Self Esteem: Building a Rock Solid Foundation
Stated simply, self-esteem is your ability to love yourself and believe that you are capable, worthy and deserving. For many, especially those that have suffered from traumatic events or abuse, this can seem like a difficult task to accomplish, but by taking a few easy steps you can build your self-esteem and experience the joy that comes from being self-confident and successful.
- No one can ever have as great an effect on you as you have on yourself. Listen to your own inner voice and ignore what others say about you. Many people will try to build themselves up by tearing you down. Control your own thoughts and destiny.
- Tell yourself that you can. An old saying goes “whether you say you can or you say you can’t, your right” Even if you don’t feel it at first, always tell yourself “yes, I can”.
- Forgive your own mistakes. No one is perfect and expecting perfection is a sure road to low self-esteem. A burnt steak or misspelled word in a report is not the end of the world. Don’t dwell on these tiny issues. Instead, learn to laugh at them and yourself, and then let them go.
- Take pride in small accomplishments. If you beat a deadline at work, run an extra 15 minutes, complete that game level that has had you stumped; reward yourself and take pride in it.
Self-esteem and self-confidence are not only a mental state. They are also greatly affected by your physical condition. By maintaining your body you will alter your brain’s chemistry. Excess stress hormones and a shortage of endorphins and other beneficial compounds have been found to great effect in cases of low self-esteem and depression.
- Exercise regularly even if it is just for twenty minutes or a half hour, two or three days a week. Activities that make you sweat are best as they help to purge the body of toxins as well as releasing feel good chemicals in the body.
- Eat a healthy diet to help you stay healthy and fit. An engine doesn’t run without fuel. If you want to feel your best, do your best and have pride in yourself; fuel the engine properly.
- Get enough rest. Nothing will throw your body out of balance faster than being overly tired either mentally or physically. It is majorly important that you get enough sleep, but equally important that you take time to relax and rest your mind. Take time to watch a favorite movie, play a game you enjoy, paint, meditate, and watch a sunset
Your environment has a lot to do with how you perceive your world and thus yourself. Having a neat and clean working and living space as well as maintaining your own appearance is essential to having a positive self-image and higher self-esteem.
- Wear clothes that make you feel comfortable and that you believe make you look good.
Organize your clothes, home and working area. It may take a little time at first, but will make your life easier and more productive in the long run.
- Keep yourself and your world clean. It is a reflection of you and you are a reflection of it. Live in a world that you are proud to share with others.
Try Something New
- Think of the look on a child’s face the first time they tie their shoes or ride a bike, by themselves. New accomplishments are great fuel for high self-esteem.
- Face one of your biggest fears. If you are scared of heights, go bungee jumping. Just step out on the platform. Even if you don’t jump, it is a step forward and you should be proud of it. If you are uncomfortable speaking in front of crowds, stand up and make a toast the next time you are out with family or friends. Courage doesn’t have to be on a grand scale. It is what you know you accomplished that matters.
- Get into arts and crafts. You don’t have to be the next Picasso or weave a Persian rug. Crafting and art can be very relaxing and are wonderful emotional releases that also make it possible for you to set reasonable, accomplishable goals and complete them.
Get it down and Get it out
- This will take a lot of courage and a lot of honesty on your part, but the purging effect that these suggestions have on your psyche and emotions can be miraculous.
- Sit down and make a list of what you like and do not like about yourself. Be very honest. Remember you are the only one to see this list. Read through your list and ask yourself why you like or dislike these qualities, and why you are this way.
Make a list of your accomplishments and take pride in them.
- Make a list of what you see as missed opportunities and again ask why. Knowing you missed out and why will help you make sure it doesn’t happen again
A Few Last Words…
Loving yourself is not something that will happen overnight and it is not something that once achieved is over with. Self-esteem is a lifetime process that never ends. The rewards that it brings though are more than worth the effort and once begun becomes easier as you go. As the old saying goes, a journey of a thousand miles begins with packing your suitcase. So, pack up those negative thoughts, throw them away and fill your case with positive self-esteem.
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