Low self-esteem can negatively affect almost every aspect of our lives, including our relationships, jobs, and our health. But we can strengthen our self-esteem, even if we have already formed a bad image of ourselves since childhood. How?
1. Recognize the conditions or situations that are worrying you.
What situations make you feel weak and unable to defend yourself? Under what conditions does this happen? Do you feel more insecure at work, at home, in a conflict with a loved one, with a stranger, when your child leaves home, when you communicate with many people at the same time, when you feel everyone’s eyes fixed on you? Monitor yourself and record your findings.
2. Be aware of your thoughts and beliefs.
Once you’ve figured out what’s bothering you, pay attention to your thoughts. Keep a diary of and notice what trigger them. What interpretations do you give to the facts? What are your beliefs about them? Record both negative and positive thoughts. Then evaluate them. Do they have a reasonable background or not? Are there other explanations for the situation? You should know that sometimes it is difficult to recognize the toxic thoughts because of the repetition of them.
3. Adjust your thoughts and beliefs.
Try to replace negative or inaccurate thoughts with positive and constructive ones. Try these strategies:
• Use optimistic statements. Embrace yourself. Be polite and encouraging. Pessimism can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. If all else fails, get ideas from others. Try positive statements like “Even if it’s hard, I can handle the situation” or “No one is perfect, so why me?”
• Forgive yourself. Everyone makes mistakes – and mistakes are human and do not last forever. These are small moments in time. Say to yourself, “I made a mistake, but that doesn’t make me a bad person.”
• Avoid “musts” and “definitely”. If you find that your thoughts are full of them, you may make unreasonable demands on yourself – or on others. Get more realistic expectations that can be met.
• Focus on the positive. Think of the good parts of your life. Remind yourself of things that went well recently. Examine the skills you used to deal with difficult situations.
• Change habits. You do not need to react negatively to toxic thoughts. Instead, recognize the signs and try new, healthy habits. Ask yourself, “What can I think of to make the situation less stressful?” and do it!
Do not forget! All changes take time to complete. Encourage yourself and give him time and space to implement them. Take baby steps to a better and more positive result and feel proud of yourself. It will help you to gain confidence. You deserve it, don’t you think?