Improving Your Self Esteem
“Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.”
How many of us suffer in silence from low self-esteem and self worth problems?
I, for one, have suffered my whole life and have bravely fought to banish my inner demons. At this time, I can finally say, without any reservation, that I have conquered those demons. It wasn’t easy and it took every ounce of my being to to overcome those deep beliefs and now, I want to help you overcome your feelings of inadequacy and give you a firm foundation to stand on.
Here are some questions I want you to ask yourself right now about your own belief system.
- Are you happy with who and what you are today? Don’t reserve your love for when you reach your goal of losing weight, getting a better job or finding the right partner in life.
- Do you base your level of self worth on how others have treated you in the past? Remember, the past is gone. You don’t have to relive it anymore. What happened yesterday has no bearing on today unless you let it.
- Do you recognise the difference you make around you? How often do you look at the difference you make in other’s lives. As humans, we tend to worry about our own situations and how we feel but if you reverse the thought process and see how you affect others you’ll have a better understanding of your place in this world.
- How often do you complain about things in life? I used to be one of those people who never stopped complaining, I complained about my job, my bills, everything I lacked instead of being grateful for what I have. My advice is to stop complaining and start being grateful. Learn to appreciate what you have because it could all be taken away as quickly as you got it.
- Do you know who you really are? This is more than just a philosophical question. It gets to the root of your very being. Who we want to be is less important than who we really are. It all starts with being authentic. Stop hiding the real you because you want to impress others. The Greek philosopher Aristotle, who lived between 384–322 BC, once said: “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
Wisdom is the key word here. The more you know about yourself the easier it is to root out the underlying causes of your self-esteem problems.
Before I unveil the 7 powerful secrets to having high self-esteem and self worth, let’s tackle the main problem I see that does more harm than good in getting people to feel better about themselves.
5 Self-Esteem Myths That Sabotage Your Self Worth
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”
Let’s start off by breaking down some harmful myths about self-esteem and self worth and why most people get them all wrong.
Myth #1 – You Need To Be Worthy Of It – Having healthy self-esteem has nothing to do with being worthy. No matter what you do in life, you are worthy enough to be loved. It’s not a prerequisite for obtaining self-esteem nor is it something you need to acquire. If you are not popular or well-liked, it doesn’t mean you are not worthy of that love and care. Many times, the other person/people are going through their own problems and are apt to take it out on you
In Jeremiah 29:1, we are told, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
God tells us that he has plans for us and we should be hopeful in His love. Does that sound like a God that doesn’t think you are worthy of His love? Not al all. So please drop that from your thought process.
Myth #2 – Self-esteem comes from being successful – This idea is taught by most people in the medical field and it is a downright lie. You are not measured by how successful you are and you don’t need to measure your own success. In fact, you don’t even need to be successful to have self worth.
God created every one of us to be something special. In 1 Samuel 16:7, God shows us what is really important to Him. “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
It’s important to note that God’s love doesn’t depend on how rich we are, how good looking we are, nor how important we are. He looks far beyond those petty things and it’s something you need to as well!
Myth #3 – Self-esteem and confidence aren’t the same thing – This one idea bugs me more than any other myth in that we are told that the more confident we are the better our self -esteem will be. Just because you are confident does not mean you have high self worth. What happens when your confidence is shaken? Does that mean your self-esteem slips as well? Stop linking the two together. Instead, understand the concept that confidence comes from your belief in your own talents skills, and abilities and how ell you do them. Self-esteem is rootes in how we feel about ourselves at the inner core of our being.
Krizia Loquido, the health & lifestyle editor at Verily states in her article, 5 Myths About Low Self-Esteem You Need to Forget, “Some of the most powerful people in the world are totally confident in their career capabilities, while other areas of their life are riddled with anxiety and unhealthy relationships that stem from low self-esteem.”
I’m not saying you shouldn’t focus on being confident in your own abilities but don’t equate them with how your feel about yourself.
