A Lion and a Man chanced to travel in a company through the forest. They soon began to quarrel, for each of them boasted that he and his kind were far superior to the other both in strength and mind.
Now they reached a clearing in the forest and there stood a statue. It was a representation of Heracles in the act of tearing the jaws of the Nemean Lion.
“See,” said the man, “that’s how strong we are! The King of Beasts is like wax in our hands!”
“Ho!” laughed the Lion, “a Man made that statue. It would have been quite a different scene had a Lion made it!”
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU NEED TO IMPROVE YOUR SELF ESTEEM?
Your self-esteem works on how we value and interpret ourselves. If you have feelings of hating yourself, or that you feel worthless or if you can’t be able to make any decisions without having fear of what others will think, you most likely have low self esteem.
I once had a friend who kept telling me how awful she felt all the time and she kept saying that no one liked her and she kept blaming herself for things that weren’t her fault. She wasn’t able to recognise her strengths; she didn’t feel like she deserved happiness. Her confidence was very low. Needless to say she went to see a therapist and that helped a bit. But the root of the cause was still there.
If you have little self belief, you can’t live the life you want to live. Instead of not believing in yourself, try to think positively for a while.
WHAT IS THE PATHWAY TO BUILD SELF ESTEEM?
You can start by thinking about what is affecting your life, and what is leading you to this path.
-> Avoid negative thoughts and talking to yourself about how bad you feel or how crappy you are feeling. This will only be worse.
-> Try to make connections with real people who you know truly love you
-> Have a confident personality
-> Try to write a daily list of things you are grateful for, like a gratitude journal. It doesn’t need to be expensive things. It actually is the contrary. Someone once said that the most amazing and valuable things in life are actually free of charge. That is absolutely true.
-> Think about the positive things in your life. How about the smile you got from your child? Or a kiss from someone you love?
-> Don’t forget to look after yourself. We need to love ourselves first if we want to be loved by someone else.
IS LOW SELF ESTEEM A MENTAL HEALTH ISSSUE?
They can be closely linked. If you have some sort of mental health problem, you can have similar feelings that people with low self esteem have too. If you have feelings of hopelessness, or if you are blaming yourself unfairly, or even hating yourself, that means that you have serious low self esteem problems, and if these issues are in your life for a long time, it can lead to mental health problems, such as depression or anxiety.
These two issues work relatively together, so its a case of getting rid of the mental health problem to avoid you having low self esteem, because this can only lead to increase the low self esteem you already have.
WHAT AFFECTS MY SELF ESTEEM?
It differs for everyone. If your confidence has been lowered after a series of negative experiences, this issue can get worse to resolve. If you’ve gone through difficult things in your life for a long time such as been abused, or lost your job, or have been going through an ongoing stress or physical illness, it can be hard to recognise how you feel, thus you’ll have a challenge to change your low self esteem because you’ve been in that state for as long as you can remember, so this has become part of your life, part of who you are. You don’t really know what is normal anymore.
You have to remind yourself that you have the right to be happy and that you need to feel good about who you are, love yourself. Habits are very hard to break but you can take one step at a time to start feeling better about yourself, day by day.
You can start trying to resolve this issue by taking charge of little things in life, such as avoiding negative self-talk. You can’t criticise yourself in a way that you wouldn’t dream of doing to others, for instance.
Another thing that can be helpful is to find self help resources that can make you think about your life and the way you think about yourself.
THESE TIPS CAN HELP
-> Try to connect with people who love you. This can reassess how you view yourself. Ask people what they like about you. Maybe they have a different view from the one you have about yourself.
-> It’s ok not to be perfect.
-> Be confident. If you don’t like yourself, you’ll always think that other people won’t like you either. And that is most likely never the case.
-> Learn to say “no” – take a deep breath before agreeing to do something you don’t want to do. You need to place boundaries.
-> Be your own boss and decide whatever is best for you. This can feel liberating and that’s what you really need.
-> Find something you enjoy doing, like yoga or boxing.
If you find everything too overwhelming and think that you just don’t have time or motivation, try to think of having small goals. It doesn’t have to be a bit achievement. Trying a recipe or learning some phrases of a new language are all things that can help you feel more optimist about yourself. And try to remind yourself that nobody is perfect, so enjoy yourself.
->Don’t belittle yourself. Celebrate each success instead. Taking time to praise yourself will do wonders to your self esteem.
-> If you ever doubt yourself, remember about those compliments made by others. That may have not had any significance at the time, but reminding yourself that you’re valuable to someone really helps.
-> Is there something that you like about yourself? Anything can be written when thinking about improving your self esteem. Look at the mirror and realise that you’re unique. You were made in the most wonderful way by our Creator and you are very special.
-> Take care of your physical health. Don’t feel guilty about looking after yourself. This is crucial for your mental wellbeing.
THINGS THAT ARE AFFECTING YOU AND YOU DON’T EVEN REALISE
These things can affect how you feel and that may become like a domino effect. Some things you do have the power to control and even change for the better.
- Stress -If you are putting too much pressure on yourself because of your low self-esteem then this form of stress can deteriorate other parts of your general health;
- Sleeping – If you’re getting too little or too much sleep, this can increase the bad feelings you have about yourself;
- Sedentary life style – If you want to feel great, practise a sport. This will help tremendously on your physical and mental health, as both of them are closely linked to each other.
- Eat healthily – If you’re comfort eating to try and feel better about yourself, it will have a “feel good” effect at the time, but then when time passes by, you will be left feeling guilty for eating something that will add the extra pounds and not only that, but it will leave you not feeling energised and in a good mood. The best way is to eat wholesome, hearty foods that will nourish your body.
- Shift your mindset and be realistic – You don’t have to worry about the way you should look. Focus on your pretty smile or your bright eyes.
- Stop being critical – Give yourself the same advice that you would give to a friend who told you how bad she was.
- Forget imperfections – You need to think about what you can do. Your skin may look bad, but that’s just a detail. You can speak beautiful words to people who may be feeling worse than you are. You can smile. Think about how wonderfully perfect you were made and how amazing your body is, for being able to handle so much in a lifetime.
- Write. You can write five things you like about yourself.
You’ll soon realise how awesome you truly are.
(Photos by Brigitte Tohm, Brooke Lark and Edu Lauton on Unsplash)
Do you have any tips on how to improve your self esteem? Share with us on the comments below. If you liked this article, don’t forget to like us on Facebook 🙂