How To Build Self Esteem
Learning how to build self esteem can make a huge difference in the quality of your life. Low self esteem can result in having lower motivation, less health, and less success. With high self esteem, you’ll see life more clearly, make better decisions, and improve the overall quality of your life.
Before we get started on the specifics, it is helpful to first clarify what it is. One definition I came across is from Dr. Nathaniel Branden, and he states that self esteem has two components- confidence in your ability to deal with challenges in life, and feeling worthy of happiness. Essentially it comes down to feeling confident and worthy.
The very first step in learning how to build self esteem is to start taking responsibility for your self esteem level. If you decide that the opinions and judgements of others are going to determine your level of self esteem, you will be powerless. Only by accepting the idea that your self esteem is your responsibility can you take control and start raising it.
Be Honest with Yourself
One component in building self esteem is to be honest with yourself. This entails really paying attention to how you feel about things and your reactions to external events.
Growing up, many people are taught to distrust and ignore their feelings and desires and instead to insert socially appropriate reactions instead. Having high self esteem requires that you start being honest with yourself in what you really feel and think.
Being honest with yourself doesn’t mean being overly critical or always being brutally honest with others, rather it means acknowledging your true inner feelings and desires. It means developing integrity between your thoughts and actions, being true to who you are inside.
Stand Up for Yourself
Once you’ve started paying attention to what you really feel and want, the next step in learning how to build self esteem is standing up for yourself.
The underlying belief in asserting yourself is that your feelings and desires matter. If standing up for yourself initially difficult to do, it is possible to start small. You don’t have to burn bridges or create unnecessary conflicts, but it is possible to assert yourself in small ways.
It can be as easy as stating your opinion about something, sharing a preference, or voicing a concern. You don’t have to dominate, and you don’t have to get your way, it’s more the process of vocalizing your inner feelings.
Make it Concrete
Self-esteem can sometimes be an ambiguous concept. The final step in learning how to build self esteem is to make it concrete for you. How would you act in your relationships if you had high self esteem? How would high self esteem affect your work, your family, your confidence? Set your standards, then take action to make it real. Once you can visualize what high self esteem would look like for you, you can start taking actions consistent with that vision.
Building self esteem is one of the most valuable skills you can develop. With high self esteem you’ll experience more confidence, motivation, and success. Take responsibility and control over your self esteem and reap the benefits that follow.
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