Myth #4 – Obtaining things will elevate your self-esteem – Getting what you want is never a cure for self-esteem issues. Ever felt buyer remorse? That gut feeling you made a big mistake in your purchase. Too often, people acquire things as a way to compensate for what they lack in self love but things cannot make us feel better about ourselves.
A great example of this happens on Christmas morning. Watch kids open their presents and you will see them go crazy with happiness for what they received but check back in a week or so and they’ve abandoned most of the toys and gifts. Why? It’s that high we get at the start but the high never lasts.
Myth #5 – Self-esteem is based solely on what we do and how we behave – If this was the case, then everything we do, say and feel is based on our behavior. When our behavior takes a nosedive then so should our self-esteem. Our lives would be one crazy rollercoaster ride if this was true but it isn’t.
Dr. Christina Hibbert writes, “If our worth is based on our performance or behavior, then we are bound to feel poorly about ourselves when our performance or behavior drops; and it will drop—it’s human nature. We are more than what we do and how we behave.”
Now that we have the myths out of the way, we can focus on the 7 powerful secrets I have learned from years of study, from making a million mistakes myself, and from watching others.
The 7 Powerful Secrets To Improving Your Self Worth
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
– Lucille Ball
Do you want to improve your self image and feel better about yourself? Of course you do but you’ve probably read a million books on the subject, listened to a ton of so-called “Self-help gurus” who had more charisma than knowledge and still your self worth is in the toilet.
Well, I’m going to give you the truth about improving your self-esteem from all my years fighting to feel good about myself.
Here they are:
Secret #1 – You Are Loved – Admit it. Do you really feel loved? If you knew how much the world loved you you would never feel bad about yourself again. But the problem is, do we really believe it? That was my problem for a good many years. I thought no one cared about me, no one appreciated me, nor understood the real me.
It was all an illusion my ego put over me like a blanket. Until I felt that love, I couldn’t believe it. Then God showed me a love so powerful it shook me to the core. It changed everything inside me. It finally made me whole. I wasted so many years feeling sorry for myself, wasted so much time thinking about things that didn’t matter, and wrestled with so many fears that it paralyzed my ability to function as a normal human being.
Once you open up your heart to love, all those fears and self debilitating thoughts will disappear and the real feelings of self love will shine through! I’m a living, breathing example of this!
Secret #2 – Love First Ask Questions Later – The title comes from a Ringo Starr song of the same name off his 2003 Ringo Rama album and it perfectly encapsulates what life is about. Why are you so worried about everything under the sun? Just give love. It doesn’t matter how much you give but that you give it in the first place.
We are all part of a beautiful world that God has given us. Why fight about things that have no meaning? We’re so worried about what others have, what others are doing and how much they make that we can never live up to the comparisons we make it our minds.
Love is the most important thing we have. Not just for others but for ourselves. If you spend more time thinking about acquiring things and not loving the real you inside you’ll never improve your self worth and you’ll always be unhappy.
Ephesians 5:29 tells us, “For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church.” Be the example of love you can be and allow that love to fill your heart. That’s all that is required of you.
Secret #3 – You are not your daily circumstances – Since when do circumstances define who you are? If you let them then you will always feel ashamed of yourself, blame others for your failures, and be locked in a life and death struggle for control of the real you.
Author Beverly D. Flaxington makes the point that “Life is more random than we’d like to think. It’s important to develop an air of objectivity, and to learn to step back from what happens and observe it as an outsider.”
That’s a key point I don’t think many people pick up on. You have to stand back once in awhile and see things from a different point of view. Don’t look at yourself from your own eyes but from those of an outsider. No judgments, no negative comments, just an air of total honesty.
Be honest with yourself without resorting to comparisons. The truth may hurt but it gives you a place to start and that’s all you can ask.
Secret #4 – Focus on what you can change in your life – How much time and effort have you wasted worrying about things you can’t change? You’ve allowed these things to break your will and crush your soul. You have to understand you can’t change the past, you can’t change others… you can only change yourself.
