“I have a problem with low self-esteem which is really ridiculous when you consider how amazing I am.” —Anonymous
How you feel about yourself plays a huge role in your life and well-being. When you have high self-esteem, you love and accept yourself as you are, warts and all. You know that while you’re not perfect and have faults, those imperfections don’t determine your self-worth.
When you like yourself, you stop seeking attention and validation from others. You become less needy. There’s less self-sabotage. You have more strength and inner stability because your self-esteem isn’t being raised or lowered based on what people think or say about you at any given moment.
When you have low esteem, you’re generally not happy with the way you are. Low self-esteem generally negatively impacts all aspects of your life, including your health, job and relationships.
If you have low self-esteem, you can change the beliefs about how you feel about yourself. Here are some helpful tips to help raise your self-esteem.
Shift from Self-Criticism to Self-Compassion
Self-criticism is sabotaging and does nothing good. It’s actually quite harmful. The inner critic lowers your self-esteem. Who needs that? It’s time to stop now.
Catch your inner critic and stop it. A simple strategy to quiet the inner criticism is to say, “Stop!” You can use whatever catch word or phrase works best for you: “Uh-uh.” “Enough!” “No, no, no, no, no.” “Thanks for sharing but I don’t think so.” Replace the inner critical dialogue with more compassionate, loving thoughts.
Challenge Long-Held Negative Thoughts About Yourself
Much of your negative thinking is a result of conditioning, distortions and lies you’ve fed yourself since childhood. These negative thoughts are most likely automatic, habitual and unconscious. They create your low self-esteem.
Become more aware of any negative self-talk and thoughts you have toward yourself. Replace negativity or misperceptions about yourself with healthier and accurate thoughts. The key to developing a healthy self-esteem is to shift your inner voice from a negative, critical one to a more positive, uplifting voice.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believe that it is stupid.” —Albert Einstein
Stop comparing yourself to others. The only one you should be competing against is yourself. On the surface, others may appear happier and more successful—especially on social media—but you don’t know the whole story.
We can’t all be good at everything. Someone may be a gifted salesman but a terrible athlete. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Focus on what you’re good at. What are your strengths? Where do you shine?
Set Realistic Goals and Reasonable Expectations
Let go of perfection. Despite what the media tells you, you’re never going to have the perfect relationship, the perfect body, or the perfect life. Nothing messes with your self-esteem more than aiming for perfection.
Set realistic goals, have reasonable expectations but stop striving for perfection. When you have realistic expectations in your life, you’ll stop beating yourself up for not achieving unrealistic goals.
Your Self-Worth Comes from Your Heart
As Maxwell Maltz wisely put it, “Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your handbrake on.” Do yourself a big favor and give yourself a break from society’s idea of what you should or shouldn’t be. When it comes to your self-worth, the only opinion that really matters is your own, not anyone else’s. Your self-esteem should come from a place of acceptance, compassion and love. That derives from your heart—not your critical mind.