By Hayley Daniels-Lake
Self-esteem, in its simplest definition, is the way we see ourselves and the world we live in. When our self-esteem is low we feel depressed and see life as generally negative. Everything seems too difficult and everyone seems out to hurt you. When self-esteem is high you feel good about yourself and the world seems a positive, supportive place. Usually, most people reside somewhere on the positive end with events in your life affecting your self-esteem either positively or negatively.
Most people can take a few knocks to their self-esteem whist still remaining positive; however, for a few people they go through life with a generally negative view of themselves and the world even when positive events occur.
How To Improve Self-Esteem
Self-esteem comes from within, no one else can make you feel good about yourself if you don't feel it within yourself already. Everyone has been hurt by people in the past, the important part is not to internalize the criticism and let it continue to hurt you. Write down every critical message you tell yourself and find out where it's coming from, is it something you're telling yourself or is it something you've been told by someone else? Then write down every piece of evidence you can think of that contradicts that thought. This will enable you to see it with a more rational viewpoint and see how true it really is.
Learn from your failures. If you watch a child learning to crawl or walk they don't just give up when it doesn't work, they have no sense of "failure" to them, there is no failure just a learning experience. When they try to walk and fall they know what didn't work and so know what to avoid next time when they try again. Take up this attitude yourself. There is no such thing as failure, what you are seeing as a failure is nothing more then a learning experience.
Do things you enjoy and do something to impress yourself. It doesn't matter whether it's volunteering or just helping out a neighbor. There is nothing quite like the boost to your self-esteem when you see what a difference you can make to someone else's life.
Humans thrive on achievements much more then rewards or any other feedback we get through life. Watch a teenager at exam time and you'll see exactly what I mean. Watch the sleepless nights on the days running up to results, watch the joy they get from succeeding or the disappointment if they fail. There's no reward from that just their sense of achievement. You can use this in your own life - take on a challenge, something achievable but not to easy and then work at it. Complete that and then take up a new one! Keep challenging yourself and keep achieving.
Finally, self-esteem really is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Whatever you believe about yourself - positive or negative, true or untrue becomes true. If you tell yourself that you can't draw, are no good at making friends then this will be true, even if it wasn't before. No one is perfect. Everyone has both positive and negative features about themselves, focus on the positive ones - the aspects about yourself that you like. Take a note of all the positive things about yourself and focus on these instead, learn to love yourself and this will lead to a boost in self-esteem.
Confidence Building Exercises: 5 Simple Ways To Boost Your Self-Esteem
In this article, I'll show you a few activities that can boost your self-esteem. Not only will you be able to present yourself better at work, you’ll also be able to socialize with everybody comfortably.
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