your mental health and overall sense of well-being.
According to Nathaniel Branden: “If you feel inadequate to face challenges, feel unworthy of love and respect, un-entitled to happiness, fear assertive thoughts wants and needs; if you lack basic self-trust, self-respect and self-confidence, your self-esteem deficiency will limit you no matter what other assets you possess.”
People with healthy self-esteem strive to reach their full potential; they see themselves as being competent, confident and capable of achieving their goals and desires.
If your self-esteem is in need of a boost, look no further – here are 7 powerful tips that will jump-start your self-esteem.
1. Control the Inner Critic: Try to stop thinking negative thoughts about you. Let go of your shortcomings, start thinking about the positive qualities that you possess. Counter your negative thinking by saying something positive about yourself. Each day, write down three things about yourself that you are proud of.
2. Reframe Your View of Mistakes: Give yourself a break and accept that you will make mistakes. View your mistakes as learning opportunities that make people interesting. Mistakes provide you with important information – you now know what doesn’t work. Think of Thomas Edison and the invention of the light bulb; how many mistakes did he make before finally succeeding?
3. Know and Operate from Your Own Personal Values: Realize once and for all that your self-worth and self-esteem is defined by you and only you. You cannot rely on someone else for your happiness. Another person’s view of you is immaterial. Happiness and self-esteem comes from inside of you!
4. Get out of Your Own Head: Know when you are looping and circulating thoughts in your own head. Find and list ways that you can use to shift and change your physiology quickly. Exercise, connect with nature, listen to music, etc. Stop thinking about you. This may sound strange, but low self-esteem is often accompanied by too much focus on the self. Doing something that absorbs you and holds your attention can quickly get you out of yourself and help you to feel better.
Clear out the junk: This means anything hurtful and unconstructive that you’ve been told by someone you care for, cared about, (or even someone you didn’t) is to be taken with a grain of salt. It is one thing to be given constructive feedback in life, but quite another when people are downright mean and unkind. Remember it’s the offending party’s issue, NOT yours. Take what applies when receiving feedback and leave the rest
5. Set goals: List at least three things that you would love to have the courage to do. Then formulate a plan to actually do them. Set yourself up for success by breaking big goals into daily action steps and take time to acknowledge and celebrate the small successes. This will feed your need for recognition and provides the extra push to keep you moving forward. Rewards could be as simple as giving your self permission to enjoy hat delectable piece of cheesecake you saw in the bakery or as huge as giving yourself a dream vacation. Either way, it is important for you to celebrate your successes.
6. Develop Your Silly Bone: Become a Master of Silliness a Guru of Play. Bring more laughter and fun into your life. Make a list of what you love to do, starting from childhood until now, and try to find time to do it at least once a week, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
Enjoy spending time with the people you care about and doing the things you love. Relax and have a good time – and avoid putting your life on hold.
7. The single most important power technique that you can take to improve the quality of your life is that of gratitude. Being grateful and counting your blessings for the simplest things can be the most empowering thing that you can do for your mental health. You begin to notice your strengths, you begin to see what you have, you begin to appreciate the simple things in life, including being grateful for the things people actually take for granted, such as food and shelter, access to a computer, etc.
Self-esteem is very much a state of mind. Just as you can train your mind to be happy, you can teach and train yourself to have higher self-esteem. People with healthy self-esteem have a strong sense of self-efficiency; that is, they feel that they are in control and have power over their lives. It is only through the development of healthy self-esteem that you can fully reach your maximum potential.