A very popular discussion I’ve encountered in the personal development sphere is people asking and seeking for help on how to overcome low self-esteem. Before I go on to unravel my discoveries on the best methods to effectively tackle this issue, I’d like for you to take a few moment and honestly answer these questions with a “yes” or “no”.
- Are you happy with the image you see when you look in the mirror?
- Do you often crave the approval and praise of others?
- Do you feel you have praiseworthy skills?
- Do you accept valid criticism candidly?
- Can you handle unfair remarks others make about you?
- Do often have a desire to be perfect?
- Do you envy others and wish you had the life they have?
- Do you feel the desire to make others like you?
- Do you dwell on past mistakes?
- Do you take temporary setbacks harshly?
- Are you usually indecisive and have a chronic fear of making mistakes?
If you answered “yes” to several of the above questions, it most likely signifies that you have issues dealing with low self-esteem. Don’t sweat it, this post is designed to help you overcome this.
I conducted a survey on Reddit urging people to communicate what they struggle with the most pertaining to their self-improvement, you guessed it right. Over 56% of the respondents agreed that they have issues strongly associated with their self-image, self-worth, self-confidence and most of all, self-esteem. Therefore you aren’t alone in the struggle.
The prevalent problem with low self-esteem can result from a series of factors including genetics, physical appearance, weight, peer pressure, societal and financial status.
Most folks with low self-esteem depend on the approval and praise of others when evaluating their self-worth. Others are very critical to themselves when they fail or make mistakes. These habits can pose threats to an individual’s overall success in academics, career and relationship. Nonetheless, success is attainable.
Overcoming low self-esteem and developing a higher sense of self-worth requires practical actions and results may not come over night. But with consistent actions and the right degree of perseverance, you will start noticing major change in no distant time.
The following steps are not quick fixes to overcome low self-esteem, but they’ll definitely give you an head start in building your self-confidence.
1 . Identify the root causes. Dig deep
The most effective way to tackle an issue is to find the root cause of the problem. And yes, it won’t be wrong to say that most issues with low self-esteem are usually birth out of a well of insecurities.
Look within yourself and write down all the things that make you feel insecure and circle out the causes. When you’ve successfully identified the root cause of these insecurities, first you must accept that they don’t in anyway define who you are or reflect what you can become.
Make effort to fix what you can and don’t worry over what you can’t fix. For example, if you are insecure about the shape of your head, try not to focus on that since you can’t do a lot to change it. Therefore change what you can and accept what you can’t.
2 . Master self-validation: use affirmations
Low self-esteem doesn’t just show up, it arises from years of external and internal collaborative influences. Most are as a result of shaky family relationship and poor child validation from parents.
For example, a girl who didn’t receive much affection from her dad may grow up feeling she doesn’t deserve to be loved. And a boy who was always being insulted and called slanderous names may grow believing those names reflects his personality. Both of these individuals will grow up seeking any form of validation from people just to get a sense of appreciation. This ultimately will hamper their self-image.
To break out from such a cycle, you must realize that the nasty things people say about you are largely a reflection of their own insecurities, and not necessarily what they believe to be true about you. Don’t brood on every words you hear.
Words are instrumental tools for a successful life, do not be among those who say nasty things about you. Speak positive words to yourself daily.
3 . Develop a non-contingent self-image :
A non-contingent self-image springs from a belief that you are “enough and accepted” irrespective of the opinions of others or even one’s self. This is the basic foundation of building a formidable self-esteem.
Everyone have insecurities and inadequacies. What sets high self-esteem individuals from their low self-esteem counterpart is that the former doesn’t dwell on his inadequacies. He has found a way to be comfortable with his flaws while he makes effort to improve on his strengths.
Learn not to allow your self-validation come from external lips. Because People will most often see your shortcomings before they slightly begin to see any good in you. Therefore learn to accept and affirm yourself. You must believe it before you see it.
4 . Feed on positivity
“People often say that motivation don’t last. well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily” – Zig Ziglar
Surround yourself with as often positivity as possible. Listen to motivational podcast, read inspiring articles, listen to enriching music. What you deposit into your mind is ultimately what you become.
5 . Life is not a competition, so don’t compete.
The world is a fast pace dynamic mass with new trends and fashion coming in every day. As such people are burdened with the enormous task to keep up the pace. This in its entirety has produced one major problem. – people comparing themselves with others.
While constructive self-evaluation can often be a good habit for monitoring your self-improvement, continually measuring up at people is not a good practice as this will certainly have a toll on your self-esteem. Low self-esteem stems from a feeling of being inferior.
In all honestly, there is always going to be someone who will be better than you at something. That’s just how the world has been and its beyond your control. Here’s what is under your control.. your skills. Even if you think you don’t have any, you can start by learning one. Choose an interest and commit your time in developing yourself on that field. Doing this will give you a sense of purpose which can have a good impact on your self-esteem.
6 . Establish practical core values.
As Joyce Meyer rightly said, “If you don’t stand up for something, you will fall for everything.”
It is important you establish values for yourself and hold true to them. This trait is particularly predominant among successful people because everyone needs a moral compass that direct and propels the cause of our actions.
Avoid entertaining ideas that are not practical or are not in touch with realities. When you have standards and values, it won’t be easy for people to shove just anything at you.
7 . Set actionable goals
Low self-esteem is highly associated with aimlessness. When an individual have no defined goals, they are likely to fall victim to the dictates of others. This is particularly detrimental to one’s self esteem.
When you establish practical goals and you follow through on them, this gives you a sense of purpose and enthusiasm. Focus on one goal at a time so that you don’t lose momentum when you’re unable to attain them. And even if you fall short on your goals, it’s no big deal. Everyone does.
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Motivator, self-improvement coach and founder of Geeflix.