Quite honestly it has taken years for me to really like myself. Perfectionists do this to ourselves all the time, but when we learn to like who we are, we can be confident in presenting the real, authentic person we are to the world.
When we like the person we are, making life choices becomes easier because we trust our own judgment. We realize that we have the power to create whatever it is that we want for ourselves and our loved ones.
Try these strategies to raise your self-esteem:
1. Stay in tune with your thoughts. Notice when you’re thinking negatively about yourself. When you can identify the types of situations in which you tend to put yourself down, you can then do something about them.
2. Squelch unhelpful thinking. After you take notice of the situations that trigger those negative thoughts, you can set out to stop such thoughts or at least divert them. Do so by developing your own imagery technique.
○ Imagine a stop sign and tell yourself to “stop negativity now.”
○ Visualize that you’re at the beach or your grandmother’s house, where you always feel relaxed and self-assured.
○ Another way to quell unwelcome ideas is to seek out something positive in the situations you find challenging. For example, if you feel you’re socially inept, make it a point to help others open up to you by asking questions about their work or hobbies. You’ll likely find some common ground for a great conversation.
○ Learning to stop negative thinking increases your self-confidence and emphasizes that you choose your own path rather than a recurring, unfocused thought pattern.
3. Know your strengths. Occasionally reflecting on what you’re good at will help you see that you’re cherished, important, and helpful to yourself and others. List everything you can think of that you do well. Be generous. If nobody makes a ham sandwich like you do, write it down. If you consistently win at golf, include it.
○ Make your list longer and longer. Keep adding to it. Challenge yourself to add one strength a month to your list. As your list grows, so will your positive feelings about yourself.
4. Underscore your unique or quirky aspects. If you can recite the name of every major Manga comic book or all the elements on the chemistry table, you’re a truly unique individual. Embrace these special talents with the care and attention they deserve. Plus, there’s likely someone out there looking for the off-beat talent or knowledge you hold.
5. Accept your positives and negatives. Learn to accept the parts of you that you’ve tried to reject in the past. See those less desirable aspects as insurance that you’re a member of the human race.
○ Personal acceptance helps you see that everything in life has a delicate balance and all parts of you create the very special “you” that you are.
6. Stay focused to live your best life. Although it’s wise to be aware of your less than positive aspects, focusing on the good things will help you excel and continue accomplishing your goals. Keep moving ahead.
7. Every morning, make the decision to be in a “good mood.” It’s a lot easier to accept who you are when you feel good about this day. Open yourself to the possibilities around you.
8. Set goals that you want to accomplish. Rather than working toward what your parents or friends think you should do, search within yourself what you’d like to work for in life and then go for it. Life is a lot more fun when you choose what you want.
Liking yourself allows you to share with others all the good you have in your heart. And the more you do, the more positive energy you have flowing in to your life. It is a snowball effect!
What do you think about learning to like yourself? Is it hard for you to focus on the good you've are inside - and the good you've done?
Need a Self Esteem Kickstart? Join me virtually on February 9th at 7pm CST for Believe in Yourself!