What is Self-Esteem
“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” ~ E.E. Cummings
Self-esteem is simply the value that we place on ourselves. It is the self-perception of our self-worth, the value we feel that we offer the world, and the value we present to others. It has an impact on every single area of our lives and ourselves, including our own self-care, relationships, and work. It effects every aspect of life, including, how we function, how we live, and how we succeed or not.
Having a positive self-view provides us with the flexibility and strength to take control of our lives, growing without worrying about rejection.
- The power to say no
- The ability to take ownership of mistakes
- Being aware of personal strengths
- Accepting mistakes are inevitable, but being strong enough to learn from them
- Problem solving
- An attitude that is cooperative and independent
- Being comfortable with a variety of emotions
- Personal limitations
Why Women Suffer From Low Self-Esteem
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” ~Lucille Ball
Self-esteem is dependent on a variety of issues, and there are a few questions you can ask yourself that may help you understand where you are in life:
- Do you believe in your success?
- What is your view of yourself?
- How do you view your strengths, and weaknesses?
- How do you relate to others?
- Do you consider your job worthwhile, and do you feel respected at work?
- Are you able to make your own decisions?
- Do you constantly compare yourself to others and overlook what you have to offer?
- Are you obsessed with your social status? There are several reasons why women may struggle with their own self-esteem.
1| Body Image – we are living in a superficial world, and unfortunately, women spend too much time obsessing over their bodies. According to DoSomething.org, around 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies. This is a serious factor in how we feel about ourselves, and we are constantly surrounded by unrealistic images of the ideal woman. This often results in women feeling that they are inadequate and unattractive. According to the Atlantic…
- 98% of girls surveyed feel immense pressure from external sources to look a certain way
- 92% of teen girls report they would like to change something about their looks, with body weight ranking the highest
- 13% of girls are Unhappy with Their Bodies by age 13, and 78% by age 17
2| Unrealistic Goals – It doesn’t matter where the pressure comes from whether it is from your boss, your partner, family, and yourself. Everyone is under serious pressure to perform in some, or multiple, aspects of their lives. A struggle to keep up with those expectations and can have a devastating impact on your self-esteem. The truth is setting unrealistic goals is only setting yourself up for failure, because no one is perfect.
3| Negativity – When you become used to negative thought patterns, it feeds into a habit. You’ve essentially trained yourself to think negatively about everything, including yourself. If you feel worthless, and keep feeding those thoughts, it will be difficult to break the cycle. It’s vital that you challenge negative feelings and thoughts. Additionally, when you are surrounded by negative people this can have an effect on you. If you are part of a social group that constantly brings you down, by forcing you to do things you don’t want to do, by not respecting you, or valuing your opinions- then it is going to damage your self-esteem.
4| Various childhood issues can result in serious self-esteem issues, including abuse, emotional, physical, and sexual.
Signs that you have a low sense of Self-Worth – Are you never good enough?
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection” ~ Buddha
Self-esteem is something that is necessary for your success, and you can’t get it from someone else. The first step in achieving high self-esteem is understand what level of self- esteem you are currently experiencing. It isn’t something that you can measure by looking at yourself in the mirror, so how will you gauge it?
If criticism is destructive, you may have an issue. There are a variety of warning signs that you may be suffering with low self-esteem, consider the following:
- Difficulty Accepting Praise – People who suffer from low self-esteem have a difficult time accepting compliments and praise- it makes them uncomfortable. The general response it to deflect the praise, or offer a self-deprecating remark.
- Putting People Down – You know that old saying that when someone puts you down it’s really themselves they’re commenting on? They pick on what they don’t like about themselves? It’s true. Therefore, while trash talk may be a bit of fun, and banter can be harmless- it can be a way of revealing your own insecurities.
- Control Over Empowerment – If you would rather control something or someone, rather than empower them to handle their own decisions, then what it says is you feel threatened. If a person can’t handle someone talking to their significant other, or even their friends, and act out in a manipulative manner, then they’re showing severe self- esteem issues.
- Difficulty Saying No – People suffering from low self-esteem are desperate to feel loved, and wanted. They are willing to do or say anything, so they can find it quite difficult to put their foot down and say no. You are basing your self-worth on being accepted by others, and that’s not an effective way to build your self-esteem. You are worth being loved and respected for as you are.
