By: Barry Nembhard
Self-esteem is a collection of information you’ve received about your own value. People with low self-esteem feel negative about themselves, even when people around them genuinely like them. Fortunately, the negative messages we’ve picked up about our value can be re-written, and healthier self-esteem can be developed. Self-care naturally enhances esteem because your actions communicate ‘you Love you!
Symptoms of Low Esteem Most people have low self-esteem unless they have actively worked on it. We see this reflected in the popularity of self-abusive entertainment - mind-numbing TV, poisonous alcohol, and debilitating drugs. A person with low self-esteem usually lacks confidence in themselves and their capability and may feel unworthy of the love and support from others. Do you relate to any of these symptoms?
1. Poor Treatment - however poorly you treat yourself, that’s exactly how much poor treatment you’ll accept from others. 2. Depression - constant self-criticism contributes to feeling shame, guilt, anxiety, and depression. 3. Inner Critic - having a low opinion is paired with a negative internal voice prone to frequent and unnecessary criticism. 4. Herd Mentality - low self-value creates fear of expressing true opinions, so people accept things they don’t really want, or things that are dangerous, just to fit in. 5. Meeting Needs - people with low self-esteem may neglect their needs, like eating nourishing food, exercising, or doing things that truly enrich them. 6. Missed Opportunities - expecting harsh judgment from others often stops
Roots of Low-Self Esteem We first learn to judge ourselves during infancy. The way other people judge us has a deep and lasting effect on our self-esteem. We unconsciously mimic this judgmental behavior, simply because it's all we know. We internalize this judgment and direct it towards ourselves, and eventually our own children - unless we consciously break the cycle. If your parents had low esteem, were emotionally absent, neglectful, or abusive, it impacted your self-esteem. Critical, bullying and over-controlling caregivers also damage self-belief. But you are in charge now!
Boosting Self-Esteem It will take effort to improve how you think and feel about yourself. Here are some ideas to get you started straight away: 1. Acknowledge Accomplishments - list all the awesome things you've done in your life that you're proud of - review this list anytime you need to be reminded you're a capable person. 2. Be Creative - most forms of entertainment involve consuming other people's creative outputs - expressing yourself creatively enriches esteem. 3. Define Boundaries - decide what behavior is unacceptable from others, and when you encounter this behavior, challenge it, assert that you will not accept it, or walk away. 4. Get Help - work with a professional therapist or coach to understand your esteem or self-sabotaging patterns and create a new belief in yourself. 5. Remove Negativity – stop spending time with negative people and those who prevent you from being your true self – make space for people that truly appreciate you. 6. Help Others - mentor another person with knowledge or skills that you have - helping others grow is one of the most satisfying ways to increase esteem. 7. Improve Appearance - get a new haircut, get your nails done, buy yourself some new threads - showing up as a more confident person on the outside makes you feel more confident inside. 8. Learn New Skills - study a language, musical instrument, meditation technique or take an online course - challenging yourself in areas that interest you increase your sense of capability. 9. Leave your Comfort Zone - go to new events, meet new people and try new activities – stretch yourself to grow and build self-confidence through experience. 10. Take Care of Yourself - Exercising releases feel-good neurotransmitters, organic alkaline bioelectric food fortifies physical and mental health – health and self-worth are intimately connected.
Rewriting Self-Esteem Inflammation and neurotoxins hamper your ability to think clearly, feel happy, and take action. You can elevate your self-esteem from the inside out. Banish toxic thoughts by eliminating the heavy metals, pesticides, and chemicals disrupting higher thought processes. Your inner state of health is reflected in how you think, look, and feel. As a child, you didn't know how to create healthy self-esteem. But now, as an adult, you have the power to build yourself up! Don't let the past dictate your future. Take control of your self-esteem, and express more of the capable, lovable, awesome person that deep down you know you can be.
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