Helpful ways to enhance your self-esteem
I’ve always viewed myself as someone with a high self-esteem. I was raised in an environment whereby my parents, family members, and friends loved me unconditionally, always listened to me, and provided encouragement, support and appreciation for things that mattered most to me. With that came high expectations, including personal and social responsibility. As a result, I grew up feeling valued, competent, worthy of being loved and accepted, and capable of solving my own problems and those of others. It just might be the reason that today I sometimes feel like Superwoman!
But even with my positive upbringing, I am no exception. Every now and then, I tend to feel down about myself. Do you find it difficult to smile? Do you prefer being alone as opposed to meeting new people or being with others? Do you talk to yourself negatively or think about yourself a lot? Do you analyze why you are the way you are? It’s quite normal. It happens. However, when these feelings linger all the time, then it’s usually an indication of low self-esteem.
Having low self-esteem means you have negative ideas about your worth and value as a person. Can this impact your overall health and well-being? You bet it can. According to Dr. Joe Rubio, author of The Self-Esteem Book: The Ultimate Guide to Boost the Most Underrated Ingredient for Success and Happiness in Life, as much as 85% of people in the world have low self-esteem and suffer the consequences of broken relationships, poor communication, low motivation, negative feelings, low resilience, and neglect of the bare essentials of life such as sleep, food and exercise. The National Association for Self-Esteem (NASE) attributes detrimental problems such as violence, alcoholism, drug abuse, eating disorders, school dropouts, teen pregnancy, suicide and low academic achievement to low self-esteem.
Low self-esteem can stem from rejection, conditional love or no love at all, lack of attention, not being listened to or taken seriously, and guilt, shame or resentment. But, physical, sexual or emotional abuse tends to be the major cause of low self-esteem.
What are some of the other characteristics of healthy self-esteem and how can someone suffering from low self-esteem make enhancements? For starters, try to put your past in perspective. You can’t change what happened that led you down the road to low self-esteem, but you can focus on the future. Take some time to determine what you want out of life. Set realistic goals, both short- and long-term. Aim high, but don’t set yourself up for failure. Set goals that allow you to assert your strengths and eliminate your weaknesses. Develop an action plan and move toward your goals. Word of caution: Don’t feel like you have to be good at everything.
Another way to enhance your self-esteem is to proclaim positive comments about yourself. New York Times Bestselling Author, Joel Osteen, reveals in his newest book, The Power of I am – Two Words That Will Change Your Life Today, how The Power of I Am can help you discover your unique abilities and advantages to lead a more productive and happier life. He has declared that whatever follows the words “I am” will always come looking for you. Furthermore, Osteen states that when you go through the day saying:
“I am blessed”… blessings pursue you!
“I am talented” … talent follows you!
“I am healthy” … health heads your way!
“I am strong” … strength tracks you down!
In addition to making positive comments about yourself, it is imperative that you surround yourself with positive people, those that bring joy into your life, have the energy that will most likely pass on to you, and provide support and encouragement.