How can low self-esteem affect your life?
Many people feel bad about themselves from time to time. These feelings of low self-esteem are triggered by outside events or comments as well as by internal thoughts about oneself. Have you ever not done something for fear of being rejected or abandoned? Have you ever lost out on an experience or opportunity for fear of failure? Have you ever thought that you are not worthy of a promotion, relationship, friendship or even good health because you are not good enough? Have you ever sabotaged yourself when things seemed to be going well?
Low self-esteem is a constant companion for many people, and it interferes with the ability to achieve goals, move forward in life, enjoy relationships, make positive memories and do the things that you would like to do. Everyone deserves the right to feel good about themselves, but this can be difficult for those who struggle with depression, anxiety, stress, illness or disability. However, there are ways to improve your self-esteem and increase your personal feelings of value.
The Problem: The negative INNER CRITIC
Your inner critic is that voice that tells you negative things about yourself such as: You are not good enough, You are going to fail, Nobody really likes you, You are uglier or worse than someone else, You are the one to blame.
- Talk back to this voice when negative thoughts come up. Say “No, I’m not going to think like that now,” or, “Stop!”
- Replace the negative thought with a positive thought. Instead of “I totally messed that up,” tell yourself, “I tried my best, and it didn’t go the way I had planned. I can just try harder next time.” Instead of “I can’t believe I did that, I am so stupid,” change it to, “I made a mistake. Everyone makes mistakes; I at least learned what not to do.”
The Problem: Not taking care of yourself
Basic self-care is paramount to feeling better about yourself. People at times neglect themselves in an effort to distract how they really feel. People also neglect to take care of themselves because they are so busy taking care of others. Recognize that you are worthy of feeling good and accomplish some self-care tasks.
- Dress in clothes that make you feel good, tend to hygiene on a regular basis, eat more fruits and vegetables, drink plenty of water, get a little bit of exercise, follow up with doctor and dentist appointments, take a day off, get plenty of rest, engage in a hobby, spend time with people you care about, take the long way home through the park.
- Accomplish some tasks that you have been putting off, such as balancing the checkbook, cleaning a closet, dropping a note in the mail to a friend, painting the living room, washing the car or donating old clothes. Having a feeling of accomplishment puts you in a better mood and allows you to see that you do have the ability to follow through. Additionally, this reduces your stress.
The Problem: Negativity in your life
Negativity has a profound way of making its way into our lives, and once it is there, it tends to feed off itself. Sources of negativity can be people, places, situations and, as stated earlier, our own thoughts. When we are able to start systematically placing distance between those negative sources and ourselves, feeling better about ourselves becomes easier.
- Begin to identify those persons, places or things that start to put you in a negative mood and then remove them. Does the news always depress you? Tired of people airing their business on social media? Does that one co-worker always have something negative to say about others? Remove those things from your life.
- Set boundaries with the negativity as well. Let people know that you are not interested in hearing all of the bad things, but you will be supportive in listening to the positive. Surround yourself with people and things that bring you happiness, light scented candles, keep your work space clean, keep your house tidy, pet your dog and remember to have fun!
Feel free to print of the quotes below for inspiration and encouragement!