Building Self Esteem For A Better Life
What is Your Plan?
As with any important pursuit in life, your success at building self-esteem depends on your ability to establish a clear plan. This can be anything that clearly maps out the progress you intend to make. For instance, if you want to be more social, a simple plan might include an overview of the method you intend to use to get there. It does not need to be specific. You just need to have a clear idea of your goals. An example might be “I want to be able to comfortably speak to people that I just met.” “I intend to get there by practicing steps that will build my comfort levels until I can speak to people confidently and effectively.” Once you have a clearly defined goal, it will be much easier to achieve sustained progress.
What Motivates Your Progress?
Do you understand why you want to achieve your goal? Think about the reasons that you seek greater self-esteem. If there are specific things in your life that you want, and you feel that your self-esteem prevents you from achieving them, this is a good reason to building self-esteem. Refer to this need to find the motivation to continue practicing self-esteem building activities. If you know of anything in your life that inspires you to take positive action, use it to get you moving. Perhaps you have an inspiring life experience, an inspirational book or some motivating quotes that encourage you and make you feel good. Use these things to find your motivation to take additional steps.
Action Based Affirmations
We have all learned about the power of positive self-talk or affirmations. Unfortunately, these affirmations will have limited success if you do not take them seriously and prove them to yourself. You cannot fool yourself. You can tell yourself that you are valuable and productive but if you fail to prove this to yourself on a regular basis, the effectiveness is reduced dramatically. If you are wasting your time and being unproductive, simply telling yourself that you are a productive person will not do much good. Try telling yourself “I am a productive person and therefore, I will get up and accomplish something right now rather than waste my day.” This type of affirmation requires action. Once you have completed the action, you will have proven that you can be productive and the affirmation will hold true.
Play to Your Strengths
In the beginning, when working on building self-esteem, it is important to gain some reinforcement by doing things that you are more likely to accomplish. Have you noticed that you feel much better about yourself when doing things that you do well? We all do. Focus the majority of your efforts on doing things that you are good at and you will learn to sustain higher levels of self-esteem. Self-esteem, like many things, becomes stronger with practice. The more time you spend doing things that boost your confidence, the better.
Take Small Steps
Similar to confidence building techniques, it is helpful to take small steps at first. Taking action to accomplish small goals that are easier to achieve allows you to feed off the accomplishment of each step and your over-all progress. If you do not allow yourself to feel the glory of success until you achieve the final goal, you are more likely to ignore the successes that you achieve along the way and give up before reaching the final goal. If your goal is to write a story, congratulate yourself when you complete a new page rather than constantly punishing yourself for taking so long to complete the entire book.
If you do not have a major goal to work toward, consider other types of small steps. Clean out the garage, straighten up the house, fix the broken coffee table or clean up you desk and get more organized. All of these small steps help build self-esteem. Staying busy is a powerful tool. It allows you to see constant productive activity and resists your tendencies to stagnate and stew in your perceived shortcomings.
Visualize Your Success
Another powerful tool, which we use for building self-esteem and self-confidence, is visualization. If you try this, you will see that it is immediately uplifting and fun. Picture yourself after successfully accomplishing your goals and achieving greater self-esteem. Consider all of the tiny details about your appearance, attitude, perceptions that you will have when you achieve your goals. Show this picture to your mind often and your brain will begin to crave this feeling. You subconscious mind will begin to construct the backbone that it needs to achieve this state of mind permanently. You are tempting your brain with what it wants.
Comparing Yourself to Other People
One thing that people do quite often which works against self-esteem is comparing themselves to others. There are always going to be people out there who get lucky or who have great skills or abilities in some areas of life. It does not matter how good we get at anything, someone is better. If we compare ourselves to these people, we will always feel that we are falling short. Your life is your own. Your path is unique. Comparing yourself to others is an irrelevant and pointless pursuit. Base your evaluations of self on your own progress alone. As long as you are taking action, you will make progress and will always be one step ahead of where you were before.
People need people. Socializing promotes greater mental health. This is a proven fact. When we socialize with others and spend time with like-minded people, we strengthen our self-esteem. Seeing our ideas confirmed in the minds of others works to reinforce our feeling that our points of view are valid. We also enjoy spending time with certain people and this feeling of enjoyment alone works wonders to improve self-esteem. Solitude is not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes, alone time is useful and even needed. However, spending too much time sitting around alone, leads to overactive self-evaluation, boredom and in some cases depression. It is also quite difficult to build your social skills from home. Get out there and enjoy the company of others. Building self-esteem takes practice and socializing is a great way to put that into action.