"Just for Today": A Technique to Boost Self-Esteem

09 September, 2020
Just for today, stop judging yourself and remember that you're worth far more than you think. If you want to discover a simple and practical technique to gradually improve your self-esteem and stop self-sabotaging your own success, then you might find this article useful.
 

When we start looking for ways to increase our self-esteem, it isn’t uncommon to find several different approaches. After all, there are few things as important to the world of human psychology as self-esteem. Abraham Maslow, for example, defined it as a basic human need. As such, if we don’t take steps to cultivate our self-esteem, it can prevent us from reaching self-fulfillment and finding true happiness.

In fact, low self-esteem is the corollary of many of our problems, including anxiety disorders, depression, relationship issues, and, in short, much of our daily suffering. Many psychological approaches and schools of thought have studied this topic over the years, providing us with in-depth knowledge and resources that can help us to repair and improve our self-esteem.

There are two main reasons why we may continually neglect this aspect of our psyche. Generally, the first reason is our childhood – the way we were raised, whether our parents sought to validate us, make us feel valued, safe, and capable of succeeding in life.

The second reason is particularly important to bear in mind. Self-esteem isn’t a stable concept. It isn’t something you achieve and carry with you for the rest of your life. This aspect of our mental and emotional architecture is often very fickle. A single bad relationship or negative experience, and the way we interpret that experience, can quickly undermine our esteem.

Self-esteem is like a garden. It requires almost daily care and maintenance. You have to work hard to tackle weeds, sow good seeds, and water the flowers that grow there. With this in mind, we want to take a look at a simple technique to promote this kind of self-care.

 
A tree on a hill.

A technique to boost your self-esteem

Many of us worry about what others think of us. So much so that, at times, we even go so far as to hide aspects of our personality in order to gain acceptance and avoid being judged. In addition, sometimes, even the simple fact of living with a narcissistic person can end up robbing us of our self-esteem.

We spend so much time trying to win the affection or approval of that person (whether it be a narcissistic parent, a narcissistic partner, etc.) that our self-esteem is slowly worn away to nothing. It’s important to put distance between ourselves and this toxic person so that we can start to heal from the trauma and rebuild our sense of self-worth.

As we mentioned earlier in this article, this is something that must be done on a daily basis. In a research project conducted by Crocker, J., and Parkh, L.E. (2004) at the University of Houston, Texas, it’s pointed out that we spend our lives looking for sources that can help to reinforce our self-esteem. These sources could take the form of a new emotional relationship, a close group of friends, a good job, etc.

 

However, this external search is ultimately fruitless. The best way to boost your self-esteem is to focus your efforts inwardly. You can’t look outside for something that can’t be found inside.

“Just for today” – mental exercises to help you make peace with your inner self

Self-sabotage is the opposite of self-esteem. This practice, which is so detrimental to our identity and psychological well-being, usually takes the form of a negative and damaging internal dialogue: “No matter how hard I try, I’m never going to be good at this”, “It isn’t worth trying anything else, because I know I’ll fail”, or “I’m not as determined or as capable as those around me, I know I’m going to let them down”.

There comes a time when our minds simply get used to thinking these kinds of thoughts. This is a cycle we must try to alter, deactivate, and break. One way to do this is by using the self-esteem-boosting technique “just for today”. It involves the following:

  • Using a set of simple yet powerful ideas to retrain your attitude to life. In doing so, you can start to make peace with yourself, awaken your potential, and alter any negative ideas you’ve cultivated over time.
  • These ideas and resolutions aim to help you switch off that negative internal dialogue.
  • You should work on a different aspect of your self-esteem every day.

Here are just a few examples of some of the resolutions you might make:

  • Just for today, I’m going to be nice to myself. I’m going to remind myself that I’m brave and that I should love myself the way I deserve.
 
  • Just for today, I’ll set myself a goal. I’ll fulfill that goal and remember that I’m a capable, brave, and talented person.
  • Today, I’ll distance myself from things that hurt me and anything that causes me doubts or unhappiness. Just for today, I’ll allow myself to do the things that I want to do, the things that make me laugh, and boost my self-esteem.
The "just for today" technique can help to boost self-esteem.

The best way to improve self-esteem is to free yourself from fear and insecurity

When you live with feelings of insecurity, an intense fear of failure or of not living up to the expectations of others, and the persistent anguish of wondering whether you’ll ever be good enough, you sabotage yourself in every possible way. It’s a very personal thought process, and something only you can change. So, if you want to break this habit, you need to increase your awareness of these negative thoughts.

You need to train your mind, harmonize your emotions, engage in behaviors that help you feel capable, and surround yourself with people who enrich your life and help you reach your potential. Try to remember the “just for today” technique to help boost your self-esteem. It’s simple, effective, and could ultimately change your life.

 
  • Crocker, J., & Park, L. E. (2004, May). The costly pursuit of self-esteem. Psychological Bulletin. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.130.3.392