- Indecisiveness – If you have trouble making decisions, there may be a few reasons. You find it difficult to take ownership and you’re afraid to take responsibility if you make the wrong one. You may struggle with making the decision because you don’t consider your opinion of equal value or you’re struggling with low self-esteem.
- A Tendency To Blame Others – One telltale sign of someone suffering with a low self- esteem is an inability to accept any responsibility. This tends to crop up with indecisiveness, and the tendency to blame someone else for his or her mistakes. When you blame someone else, it’s because you’re afraid to accept you made a mistake. You’re turning yourself into a victim. Don’t focus on the external factors, which have contributed to an undesirable result, focus on the outcome that you want.
- The Constant Apology – How can you tell someone isn’t confident? They constantly apologize. They haven’t done anything that requires an apology, but there they go apologizing for something. Make sure that you are only apologizing when it’s warranted, otherwise- it may indicate a low self-esteem.
- Women with lose self-esteem engage in unhealthy relationships, where there is emotional, physical or psychological abuse. This is a real life manifestation of a low self- worth, where the belief that she is undeserving of love and caring is seen in the people she attracts.
Remember, self-esteem is a belief. A low self-esteem requires just as much effort as maintaining a high self-esteem.
15 Ways Healthy Self-esteem greatly boosts your quality of life and wellbeing
“Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand-break on.” ~maxwell Maltz
- You will be more confident in your social and professional life.
- You will feel happier and healthier.
- Improves your levels of productivity.
- Improves your ability to control what can be controlled, and let go of what is out of your control.
- Increases your feelings of power over your life.
- Improves your decisiveness.
- It has a positive effect on your mental and emotional health.
- Improves your relationships.
- The ability to be objective in any situation.
- The ability to recognize your strengths and accept your weaknesses.
- The ability to avoid comparing yourselves to others.
- The ability to communicate with assertiveness.
- Allows you to step outside your comfort zone.
- The ability to accept yourself.
- It allows you to set achievable goals and strive to achieve them.
You cannot be confident without self-esteem
“Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the face.” ~ Helen Keller
A challenge to confidence and self-esteem is a daily occurrence. It’s vital that we learn how to overcome negative experiences. Self-confidence can be learned, and this involves changing your behaviors. Building confidence is entirely dependent on breaking old habits, and shattering negative thinking.
A New York Times article highlighted some interesting finding from various studies and surveys:
- While performance between men and women did not differ in quality, men typically overestimated their abilities and performance while women underestimated both
- Men don’t let their self-doubts stop them from reaching higher at work as often as women do
- Women applied for work promotions only as long as they had 100% of the qualifications being required while men applied when they held 50% of the given qualifications
- These thoughts may be ingrained, so it might seem as though they are very unchangeable, but this is not true.
- 2/3 of women surveyed reported being cautious about sharing their point of view at work or taking steps to become leaders
By acknowledging and dealing with those negative thoughts effectively, you start boosting your self-esteem, thus your confidence.
Here are just a few suggestions that can help you establish higher levels of self-esteem, thus build your confidence:
- Stop judging yourself by the things that occur in life. You should not base your confidence on external events.
- Start forgiving yourself for the past mistakes you may have made. Harboring grudges isn’t healthy, especially when the grudges you’re holding is against yourself.
- Changing your thought patterns. When you find yourself criticizing, or having negative thoughts, move that thought to a positive one.
- Setting goals is healthy, but set realistic goals. Don’t set yourself up to fail by making unrealistic goals.
- Focus on what you are capable of, work on emphasizing your strengths.
A lack of confidence does not need to be permanent. it’s learned, so you can replace bad habits with positive habits by learning to be positive about yourself.
40 Key ways to achieving ultimate levels of Self-Esteem and worthiness
“You have been yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” ~ Louise L. Hay
Self-care is different for every individual, so it’s difficult to offer suggestions that will benefit everyone. However, Mental Health America suggests taking time out to do something for ourselves every day. We have come up with 40 ways that will help you achieve the ultimate level of self-esteem.
1. Say No To Your Inner Critic
If you want to boost your self-esteem, the first step is learning to quiet that inner critic. Everyone has that inner voice, and it can spur us on to do great things, or bog us down with negative thoughts. Don’t accept that inner critic, change the negative thoughts to positive ones, reject what your inner critic says, and tell it to just stop!
