3 Effective Ways to Build Self-Esteem
Self-regard, also known as self-esteem is one of the major factors that contribute to a person’s success in life. It essentially defines how we perceive ourselves and the world around us. Self-esteem is an important contributor in determining our self-worth and how valuable we consider ourselves to the world or people around.
Self-esteem is different from self-confidence. In simple words, self-confidence is what we feel about our abilities and this can vary under different situations. Self-esteem, on the other hand, is the degree of self-worth we hold for ourselves. This is also known as positive self-regard or self-love.
A very high degree of self-esteem leads a person into looking down upon others. It creates a false sense of superiority which results in an inflated ego. On the other hand, people with a low self-esteem tend to be depressed, feel unworthy about themselves and their capabilities and even feel incompetent. They don’t feel worthy of respect or praise from others, primarily because somewhere deep down, they hold a very low self-regard and self-confidence for themselves.
Low self-esteem and poor self-image also impact extensively the way we perceive our career and our relationships.
Here are a few problems that a low self-esteem can cause in people:
1. Fear and Anxiety
People with low self-esteem are generally fearful and anxious. They feel powerless and are always on the back foot. They are afraid of making a mistake; lest they get rebuked or become a laughing stock. They are constantly constrained by this fear. It is this fear and anxiety that drags them down in their career.
2. Over Sensitive
Since their self-image is not very strong and they don’t consider themselves worthy of any respect or praise, for people suffering from a low self-esteem, even the slightest of criticism can cause immense hurt and humiliation. It even fosters unhealthy anger inside them towards people for not standing up for them or not considering them worthy enough.
3. People Pleaser
When we don’t love ourselves, we look for love and acceptance outside. And when combined with low self-esteem, the only way we think we can get love and respect or even liked by someone is to please them. We constantly look for ways to please others to gain that love, respect and appreciation.
4. Self-hatred and Anger
Low self-esteem can fill people with self-loath for being cowardly and not confident enough. It stops them from forgiving themselves for the slightest mistake and only adds to the frustration and anger within them. When anger and pain are repressed, it only makes matters worse and is very unhealthy, both for themselves and their loved ones.
While the consequences of low self-esteem mentioned above are definitely alarming and unhealthy, it is not impossible to boost our self-esteem. With conscious efforts and a lot of mindfulness and patience, it is possible to boost it.
Here are a few steps in which self-esteem can be built in us all:
1. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
One of the major and most common mistakes people make is to compare themselves to others. There are people who are richer than us, fitter than us, more successful than us and even more popular than us. But that does not mean that we must compare ourselves to them.
Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. While others might have a wit that helps them get their way with people and be more popular, you may have a kind heart, compassion for your peers and juniors. Focus on your strengths and accept your weaknesses. Use your strengths to path your way to success.
2. Stop Striving for Perfection
When we suffer from low self-esteem, the need to do everything perfectly increases manifold within us. We are constantly obsessed by completing a task to perfection in order to get that small word of praise & respect from others. But, it is important we understand that no one is perfect!
Learn to forgive yourself when you make a mistake. Learn from it and move forward! Stop constantly criticizing yourself and telling yourself ‘You are good-for-nothing’ if you make a mistake.
3. Set Realistic Goals and Expectations
Setting realistic expectations and goals that can be achieved is very important. When we do this, it boosts our self-confidence which in turn, helps our self-esteem. For example, we need to stop wishing that everyone is going to love us or that no one shall ever criticize us. We will be criticized for making a mistake but we need to learn to take it in our stride. Not everyone is out there to demean you!
The thumb rule to boosting your self-esteem is to remember you are unique and lovable, you come with your own set of strengths and weaknesses and that you need not be perfect.
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