Monday, December 26, 2011

What is self esteem and how to build it

Today on the blog “Thought for the day” I want to talk on what self esteem is and how to build it. I believe the topic is very important as the quality determines how we will see ourselves in life, believe and consequently behave. 

The value of self in your own eyes is what self respect really is. It is very important. My country has been among top countries where people commit suicide. As you may understand raising hand against oneself is a clear sign of being very unhappy, devalued, having shattered dreams and etc. People can feel that way for a zillion of reasons, but if you really know your self-worth there could be a lot of very bad things happening in your life you will still be able to survive those maladies, pick yourself up and go forward.
Low self esteem poisons our thinking, destroys our ability to be self-confident, distorts our self image and may endanger our relationships with other people, even those that we love dearly. 

Why do people have poor self esteem?

Negative and wrong beliefs about ourselves

It all may start from our childhoods, parents, schools where we hear a lot of bad words about ourselves and we start believing those. You may not be very talented, fail a lot, be slow to understand and learn things at school, but that should not make us look at ourselves as failures and start believing that we are good for nothing. You do not even know how much you can achieve! And who can dare to tell you that you are a failure? History shows that a lot of geniuses and other people who achieved a lot in life were “failures” at school and had a lot of problems in relationships. If you feel like one of them, do not worry, you may become one of the best known inventors of your time and do not take negative words directed towards yourself too personally. Smile them off. Learn how to do it.  

Negative experience slashes our self esteem

Failing is unavoidable. Who does not fail? Everybody does and everybody will. However, the process often does very negative influence towards our psychological states, feelings and they way we value ourselves. We tend to make close associations between our failures and our personalities. Unfortunately, we also fail to understand that failure and a lot of failures are part of learning process. You can hardly learn anything in life without failing. So, a disassociation of the way we see ourselves and our failures should take place. And the sooner it happens, the better it is for us.

Comparing ourselves with others will definitely injure self esteem

This is a very psychologically ‘poisonous’ activity. Other people (our parents, spouses, teachers and etc.) can do that comparing us with others by exalting others and humiliating us. They may say how good, talented and nice your neighbor kids are and how awful our behavior is in comparison to theirs. We can also do this comparison stuff on our own and produce the same results of self pity, dissatisfaction about ourselves, unhappiness, anger and, of course, low self esteem.  

Mistakes and bad things done in the past is a cause of low self esteem

All of us make mistakes and do bad things in life. Some do it more often, some less. Occasionally we do wrong things that insult other people. Mistakes do not injure our self worth as bad as those wrongdoings towards others do. Many people are tortured by guilt, because they have done some bad things in their past and they cannot forgive themselves and forget that. I do not believe that there is a single person in this earth who has not done anything bad towards another person. All of us are sinful and sometimes do sinful things to other people. When this happens we need to ask for forgiveness (if that is possible), to ask God for forgiveness and then forgive ourselves. 

Self esteem building

Getting rid of wrong type of beliefs

The first thing that you will have to do is to get rid of the negative stuff. By this I mean getting rid of all negative types of beliefs about yourself. You cannot have two kinds of attitudes to yourself at the same time. Well, technically you can, but it will only mean that you will be a very unstable personality that builds its self perception on feelings and circumstances. It will take time to see which areas you have those negative self limiting beliefs in and then take proper actions to deconstruct those.

Reconsider your friendships

Some people have very low self esteem, because they communicate with people who are full of negativity and always speak and share it with everybody. This influences you in a very negative way as you start looking at the world only from a negative point of view. Changing friends can be an option that you may want to consider. Be friends with positive people who seek how to boost value of others and who try to see the bright side of any problem. 

Understand that negative experience is a step to progress

We often see our negative experiences and mistakes as something and tend to see ourselves as failures when we fail to do something. However, failing is the only way to perfection and achievement and it should not be viewed as something awful, but as something that could help up to get mature and actually improve our self esteem. So, change your attitude towards failures and many problems connected with self confidence will disappear automatically. 

Stop the self comparison with others business

You are unique and there is no one like you in the entire world. You have your talents, character, way of thinking, life, family and you should not compare yourself with others. God gave you your own destiny under the sun and no one can do it better than you. So why worry about others? They have their own destinies and all necessary tools to achieve their purposes. So have you. You should not look around and be worried about the way others fulfill their destinies. You go on and do what you have to do and do not condemn yourself if you won’t succeed immediately. 

Forget your past sins and concentrate on your future

Concentrating on your past will only keep you in the zone of stagnation and self pity. You were created to be a ‘mini creator’ and reflect God in your thinking, words and actions. You cannot do it if you keep on concentrating on your past sins and mistakes. There is not a single person in this earth who has not sinned and everybody of us needs forgiveness, which also means that we have to forgive one another and ourselves. Guilt will bring down your self esteem as nothing else will. So, understand that God loves you, forgives you and wants you to have wonderful future. Forgive yourself and regain self respect.

I hope the article was useful and you find out some useful ways to increase your self esteem. I hope you will be able to apply those in your daily life. God bless you during the Christmas and New Year season. 

See also:

Positive thoughts