“Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it. ”– M. Scott Peck
“I’m not good enough”, “I’ll stop trying”, “She will always be better than me”- these are all phrases that a person lacking self-esteem would say.
Myriad of articles have been written on self-esteem, and the word has a boatload of meaning in literature.
However, the question of self-esteem really boils down to one simple question: How do you feel about yourself? If the answer is “no”, then you have a low self-esteem.
High self-esteem is something everyone desires. When you can’t break free from the criticism of others, your choice of action is limited. There may be options that are better and more promising, but you may feel apprehension taking over you while choosing them, because you are too concerned about the immediate approval of others.
People who are unsure about themselves often have trouble maintaining sustainable relationships because their feelings easily get hurt. Hence, self-esteem is critical to healthy relationships and in turn, happiness.
Developing high self-esteem is a step-by-step process. Some of the necessary steps are explained below:
1) Say “no” to self-depreciation
Too much self-criticism can lead to depression. If you don’t have faith in what you do, or believe in what you say, there is no way you can ever be successful. If your inner self is filling you up with negative thoughts, try your best to stop it.
You can stop it by thinking of something positive, by reassuring yourself, or by simply yelling “stop”. If it becomes too hard to stop, then try a different approach- focus and try to understand where all the self-criticism is coming from. I’m not saying that you should agree with the self-criticism, but rather that you should delve deep within yourself to understand where it’s coming from and what it means.
Sometimes your conscious is just trying to tell you that you need to work a little harder to get what you want. If you ever feel like you are not as good at someone, then remind yourself that you are probably better than someone else.
2) Take help
You can’t do everything by yourself. Your friends and family will always be there for you, when you’re in need, so don’t be afraid to ask them for help when you need it. You can attend group therapy sessions with others who are also facing the same problems as you. You could also try talking to a counselor, if you think it will help.
3) Be yourself and don’t regret
People often change the way they walk and talk, based on what other people think. That is, in no way, the right thing to do! You need to understand that you are not perfect and that you will not be able to excel in EVERY single field in life.
However, you need to remind yourself of the good things that you are capable of, and work on increasing your strengths. If you are afraid to be yourself, if you don’t even believe in what you do, then how will others do the same? If you don’t trust your instincts, then others won’t either. Believe in yourself, do what you want to do, and don’t regret it.
You won’t go from self-depreciating to high in self-esteem in just a day. You will need time to figure things out and tackle everything that stops you from being confident, one by one. For some, the time to develop high self-esteem will be less than that of others. Regardless of how many months or days it takes, you should continue your practice and not give up. Hard work and patience is a must if you want to persevere.
5) Confidence. NOT arrogance.
Higher self-esteem means that you will have more confidence in the things you do and say. You will be able to believe in and assert yourself. However, that does not mean that what you say MUST be right, and everything anyone else says is wrong.