Want to be resilient in face of your obstacles? Want to reach your goals faster? Want to be happier?
Then you will have to check on your level of self-esteem.
What is self-esteem?
Self-esteem is the overall opinion of ourselves – how we feel about our abilities and limitations. It is about having a healthy and balanced relationship with our selves. Self-esteem will be expressed through your habits, thoughts and actions.
Why do we need self-esteem?
– Increase life satisfaction
– Improve our self-efficacy therefore we are more motivated to accomplish our goals and dreams
– Enable us to respond appropriately and adequately to challenges
– Improve our outlook of life and relationships with others
– Play a crucial role in healthy lifestyle/weight management
– Become more self-aware and thus actively seeking way to develop ourselves
In other words, having a healthy self-esteem:
Energizes. Empowers. Motivates.
We won’t be too afraid to shoot for the moon. We will not be too paralyzed to make plans.
After all, men look into the sky and invented airplane. Self-esteem is the cornerstone to the great achievements.
Here are 7 ways for you to improve your self-esteem in your daily life. They all take under 15 minutes for you to implement.
7. Positive self-talk
After becoming a freelancer, I realise I am my own best and worst critique. I am brutally honest to myself. There is a fine balance to achieve.
We don’t want to give ourselves excuses to slip into unacceptable behaviors. But we still want to forgive ourselves for mistakes and blunders. This can be done by applying realistic positive self-talk. Applying a positive self-talk technique means that it must be convincing to ourselves, have the emotional impact and realistic to us.
For example, there is no point telling ourselves that we are great at playing guitar when we only know 2 chords.
A more realistic self-talk will be, “I am just a beginner in playing guitar right now. But if I were to practice for 1 hour every day, by the end of the third year, I will have put in over 1000 hours of practice. I will at least be a decent amateur player by then.”
6. Don’t compare yourself to others
Even if they are your business competitiors or competitiors in any aspect, don’t fall into the trap of comparing. It will serve you better to study their techniques, business model and/or systems.
People will always be better than you.
But you are also better than others.
It all depends on the aspects that you are comparing. Your seven-figures earning buddies might have more luxurious holidays but they might also endure more stress in a daily basis. Your hippie friends might seem to have more fun than you but they might also be more worried about their future.
Life is not fair. Sometimes, you have it more, sometimes you have it less. Life is about what sacrifices you are willing to make in order to achieve the gains you hope for. And sometimes you get more than you expected and sometimes less.
Stop berating yourself with the comparisons. Rather, learn from the success of others and apply it to your life.
Remember you are you, living out your own unique journey.
5. Focus on the things you can change
As we mention before, life is not fair. Some people are born rich. There are also some people who are born attached to their siblings.
There are many environmental factors that could not be changed easily. We can’t change the direction of the hurricane and we can’t change the economy. The more we attached ourselves to change such things, the more stressed we will be.
Instead, focus on the actions you can implement on the things that you can change, given your abilities and limitations.
You can’t change the situation but you can change your feelings and reactions to the situation.
4. Don’t beat yourself up when you make a mistake
What if you focus on things that you can change but you still did not manage to change it?
This brings us to the techniques to manage our mistakes or failures.
I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. –Thomas Edison
I have not met anyone who has not failed in something in his/her life before. We are not great when we first started out.
I work in a few kitchens but I couldn’t cook a decent pot of rice when I am 20 years old. I lost count of the number of times I burn something on the stove. But I didn’t stop there. I continue to improve my cooking skills knowing that I will get better.
Mistakes are not here to mock us or stop us, they are here to teach us valuable lessons.
3. Celebrate the small stuffs
Self-esteem is about believing in your abilities.
You can build that belief by proving to yourself that you have the ability and self-efficacy.
Celebrate your small achievements, be it learning a new recipe, walking 1000 more steps, or making someone smile. Celebrate by treating yourself to a good meal, spending some time out in nature, allowing yourself more me-time or even just writing a thank you note to yourself. You can even give yourself a 5-minute self-appreciation break.
The point is to give yourself some attention and love, so that you feel good about doing. And this positive connection will motivates you to continue your desirable behaviors.
2. Write down 3 positive traits about yourself
Can’t seem to find anything to celebrate about? I’m pretty sure you are being humble about yourself.
We all have positive traits that are beneficial to ourselves, others, and the society.
Why not try this simple exercise?
Take 10 minutes, unplug from any form of electronic devices and sit in a location where you won’t have any distractions. Imagine you are your best friends or your colleagues. Are you humorous, kind or loyal? If you ask them to write down 3 traits that they admire, what will that be?
1. Remember the whys of high self-esteem
Sometimes, society hardens us so much that we feel thrashed at the end of the day.
First, we forsake our dreams, next we forget ourselves and then we forget why we are talking about self-esteem in the first place.
The best way to continue a behavior is to feel an emotional charge to it.
Remind yourself why you will like to have a positive self-esteem. Reread the introduction of this post if you have to.
Maybe you wish that having high self-esteem will help to perform better at work by removing self-doubt. Maybe you hope that having a healthy self-esteem will give you the confidence to talk to your dream date.
Write it down and feel it, understand why having a high self-esteem is important to you and believe in the possibility. Even better, put it at places that you can see regularly.