At times we may feel insecure or depressed, unsure of what to do next when faced with a challenge or scary situation. Then the knock to our self-esteem becomes apparent. But this reaction only leads to feeling more depressed and powerless. It's like falling off your bike for the first time - you sit there where you fell, coming up with ways not to get on the bike again instead of getting up, dusting yourself off, learning from the experience and getting back in motion.
Here are some helpful tips on pushing insecurity aside and boosting your self-esteem:
1. Love yourself first: You are enough to give and receive the love and respect you deserve – but you have to believe it first. Start each day, or end each evening, by taking a moment to recall a special time when you felt loved in your life, or remember a loving experience where you were able to offer love to someone else. The energy that you get from those thoughts and feelings will last you through the day, or help you sleep more soundly at night. Once you feel you are worthy of love, you will be amazed at how comfortable you are in being in your own skin.
2. Responsibility Rules!: Being responsible for the things in your life means no longer blaming outside sources for your troubles. By blaming others you are taking power away from yourself to make any necessary changes you need, and to reflect on your life. Don’t be a perpetual victim. Instead, focus on your own contribution to what has happened, learn from this experience, and move forward with the strength of this knowledge. Building up on our strengths and learning from our weaknesses is what makes us more confident and able to endure what life brings.
3. Recognize your value: A healthy self-esteem creates a confidence that allows you to respect and value other people, yet you also need to value your own thoughts and opinions to gain that confidence. A way to do this is to really take a look at what you value, ie. your family, faith, health, relationships, money, etc. and how these areas impact the value you place on them in your life. List each area and rank them based on each area’s impact on how you see yourself. Look at those at the top of the list, and then at the bottom. What areas in your life hold the most value for you? Which ones do you hinge your self-image on the most? By recognizing your own value, you have the power to adjust your life to fit the self-image you desire.
4. Attitude adjustment: Healthy self-esteem doesn’t have to take a long time to reach. In fact, you can go from low to high self-esteem quickly. All it takes is a willingness to adjust your attitude. A quick way to do with is by first recognizing when you are being down on yourself, then changing those thoughts to something positive or productive. For example, if you tell yourself “I will never be able to get a better job”, you can recognize that this is unhelpful thinking and instead switch it to something more productive. You could say “I don’t like this job, and I’m nervous about getting a better one. Let’s see what’s out there anyway. What do I have to lose?” By doing this, you are changing your attitude from that of a victim to one who can DO something about it. The more you practice this, the more you will be amazed at how successful you’ll be.
Even if you don’t have a lot of money or friends or anything else you value, it really doesn’t matter. Once you truly love yourself, take responsibility for your own life, recognize your worth, and adjust your attitude, you can achieve wonders! You have the power to determine what happens next. Take action, get back on that bike, and get in motion. You'll be surprised how quickly the best way forward reveals itself.