Self-esteem is something everyone suffers from in their life – some more than others. Yet, few people know how to overcome low self-esteem or make any effort to learn to. Instead, most people tend to believe that every thought their mind tells them is the truth and thus let their negative thinking rule them.
The truth is that no one can ever make it through life without self-esteem issues. Self-esteem does not pose any real threat to someone until the thoughts become daily and start pulling them down.
What is self-esteem?
The first step to overcoming self-esteem issues is to understand what they are and where they come from. Self-esteem is essentially negative thoughts that are in your mind. These thoughts come from what you have previously trained your mind to believe.
Your mind keeps all the words you hear and say to yourself and the feelings you have when they are said. While your mind is powerful and smart, it is not able to distinguish the difference between yes and no, or worthy and unworthy. Thus, your mind takes everything you tell it literally and replays it back.
The critical thing to remember is, thoughts in your mind are not true; they are not facts in any way at all but just thoughts. Fortunately, you can change them by retraining your mind to stop telling you that you are not worthy and to start telling you that you are worthy.
4 Strategies for Overcoming Low Self-Esteem
We all find different techniques to be effective for overcoming low self-esteem, and what works for one person possibly won’t work for you. So read the techniques below and pick one or more that you find most appealing to you.
How to overcome low self-esteem with affirmations
Affirmations are a way of changing what your mind thinks about yourself, others and everything around you.
People overlook affirmations; they don’t see the meaning behind them. They believe that words have no real power to change your mindset, but they do. Using affirmations is, in fact, one of the most effective ways to overcome low self-esteem issues.
Affirmations are simple sentences with words that force your mind to change what it would usually tell you. For example, if your mind usually tells you that you are ugly, your affirmation would be “I am beautiful”.
Moreover, you do not have to believe that your affirmations are true for them to work. Your mind will still take them in and when it hears more positive thoughts than negative ones, it will start replaying positivity back to you.
To start with, take a deep breath, inhale and exhale to the count of ten, stand in front of a mirror and say the following:
- I am worthy of my life.
- My self-esteem is improving every day.
- Other people’s words do not affect my self-esteem.
- I am worthy of my family/relationships/friendships.
- I am worthy of love.
Repeat these up to ten times a day. You can also create your own, such as “I am beautiful”, “I am successful”, etc. Affirmations can be used for everything apart from self-esteem, such as love, money, health and more. In fact, affirmations are often used by even the most robust and influential leaders in the world.
How to overcome low self-esteem by keeping a journal
You could try to keep a journal and write down the things you are grateful for every night, even if it is something as small as “I am thankful for waking up today” or “I am grateful for my inner beauty”.
The key here is to also write down why as well. So don’t just write you are grateful for your inner beauty; instead, write: “I am grateful for my inner beauty because it is what makes me a loving person”.
The key is to get out your journal and write these statements down every night. On those days when you feel low and your self-esteem takes a knock, open your journal and read them back to yourself. They will remind you of everything you love and all the reasons why you are worthy.
When we feel low and our self-esteem suffers, we struggle to find things to be grateful for. For this reason, reading your gratitude journal can prove itself much more helpful than you think.
When you are strong enough in those times of low self-esteem, you will be able to also write the reasons why. The trick is to fight your mind’s negative thoughts and convince it that it is wrong and that you are worthy.
Failure and how it links to low self-esteem
Failure is one of the biggest reasons so many people experience low self-esteem, but why? One thing to remember is that defeat isn’t final, failure does not make you weak, and it does not mean you are unworthy. It isn’t easy to overcome low self-esteem after failure, but it essential that we learn to.
The truth is, while you tried and failed, thousands of people did not even try. Instead, they quit before the race. You succeeded already because you saw the hurdle and tried anyway. Of course, you fell down and failed, but falling down taught you lessons that will help you get closer to success next time.
Failure is proof you took the risk and didn’t run. Failure should never be seen as a negative thing but always as an opportunity to learn.
Yes, we are all guilty of this negative mindset when we fail because of one mistake and hate ourselves for it. In these situations, we overlook the lesson we should have learnt. This, in turn, makes us focus on the mistake itself and not on the ways to fix it.
How to overcome low self-esteem without judgement
Judging and comparing yourself to those around you is counterproductive. As hard as it may be, you need to stop comparing yourself to others.
The truth is that you do not see everyone’s imperfections all the time. Yet, many of us are guilty of comparing ourselves to others. However, we don’t know that person; we don’t see how they live, what they do, or what is hidden beneath their physical appearance.
The fact is that everyone is perfect for someone, and everyone perceives beauty and perfection differently. So comparing ourselves to others just makes us forget why we are perfect ourselves.
We are all different – even twins are different from one another. While they may look identical and even wear the same clothing, they are different on the inside, in their souls and minds. We all were intended to become just ourselves, so do not compare yourself to someone you were not intended to become in life.
Hopefully, one or more of these techniques will help you overcome your low self-esteem issues. The key is to find the one that is most suitable for you and start implementing it in your daily life!
- 5 Negative Thought Patterns and How to Challenge Them - January 1, 2020
- The Five Buddha Families and How They Can Help You Understand Yourself - December 25, 2019
- The Four Noble Truths in Buddhism and What They Can Teach You - December 20, 2019
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