Author: Bree Maloney, Manager
February is ‘boost your self-esteem month.’ As Oprah Winfrey quite rightly says; “Self-esteem comes from being able to define the world in your own terms and refusing to abide by the judgment of others.” Unfortunately in today’s world filled with misconceptions of images of perceived perfection and instant gratification, self-esteem is affecting our mental health even more. Self-esteem is an important building block for many things: our confidence in our abilities, our sense of self-worth and how we compare ourselves to others. Low self-esteem can develop over time, but you can bring it back up by changing the way you perceive yourself and your negative thoughts.
You may have low self-esteem if you:
– Don’t feel confident in your abilities
– Are constantly comparing yourself to others in a negative way
– Feel anxious, depressed or worried about everything you do
– Find yourself resistant to any kind of criticism or suggestion
– Focus on the failures and ignore your accomplishments
Accepting that you have low self-esteem can be hard, but recognizing it is the first important step to working against those negative thoughts. According to mental health professionals, negative self-talk and thoughts often stem from things in our past, but it’s rarely one, single event. It’s usually an accumulation of events that contribute over time to developing low self-esteem.
Self-esteem matters. Having good self-esteem isn’t just about feeling good about yourself. Your sense of self-worth can profoundly affect your mental health. Low self-esteem can lead to bigger issues like depression and anxiety. In fact, they often go hand in hand. Low self-esteem can come out in many ways – but in simple terms, it’s being mean to yourself.
So, how do you change the way you think? The first step is recognizing these negative thoughts and acknowledging if they’re actually serving or hurting you. Just thinking better about yourself isn’t going to cut it. You must act the part of those new thoughts because the more you practice, the more it will become a part of you. Of course, we all want to succeed in life and pass with flying colors, but we must accept that no one, again, no one, has ever gone through life without making mistakes. Learning to focus on the positive and to encourage yourself is a lot like strengthening a muscle. You must exercise your brain a little every day to develop a capacity for positive thinking, to forgive yourself when you make mistakes, and to learn to give yourself credit when you accomplish a goal.
Here are some ways to start your journey to a healthier self-esteem:
- Remind yourself that people usually only share the best part of their life online. Other people can’t be your standard when it comes to your self-esteem. This is because you’ll always find someone who appears better than you or more capable than you in any area of life.
- If you spend more time with people who care about you, you may find that suddenly it’s easier for you to care for yourself.
- Identify what triggers your negative thinking. Remember you can’t change certain situations, but you can change how you react to them and understand them. Start by paying more attention to what makes you feel sad or anxious.
- Give yourself grace by changing your inner dialogue so that your brain will begin to recognize that you’re more capable and competent than you give yourself credit for.
- Consider talking with a therapist. A mental health professional can help you address the factors that affect your self-esteem so you can feel better. And feeling good about yourself is the key to reaching your greatest potential and living your best life.
Remember to focus on things that you are able to control, be a good friend, make time to spend with your loved ones, be kind to yourself, and set realistic goals!
The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis, or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.