Once you understand this you can put all that wasted energy into something positive for yourself. You will have less stress, you will feel better about yourself, and you will unclog your mind of all the garbage that worrying has imprisoned you with.
Focus on the positive things in your life and what you have power over. Don’t let others hold power over you. You’ll end up like a puppet. Cut the strings and empower yourself. Be the person you want to be not what others want you to be.
As soon as you release the chains everything changes. If you like being chained to misery be my guest but I’m guessing you want to be set free. Take my advice… put your focus on what really matter in your life… YOU!
Secret #5 – Unlearn what you have learned about yourself – If you have ever watched the Star Wars movies, you know how poignant Yoda can be. One of his greatest lines from the movies was this, “You must unlearn what you have learned.”
Why is this line to important to your self-esteem? People with low self-esteem tend to believe every negative thing about themselves. They see things about themselves others don’t see while at the same time, making up things that become real to them.
What you need to to do is go back into your past and start unlearning those different behaviors, thoughts, and actions that keep you bound in chains. All those things you think others see or say about you are not important. The things you feel and experience are important but they are in the past. Today is a new day.
Wipe the slate clean and begin by honoring the good things about you. Open your heart the beauty that is all around you. Don’t cling to what is negative or distressing. Instead, appreciate what has happened to you and see that it is a part of you, not all of you. Your past doesn’t define you.
Learn how to treat yourself with respect and dignity. Look at the real you in the mirror and marvel at the beauty God has made. All these things were probably last on your list before but now it’s time to see yourself in a new light.A new door has opened up for you.
2 Peter 1:5-11 tells us why we are a new person in Christ.
“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities[b] are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
You have no reason to have low self-esteem anymore. God has made you a new person in Christ. That is your miracle. Now go out and be all God has envision for you!
Secret #6 – Eliminate self-criticism and introduce yourself to positive self-compassion – Everyone has an inner voice. Problems arise when the inner voice decides it wants to run your life. Most of the time, your inner self talk is makes you believe you’re not good enough and throws reason after reason why you should believe it.
Self-criticism is akin to beating yourself over the head with a hammer. It never does any good and it hurts like hell! I live by this one rule: Treat others as you would have them treat you. So why in the world would I mistreat myself if I’m treating others as I would like to be treated?
It doesn’t make sense yet we allow ourselves to be beaten up by our own egos and left to rot on the side of the road. No one is as hard on ourselves as ourselves. Read that again. It’s so true as we are our own worst enemy. We blame others for our own problems yet we beat ourselves silly criticizing every move we make.
Take it easy on yourself and give yourself a break. You’re not as bad as you make yourself out to be. In fact, I know you’re a pretty good person inside. You just don’t believe it.
What needs to be done?
Start being more compassionate with yourself. If things happen and you get hurt, get back up and use the power inside of you to succeed. You have everything you need to live in this big world. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, stop blaming yourself for everything that happens, and stop trying to get others to feel sorry for you.
I hate to say it but suck it up! It’s never as bad as you make it so be more compassionate towards yourself and start loving yourself more. I know, easier said than done but you have to grow up and work on feeling good about yourself.
If you can’t then you deserve all the misery you pile on to yourself.
Secret #7 – Face your fears head on – Nothing works better at boosting your self-esteem than getting into a fight (no, I don’t mean a physical fight). What I’m talking about is forcing your ego to come out and deal with it’s fears. You’ve got to make a stand, one way or another. Your self worth is going to stay in the toilet unless you fight for it. And yes, sometimes it may feel like a life and death struggle but you gotta do what you gotta do!
Inner turmoil is normal for most people but unless they get pissed off enough, they’re always going to stack stuck behind their own prison bars.
Most professional will tell you to stroke your ego and do things that make you feel good but not me. This is a war and war calls for drastic measures. Unless your willing to fight nothing is ever going to change!
Below is an infographic with some great tips in dealing with low self-esteem. Try your best to incorporate them into your daily routines.