You and Your Self-esteem
by Jayaram V
Self-esteem means how you view yourself and treat yourself or how you regard yourself in your opinion. It is your opinion of yourself, which reflects in your self-confidence, sense of self-worth and self-respect. Low Self-esteem is a self-inflicted curse, a spell cast upon the self by a person who has learned to depend upon others for self-approval and positive feelings.
Many factors contribute to lack of self-esteem. What you want to achieve in your life, your goals, your relationships, your expectation from yourself and others, your successes and failures depend upon your self-esteem. People with low self-esteem remain dissatisfied with themselves and are critical of their achievements and successes.
They also seek other peoples' approval and show undue sensitivity towards any criticism directed against them. In the following essay, the author suggests how to boost your self-esteem and feel good about yourself. Also please read the notes why some people think they do not deserve the success and happiness they have in their lives.
Do You think you Deserve Success? One of the persistent problems that assail people with low self-esteem is the feeling that they do not deserve the success and happiness they achieve in their lives. A Hindi poet and writer who was very successful in his life and made a fortune once said in an interview that he was always worried that people would assume he was a fraud and did not deserve the success he had in his life. He felt so because he had low self-esteem and attributed his success to extraneous factors rather than to his own self-worth.
Such an attitude is not uncommon among people with exceptional talent, especially those who had a difficult childhood. It often leads to self-sabotaging behavior. It can be offset to some extent with positive affirmations and positive self-talk reminding oneself constantly that one deserves success and happiness in life like anyone else. Self-punishment and self-effacement are not the right solutions to resolve low self-esteem.
Constant criticism early in life and abusive treatment in childhood leave strong impressions upon people and make them feel worthless and vulnerable to depression and low self-esteem. Such feelings can be overcome by accepting oneself unconditionally, disputing negative self-talk, improving one's knowledge and skills and learning to evaluate one's self-worth more realistically based upon one's experience and observation rather than other people's opinions and judgments.
Suggestions to Boots Your Positive Self-esteem
by Julie Plenty
If you're tired of feeling "less than", afraid of making and achieving your desires and goals, feel that no matter what you do it is never "good enough", then your self esteem could do with a boost!
Having low self esteem takes an enormous toll on the quality of your life. You take fewer risks, which limits your opportunities, both personally and professionally. You are reluctant to voice or acknowledge your needs. You are probably also haunted by past mistakes and making future ones.
It doesn't have to be like this, the tools you've used to (unconsciously) lower your self esteem are the same ones you use to raise it. The following article gives you ten tips to raise your self esteem and improve the quality of your life!
1. Stop comparing yourself to other people. If you play this game, you're likely to compare yourself in a negative way and set yourself up for continuing to have low self esteem. Why continue to play a game where you've set the rules against yourself, so that you're less likely to win!
2. Don't keep putting yourself down! You can't develop high self esteem if you constantly repeat negative comments about your skills and abilities. Other people will pick up on it and take on board the negative way you view yourself. How are they likely to treat you? Also don't beat yourself up over "mistakes" that you've made - learn how to reframe them so that they work for you.
3. Using affirmations is an excellent way to raise your self esteem. It's the opposite of no 1. If you can program your mind to repeat negative phrases about yourself (and see how effective that's been!), then you can certainly get into the habit of continually thinking (and saying to yourself) positive statements about you. When you do, allow yourself to experience the positive feelings about your statements. Also use inspirational quotes to assist you.
4. Accept all compliments graciously. Don't dismiss or ignore them. When you do you give yourself the message that you do not deserve or are not worthy of praise, which reflects low self esteem. It also means that others will become more reluctant to praise or acknowledge your abilities, if you don't.
5. Take advantage of and use life coaching programs, workshops, books on how to raise your self esteem and develop a more positive attitude. Whatever material you see, read acts as subliminal learning, which means that it will plant itself in your mind and dominate your behavior. Talk about food for thought - what diet is your mind on? Is it a nourishing one?
6. Mix with positive and supportive people. Who you associate with influences your thoughts, actions and behavior - another form of subliminal learning. Negative people can put you and your ideas down and it lowers your self esteem. On the other hand, when you are surrounded by supportive people, you feel better about yourself, which helps to raise your self esteem. Learn how to develop your positive personal support network.
7. Acknowledge your positive qualities and skills Too many people with low self esteem constantly put themselves down (back to no 1 again!) and don't appreciate their many positive attributes. Learn how to truly affirm and value your many excellent qualities. If you find this difficult, ask others to tell you. They'll come up with things you would never have imagined!
8. Stop putting up with stuff! Not voicing or acknowledging your needs means that you are probably tolerating more than you should. Find out what you're putting up with and zap those tolerations. By doing so, you're giving yourself the message that you're worth it.
9. Make positive contributions to others. This doesn't mean that you constantly do for others what they could be doing for themselves. But when you do make a positive contribution to others, you begin to feel more valuable, which increases your sense of your own value and raises your self esteem.
10. Involve yourself in work and activities that you love. So many people with low self esteem stop doing those activities that they most enjoy. Even if you're not in a position to make immediate changes in your career, you can still devote some of your leisure time to enjoyable hobbies and activities.
Start taking action! The universe rewards action. Backing away and avoiding challenges means that your self esteem muscles become weak and flabby. When you start to take action - regardless of the outcome - you will start to feel better about yourself, develop your self confidence and raise your self esteem.
Suggestions for Further Reading
Author: Julie Plenty is a Personal and Business Coach has techniques to build her own self-esteem and confidence and now helps others do the same. Julie Plenty may be contacted at http://www.kick-start-your-self-esteem.com email@example.com.
Most people feel bad about themselves from time to time. Feelings of low self-esteem may be triggered by being treated poorly by someone else recently or in the past, or by a person's own judgments of him or herself. This is normal. However, low self-esteem is a constant companion for too many people, especially those who experience depression, anxiety, phobias, psychosis, delusional thinking, or who have an illness or a disability. If you are one of these people, you may go through life feeling bad about yourself needlessly. Low self-esteem keeps you from enjoying life, doing the things you want to do, and working toward personal goals.
You have a right to feel good about yourself. However, it can be very difficult to feel good about yourself when you are under the stress of having symptoms that are hard to manage, when you are dealing with a disability, when you are having a difficult time, or when others are treating you badly. At these times, it is easy to be drawn into a downward spiral of lower and lower self-esteem. For instance, you may begin feeling bad about yourself when someone insults you, you are under a lot of pressure at work, or you are having a difficult time getting along with someone in your family. Then you begin to give yourself negative self-talk, like "I'm no good." That may make you feel so bad about yourself that you do something to hurt yourself or someone else, such as getting drunk or yelling at your children. By using the ideas and activities in this booklet, you can avoid doing things that make you feel even worse and do those things that will make you feel better about yourself.
This document will give you ideas on things you can do to feel better about yourself - to raise your self-esteem. The ideas have come from people like yourself, people who realize they have low self-esteem and are working to improve it.
As you begin to use the methods in this booklet and other methods that you may think of to improve your self-esteem, you may notice that you have some feelings of resistance to positive feelings about yourself. This is normal. Don't let these feelings stop you from feeling good about yourself. They will diminish as you feel better and better about yourself. To help relieve these feelings, let your friends know what you are going through. Have a good cry if you can. Do things to relax, such as meditating or taking a nice warm bath.
As you read this booklet and work on the exercises, keep the following statement in mind:
"I am a very special, unique, and valuable person. I deserve to feel good about myself."
Sourced from Building Self-esteem: A Self-Help Guide, SAMHSA booklet SMA-3715