Going through life will inevitably have its ups and downs. There will be good days and just as certainly there will be bad days, this is the nature of life. While we may be able to reduce the bad days, we can never eliminate them. However we can learn to cope with challenges, obstacles, and other assorted nonsense in a way that leaves us more in control than out of control. One of the keys is self-esteem.
While high self-esteem can help us to cope with difficulties, it can also open us up to see and experience more opportunities and more success. Self-esteem is some good stuff. So, what is self-esteem? The Oxford Dictionary says that it is –
Confidence in one’s own worth or abilities; self-respect.
When you feel like you don’t matter much in this world, or like you don’t have anything of value to offer; you will tend to act accordingly. You will tend to accept what life hands to you. People with low self-esteem usually don’t pursue advanced education or training, and as a result they have jobs that reflect the effort they have put into themselves. You will rarely find people with low self-esteem at the helm of successful businesses, or living a life filled with happiness and accomplishment. Low self-esteem is a heavy burden to bear, and if you have it, it’s not your fault.
We could get into what your parents or mate did or didn’t do, but that wouldn’t change your circumstance today. Instead what I’d like to do is give you some suggestions and ideas to help you move forward from where you are at now. No matter how bad your past was you cannot change the past today. However, what you can do is change how you think about your past, and your present. The truth is that all anyone ever has is right now. We can learn from the past, and we can plan for the future, but we can only act on a thought right now. With that said I have several suggestions for how you can build your self-esteem.
- Stop criticizing yourself. There are enough people in the world who have no life of their own, who will criticize others. Pay attention to what you say about yourself, and when you hear criticisms begin to come out of your mouth STOP WITH THE BULLSHIT!
- Start a Gratitude Journal. A lack of self-esteem can come from feeling like you have nothing in this world, the truth is you do, but you just haven’t been paying attention. People who know they have good things in this world to be grateful for, feel better about themselves. So, each night before you go to bed write down in a journal 5 things you are grateful for. Make at least 2 of those things something you appreciate about yourself. If you don’t have a journal, go out and buy one, this simple step will make you feel better. I know this may be more difficult for men, but I promise you it is well worth the effort.
- Stop trying to be perfect. Replace perfectionism with realism. Be kind to yourself the same way you’d be towards another person that you care about. If your standard is unreasonably high, then you’ll never see victories. I’m not suggesting that you drop the bar on the floor, but your standard should be achievable. When you start seeing small victories it will give you the steam you need to accomplish bigger things.
- Recognize the truth. People with low self-esteem have an amazing knack for exaggerating their flaws, and under estimating their strengths. Be open to seeing the awesome parts of who you are. Consciously focus attention on what you do well, even if they are small things. What you pay attention to will grow; make sure it’s the goods things.
Here’s the deal, while you may have to earn respect from others, you do not have to earn it from yourself. You are worthy of self-respect simply because you were born. No matter how lousy your past was, you can build a better future by actively improving your self-esteem today.
There is a world of possibility waiting for you to explore it. I promise you that your value is beyond measure and that there is no limit to what you can do in your lifetime. You are worth every second of time you invest in yourself. You have plenty of reason to believe that you truly are awesome. Now go out and kick some ass!!!
Stay Fly and Fly High!