Building Our Self-Esteem

February 21, 2017

Having healthy self-esteem is absolutely necessary for every person, because it’s how we can face life with great joy and confidence, and this will lead to our achieving more goals and opening more doors for ourselves. As a result of all this, we will feel more accomplished.

6 symptoms of low self-esteem

  1. Conformism, lack of motivation. The person stops fighting for their dreams because they believe that they are not capable of achieving them. They believe they have little worth.
  2. Shyness, fears, insecurities. Infinite fears of losing face, of what others may think of us, of doing something ridiculous. Inability to take the initiative.
  3. Physical neglect and inattention to life habits. They stop taking care of their physical appearance or, to the contrary, they can go to the other extreme and take too much care of themselves to cover up their lack of self-esteem. The person does not have healthy life habits, eats badly, does not exercise, etc.
  4. Negativity and rigidness. Anything that happens, any mistake they make, is the reason for a lack of respect towards themselves, putting themselves down, and self-blame. The person is not very understanding or flexible with themselves.
  5. Refusal to accept changes and perfectionism. The person stresses out too much when faced with any change in life, even if that change is positive. They prefer to stick with what they know for fear of not fitting in somewhere else. They will also be a perfectionist because doing something wrong would give rise to blaming themselves, internal arguments, and more putting themselves down.
  6. Treating others badly. Many people with low self-esteem lash out against others to make themselves feel more valuable. If they are capable of turning someone else into the victim, they will feel that they are in a position of power and are over the other person. That situation relieves them and they deceive themselves, believing that they are superior.

What can we do to increase self-esteem?

Below, we will show you 8 habits that can help you have healthy self-esteem:

Know yourself

If a person does not know himself, he cannot love himself. Have you ever loved someone that you did not know? It is not very likely, because love is born of knowledge and emotional discovery.

It is very important for you to know what your virtues and flaws are, because if you do not know this, you cannot follow the steps below. It is very common for us not to be able to look at ourselves realistically because low self-esteem can distort reality, making everything overly negative.

In that case, it would be necessary to count on the help of someone, not only a person you trust, but who has knowledge that can help you. Once we know who we are and where we are going, we can put ourselves on that path to live effectively.

For example, a bird flies like no other, but if you put it in water, it will not be able to do anything. A person can be a master of computer programming, but maybe they have a hard time working with their hands.

The most intelligent thing would be to follow the path of computer programming and not that of artisanal work, although very often, not knowing ourselves leads to us going down the wrong paths. If you do not know where your strong and weak points lie, your life will not go in the right direction.

Focus on your virtues

We all have virtues and also defects. Absolutely everyone has these; what happens is that people who look very sure of themselves are focusing on their virtues completely, leaving their flaws in the background.

Thoughts are like a snowball that keeps accumulating and getting bigger, which is why if the focus of your attention is on your flaws, your insecurity and discomfort will keep growing. On the other hand, if you focus on your virtues, your security will keep growing.

Keep your thoughts in check

People who have low self-esteem tend to give in to negative thoughts about themselves. They put themselves down, they think that they are incapable, that others are better, etc. There are even those who criticize and insult themselves continuously.

We have to respect ourselves and treat ourselves affectionately because if we do not, it is going to be impossible for our self-esteem to improve. Try to change your thinking habits, to change your inner dialogue with yourself. Get into the habit of talking to yourself with good, praise-filled words.
Be patient with yourself and above all else, be extremely flexible and understanding. Bombarding yourself with negative will only serve to drown you further and further in insecurity.

You have an enemy inside you who does not stop sabotaging you and saying, “You can’t,” “You are incapable,” “That is not for you,” “You do not deserve that,” “You are not worth it,” “You will do it wrong, don’t even try,” etc. Substitute that enemy for an ally who values you and tells you, “You can do it,” “You are capable,” “You deserve it,” “I love you,” “You are great,” “Try it and if it doesn’t go well, it’s not a big deal. You will keep learning and end up doing it right,” etc.

If you get used to being your own ally instead of your own enemy, you will feel more secure because those words that are in your thoughts are determinant for convincing you to believe in yourself.

Get rid of labels

Get rid of every single label. Do not link your personal value to anything outside yourself. Neither to your job nor your possessions nor your love life, etc. Who you are as a person has nothing to do with what you have.

If you have low self-esteem, you will probably feel worse than others or you will feel like you have little worth because you are unemployed, do not have a partner, etc. The good news is that none of that is important.
You can have healthy self-esteem without needing to have great things because what matters is not outside you, but what is within you.

