4 Tips to Improve Your Self-Esteem in One Month
Your self-esteem should not neglected or left in anybody else’s hands. Yet in today’s world we feel such a need to be constantly affirmed by others, and we keep saying “yes” with a small voice when what we need is to say a firm “NO”. We don’t realize that a little neglect is just as lethal as not loving yourself …
Few subjects in psychology have aroused as much interest as self-esteem — there are all kinds of books and articles and talks on it. At this point, most of us are familiar with the strategies and tools the self-help gurus offer us for self-improvement.
However … do you really get it? Does it really improve your self-esteem? The truth is not always. We stand in front of the mirror and say, “I love myself, I am capable of doing what I want and nothing can stop me” and then go to work.
But it’s not long before we return to the place in the back of our mind where those vicious cycles of negative thoughts lie. We find ourselves face-to-face with insecurity, deathly afraid of what others will say, and we do everything we can to get the recognition we need to temporarily improve our self-esteem.
It’s not easy, because we don’t understand what self-esteem actually is, because no, it is not sufficient to “love yourself”. Just as important is working on very basic things like the perception we have of ourselves, as well as the people around us.
In the beautiful, complex fabric that makes up our social and emotional identity, it’s evident that there are some loose ends to repair — and maybe even replace. So let’s take a minute and reflect on these 4 tips.
1. Learn to fill yourself up
Not knowing how to feed ourselves, not knowing how to fill ourselves up… it’s a curse. It’s like a spell causing us to make the same mistake over and over again: looking for others to give us what we do not provide for ourselves.
If we start a project hoping that our significant other, friends, and family will support every idea, every single hope, then if they don’t, we may walk away with the feeling that they’re against us. Any criticism feels like a personal attack.
What kind of happiness can we aspire to with this type of approach? We’ll be begging for crumbs. If people don’t give us validation, affirmation, and love, our legs are cut out from under us.
We must be emotionally independent people, people who see themselves as inherently valuable and perfectly worthy of any goal. In this way, and only in this way, will we be capable of seeing the good in their criticism.
2. Avoid generic positive self-affirmation if you want to improve your self-esteem
We said this at the beginning. Some people don’t leave the house without going through a little ritual, standing in front of the mirror and saying, “I love myself, I am capable, I am beautiful, no one can hurt me and I am worth it”.
Well, this very well may work for some people, but we must understand that these kinds of generic phrases are almost like “empty calories”. That is to say, they improve your self-esteem for a short time, but soon they are “digested” and the effect vanishes. They are slippery ideas. Since they are not concrete, they’re hard to really hold onto for the long-term.
Create personal, intimate affirmations that touch your heart.
3. Create your own emotional immune system
Having low self-esteem makes us more vulnerable to psychological “wounds” in daily life, big and small. We are less resistant to frustration and failure. Disappointment hurts more. It’s hard to handle anxiety and stress…
- Create an authentic “emotional immune system” to improve your self-esteem. Just as our body has organs, cells, and different mechanisms to protect us from disease, we need something like that at a psychological level.
- What does that mean? It means employing strategies to help us be aware that we need adequate nutrition in order to grow and protect our spirit: self-love, confidence, a good self image, positivity, resilience, a sense of humor, knowing when to say “no”…
4. Self-esteem cannot live on hope alone, we need beliefs
In your effort to improve your self-esteem, maybe you tell yourself things like, “everything will turn out okay, I’m going to be successful, I’m going to do this and that and everything I want to”.
Just like we said before, this type of affirmation has a very short-lived battery. When a person has low self-esteem, feeding these simple hopes will not help much. What they need are beliefs, attitudes that are firm, concrete, realistic, and tangible.
It is therefore necessary that we learn to “give ourselves feedback.” To do that, the best thing is to focus on what, realistically, our skills, achievements, and abilities are.
“I’m very good with social issues. I got great grades in college and I am trained to do this work. There’s no reason to feel insecure because I have adequate skills, there is no reason to doubt myself. I should not, therefore, doubt myself. I know what I am worth and I understand that it is very possible to get what I want, because in the past I have already achieved a lot … “