2. Use Healthy Motivational Habits
Turn your inner critic into a weak voice that you can easily shrug up and replace it with a loud positive voice. Take time out to write down the benefits you will experience from following a new path. Whether your plan is to get in shape, travel more, and get a raise. This should also help you refocus on what you really enjoy doing. If you feel yourself losing motivation, ask yourself if what you’re doing is what you really want to be doing.
3. Take a Self-Appreciation Break
Even if you can take just 2 minutes out of your day every day for a month- you will see a massive difference. So, stop what you’re doing and take a deep breath. Now, ask yourself what 3 things you appreciate about yourself. They don’t have to be big things, just find 3 positive aspects that you appreciate.
4. Write It Down
You’ve learned to take a self-appreciation break, now give yourself an extra boost. Every night before bed, write down three things that you appreciate about yourself- or three positive things that you achieved that day.
5. Do The Right Thing
Doing the right thing automatically makes you feel better. Whether, that choice is not picking up that bag of cookies, choosing the gym instead of the couch, or skipping your morning latte and giving it to charity instead. The right thing isn’t always the easy thing, but by making the right choice, you’re boosting your self-esteem.
6. Drop The Perfectionism
Perfectionism is destructive; it isn’t an admirable quality to possess, no matter how much you feel that it is. It can paralyze you. You become so afraid of failing to meet the standard that you simply stop trying.
7. React Positively To Mistakes
No one likes making mistakes, and they’re inevitable when you push yourself outside of your comfort zone. It’s totally okay to make mistakes, though, and the most important aspect of making a mistake is in how you bounce back.
Stop beating yourself up, and ask how you can improve the next time.
8. Be Kind To Others
When you treat others with kindness, you tend to be kinder to yourself. Not to mention they return your kindness. It isn’t difficult either- be a shoulder to cry on, let that other car change lanes, motivate a friend, hold the door open for the person behind you, and take time out to help someone else.
9. Try Something New
Stepping outside your comfort zone is always a positive- it doesn’t need to a big challenge; any challenge is a great place to start. Don’t build up an expectation of what may happen, just go out and do it.
10. Avoid The Comparison Trap
Comparing yourself to others is destructive. There will always be someone with more or someone with a better job, or a better figure. Instead, measure your progress against yourself. Look at how far you’ve come!
11. Surround Yourself With Supportive People
Just because you’ve made the decision to be kind to others, doesn’t mean that everyone around you will be doing the same. If you have negative, unsupportive, or unkind people in your life, it’s time to cut them out and surround yourself with people who edify you instead.
12. Get Up & Get Outside
Even if you’re a lover of the great indoors, there’s nothing better than taking time to get outside and enjoy nature. The Journal of Environmental Psychology suggests that spending time in nature is beneficial to our mental health and overall wellbeing.
13. Try Exercising Outdoors
Exercise is good, outdoors are good… it stands to reason that taking time to exercise in the great outdoors is an equally excellent boost to your mental health, and results in a decrease in depression, tension, and anger, leaving you feeling more confident.
14. Pay It Forward
We help ourselves when we help others. Whether you take time out of your day to help someone less fortunate, or you dedicate your spare time to volunteering. It’s a great way to boost your mental health, self-esteem, and self-confidence.
15. The Right Breath
Breathing techniques work to relax us, but those techniques are equally as important as what we are breathing. Citrus and lavender scents are an excellent way to reduce anxiety and stress, which can result in higher levels of confidence, thus self-esteem.
16. Stress Less
Stress is a nasty habit, and the more stressed we are the worse it is for our health. Life throws a lot at us, and it’s easy to give in. Keep stress at bay if you want to maintain your self- esteem. Exercise promotes relaxation, and so helps manage stress, it is also a great way to make you feel better about your body, helping to improve confidence.
Focus on the present, and don’t be caught up worrying about past actions. Being mindful is liberating, and can help relieve the symptoms of depression, reduce stress, and help us see ourselves more clearly.
18. Be Happy
Obviously, happiness feels great, so it makes sense that it’s also good for our health. How can you be happy when you don’t necessarily feel happy? There’s nothing more annoying than when someone tells you to smile, but as it turns out, according to Scientific American, choosing to smile may actually result in feelings of happiness.