The key is to lend value to who you are as a person, to your values, your way of seeing life, your way of treating others, your kindness, your integrity, your trustworthiness, etc.

Take responsibility for yourself

Every one must assume his own responsibility. There is no reason to blame other people for our own insecurities and problems. Others influence us as well, but at the end of the day, we are the ones who make choices and not others, which is why we are responsible for our own life.

What happens outside is one thing, but then you choose what to do with that situation.

If, for example, someone does not treat you well and you still decide to start a relationship, then you cannot blame your unhappiness on the other person because we are the ones who choose it at some point due to inexperience, trust, etc. In any case, it is our responsibility, and just as we start it at some point, so too can we end it.

Everything that we have in our life, be it good or bad, we have earned in some way. Although there are exceptions and sometimes bad luck leaves us with situations that we do not choose, we can always make decisions that will change situations. Another thing is being able to count on the security and courage to face changes.

So long as you keep placing blame on others, you will not increase in self-esteem because if you avoid responsibility, you will not make a move to change. If, however, you start assuming responsibility and you see that you are the one steering your life, you will start taking charge of your life and dare to make decisions to change what is not satisfying you.

Those actions that you start doing to improve your life will give you a feeling of self-love because you will be doing something to help yourself, and just as you feel gratitude and love when you receive help from someone, if you help yourself, you will feel the same towards yourself.

Know your goals

It is important not to let yourself be swept away by life. We can all manage our life and not leave it up to fate.

We have to set goals for ourselves and make actions plans to move towards them because if you do not have goals in life, you cannot take out your tools to achieve things and that will cause you to stagnate in your personal development.

Self-esteem is always being formed by our experiences and life events, so if you avoid facing situations and goals, you cannot improve it because it would be like expecting a basketball player to play well without having gone through his training stage and hours of play.

Take care of yourself

What do you do when you love someone? Whether it is a child, a friend, a relative… when we love and value someone, our natural response is to care for them and pull out the best in them. It seems like we do not see their flaws and we multiply their virtues.

You have to do the same thing with yourself: take care of yourself with a balanced diet, exercising, listening to your desires, following your dreams, giving yourself some whims, enjoying the things you are passionate about, being able to say “no” when you want to, etc.

And in addition to caring for yourself, do not forget to treat yourself. Focus on the best things you have and exploit them and feel proud of them. You are a unique person and we all have virtues; what happens is that some people are not capable of seeing them because they are too focused on their flaws.

You have to adopt the habit of focusing on the good things you have, the things you keep achieving, and it is not necessary for those to be huge things. Even the fact of managing to face something you are afraid of is a reason to coddle yourself because you are doing something to improve your life and that is worth recognizing.

Who hasn’t heard things like “do not exaggerate when you see the best in me”? When we look at ourselves with those loving eyes, everything looks different. You have to manage that: to love yourself in such a way that you care capable of seeing the good things you have. When you start loving yourself more, it will be easier for you to see your own virtues.

Accept yourself

Without acceptance, there is no well being or security. When you do not accept your flaws, they become even stronger; however, when you start recognizing and accepting them is when, curiously enough, they start getting small.

Perfectionism, among other things, is a reason for a lack of acceptance. We grow up with ads, movies, etc. that brainwash us with perfectionism. When summer comes, we never stop hearing about ways to start “operation bikini,” ways to take care of our skin so that it always looks young, toothpastes that promise us teeth as white as in the movies, etc.

They brainwash us into thinking that we always have to be stupendous, even if we do not notice this, and that is one of the reasons that can cause us to lack personal acceptance. Everything in life has its good side and its bad side; in everything, there is a balance of pros and cons.

We have to know that we all have a good and a bad side, both physically and in our personality traits. Accept that you are human and like everyone, you have your good and your bad, too.

We tend only to accept the good and we do not realize that the worst of things also has its purpose; it is there for something. There is no rainbow without rain, yet people enjoy and praise the beauty of a rainbow while they complain about and reject the rain.

Everything has its two slopes and they complement one another. If you reject your flaws, it will be an attack on your self-esteem. You have to accept them and curiously enough, when you accept them, they tend to improve.

Accepting oneself does not mean being resigned. It is fine if something does not please us; let’s try to improve it. Accepting oneself is not feeling bothered by things we do not like about ourselves, but rather, although we would love to change certain things, we are capable of not rejecting them and accepting that I am this way at this moment in time, without worry, stress, or negative feelings.

We have to accept ourselves, even when we do not like things about us. We have to love ourselves just the same and work to improve what is lacking without negative feelings and full of love.

Images courtesy of Alba Soler