7 Strategies to Improve Your Self-Esteem
Self-esteem means nothing more than accepting yourself as you are, with your flaws and virtues, and furthermore, loving who we are unconditionally. How many times have we put ourselves down or torn ourselves apart over a little mistake, for not being perfect! It is difficult for us to understand and internalize the fact that there is nothing more human than failure.
From a very young age, we are taught that it is bad to err and that we have to fight to be better in everything: physically, at work, being a good friend, a good child, a good parent, being successful and achieving many things, having money…
This places a tremendous burden on us when we start being adults, because we think that we need all of these things to be worth something as people. That is what they have always told us!
But how can this be true? Why is one human being worth more than another for being physically attractive or having more money in their wallet? What does intrinsic value have to do with possessions? And the day you are no longer attractive? Will you stop having that value you had when you were young?
If we ask ourselves these questions, we will see that they are absurd, senseless. We cannot draw the conclusion that someone is more or less valuable because they own more or less. A basket of fruit does not lose its value because one of the fruits has a brown patch.
This is easy to understand on paper, but in real life, our self-esteem falls to pieces when we perceive some crack, no matter how small it is, in one area of life or several of them. So that this does not happen so easily, it is good to learn certain strategies that are going to help us accept ourselves unconditionally and love ourselves more.
1. Be realistic in your thinking
It is good to be self-critiquing when we have made a mistake or we have some flaw. This is how we learn for the future. But it is another thing altogether to tear yourself apart. This not only prevents us from learning, but it also blocks us and causes us to demonstrate evasive behavior.
Stop telling yourself that you are a pig because you have a few extra pounds; this is a broad generalization. Surely you have many other attractive characteristics, but you do not see them. Look for the solution to what you do not like and ignore that inner critic.
2. Do not put all your eggs in one basket
In this life, we take on countless roles: we are workers, students, children, parents, siblings, cousins, friends, partners, our pet’s master, etc. We can also describe ourselves, keeping in mind countless characteristics: attractive, tall, short, fat, thin, friendly, short-tempered, rich, intelligent, etc.
The problem is that we often base our self-esteem on one single area or characteristic, for example: if I am not a good professional in what I studied, I am not worth absolutely anything as a person and everything else I do doesn’t matter.
3. Take risks
We tend to avoid anything that can hurt our self-esteem: I am not going to let things “turn out badly,” I won’t let myself “feel inferior” or say “I can’t do it.” By following this line of thought we lend too much importance to our flaw or shortcoming, when the fact of the matter is that it is normal to have flaws and shortcomings. Start exposing yourself to everything you have been avoiding to protect your self-esteem.
4. Get rid of labels
A common mistake in thinking is to label. We label when we talk about others with the verb “be.” John is a doctor, Paula is a housewife, and Anna is useless. This is a lie because maybe Anna is useless when it comes to some things, for example, swimming, but surely she is extremely useful at her job as a hairdresser, which means she is not completely useless, which is how we labeled her before.
5. Stop comparing yourself to others
Look at yourself and if there is something you do not like, try to change it. Comparing yourself with others will not help you resolve your problem; instead, it will make it larger. Remember that you are not worth any less or any more than the person you are comparing yourself with. You simply possess different characteristics.
6. Find a ceiling
Human beings are sometimes extremely ambitious. They are successful, but that does not matter, they need more success, and if they are attractive, they need to be even more handsome; there is never a ceiling where they say, “I am stopping! I am happy with what I have and what I am! I do not need anything else!”
This sometimes leads to the self-fulfilling prophecy: since I believe that I am ugly, even though the rest of the world is telling me that is not true, I undergo various plastic surgeries, but I am never happy. In the end, after so many operations, I end up with such a strange physique, confirming my belief that I am ugly. This is why it is good to set yourself a ceiling, a limit where you can stop at some point.
7. Dedicate yourself to loving, pleasing, and appreciating
In reality, physical appearance, possessions, and success are only valuable for some slightly confused, empty people with a very mistaken set of values. That will always exist, but there is no reason for us to pay attention to it.
For most people, what really matters is love, a smile, gestures, and loving words. This is what really connects us.