You can spend just a few minutes of your day meditating, and it does the body and mind good. It is stress relieving, and also results in emotional stability, and Northeastern University says it can boost your levels of compassion.
It isn’t just great for your body; it improves your mood and your body image.
21. Spend Time With Music
Music has the power to make you happy, so take time out to listen to music that is particularly upbeat. It improves your mood, improves your heart health, and leaves you feeling more confident.
22. Eat Healthy
Eating healthy is an act of self-care that you can practice every day. It improves your overall health, and can make a difference to your waistline, too, which will improve your body image, thus having a positive effect on your self-esteem.
23. Rant About It
Have you ever noticed that letting off steam leaves you feeling better? As it turns out, science may be offering you an excuse to drop some of your favorite swear words. According to Psychology Today, swearing not only works to reduce physical pain, but it boosts your self- esteem and your confidence! (Just make sure you filter yourself when you’re in polite company.)
24. Retail Therapy
Yes, hitting the strip mall is a great way to give your self-esteem a boost. Treat yourself to a little black dress (or a new pair of shoes) and experience a serious confidence boost.
We already know that there are tons of benefits that come from having sex, one of those is its ability to relax, and boost your body image and confidence by enjoying some intimacy.
26. Read A Book
Reading is great for your health, it gives you alone time, keeps your mind sharp, and breeds creativity. Reading allows you to keep an open mind, helps improve your sleep, and makes us more empathetic. All of which feeds your self-esteem.
27. Laughter Is The Best Medicine
There’s nothing better than a fit of the giggles. All of life’s troubles slip away and you are able to embrace the moment that you’re in. Take time out to watch a funny TV show, or your favorite funny movie.
28. Look At Cute Stuff
How is that going to improve your self-esteem? Well, looking at adorable things is a great way to boost your mood, why do you think cat videos are such a popular thing across social media? Because cats are hilarious, adorable and makes us laugh!
29. Sleep Well
Sleep could not be more important to our health. A lack of sleep results in stress, which has a serious impact on every facet of our lives. It also leaves you more likely to indulge in fatty foods, which has a serious impact on your body image.
30. Clear The Decks
Being surrounded by clutter can leave us feeling down, so taking time to declutter your home and office is a great way to boost your self-esteem, and leave yourself feeling calmer.
Exercise burn calories and boosts your mood. It can provide you with pain relief, relieve symptoms of depression, and leave you feeling more confident.
32. Massage Therapy
There is no greater act of self-love than a massage. It soothes your muscles, and mind, relieves stress, and improves your quality of sleep.
Spooning releases oxytocin, which is the feel-good hormone.
Just 20 minutes of yoga every day will boost your brain, improve your focus, and leave you feeling more confident.
We spend our lives glued to screens, take a break from it all, and give your brain some downtime to recharge.
36. Take Time Out
Americans may be the worst when it comes to taking their vacation time. It’s seriously important to your health, though, whether you head abroad or indulge in a staycation. Take time to get away from your everyday life and refocus your energies.
37. Be Your Own Best Friend
You are your own biggest fan, or at least you should be. Assess how you treat yourself. Do you treat friends and family better? Are you kind to yourself? Do take the time to meet your own needs and desires? Take action steps to be your own best friend. Take yourself out, treat yourself often, and say nice things to yourself every single day.
38. Aim For Good Enough
Being the best is exhausting… but ask yourself, are you the worst? There is nothing wrong with being average, or normal, especially when your normal is YOUR VERY BEST.
39. Find The Silver Lining
Learn to focus on the positives and find the silver lining in every situation. This is a skill that takes practice if you are not naturally a positive person.
40. The Why Of Self-Esteem
Never forget how important self-esteem is to your life- take time to remind yourself of why you need to work toward a positive self-esteem, and make sure it’s a priority in your life.
“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.” ~ Oscar Wilde
Self-esteem is a necessary function in our lives, it’s vital that you bear in mind that it’s not something you naturally have. You can learn to boost your self-esteem by breeding healthy habits, and taking time out to indulge in self-care.
If you find that building self-esteem is a challenge, or that your self-worth is very low, seek the help of a trained mental health counselor.
These specialists can be an invaluable tool in helping you work through your issues to live a more fulfilled and happy life and become the very best you, as you were meant to be.
Become Your Own Star And Unleash Your Inner God/Goddess!