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How To Increase Your Self-esteem

I love myself (heart)

If you have low self-esteem, it’s very easy to get caught in a downward spiral of self-loathing. Everything you do seems to reinforce the idea that you’re worthless and weak. Do you really want to live your life this way? There is a way out. Here’s how to increase your self-esteem.

The origins of low self-esteem

Your low self-esteem may have been triggered by an event, or series of events, that led you to believe something negative about yourself that is fundamentally not true. For example, you may have been in an abusive relationship where you’ve constantly been called useless, unworthy or pathetic. You may have failed to achieve an important life goal or made a big mistake at work. Self-destructive thoughts would have entered your mind, such as, “Maybe he’s right – I am useless and pathetic”, “I can never finish things – I’m a loser”, or “I really stuffed up that task at work – I must be stupid”.

Once you’re in a self-destructive mindset, you tend to play down your achievements by using what psychologists call minimisation. For instance, “I only got that job through luck”, or “He’s only telling me I did well because he feels sorry for me”.

Change your thought habits

To improve your level of self-esteem, you first need to change your thinking habits. It’s important to avoid putting negative global labels on yourself when things go wrong. Get into the habit of thinking more rationally – “I made a mistake in this instance, but that doesn’t mean I’m a worthless person”.

Don’t minimise your achievements. Understand that it’s ok to feel good about your successes – “I did a really good job this time. I’m getting better at this”. Be proud of your unique skills and abilities.

Reinforce your new mindset

Reward yourself when you do a good job or reach your goals. Buy something special for yourself, go out to a restaurant for a nice meal, have a party to celebrate.

Finally, try setting aside a few minutes each week to write down 3 things that you’re proud of achieving over the last 7 days. They don’t have to be big accomplishments – it could be giving a successful presentation at work, or hosting a great dinner party. Writing your achievements down forces you to think about the good things you’ve done, lifts your mood, and boosts your self-confidence for future endeavours.

Learning to react to and think about events in a rational and positive way, rather than constantly putting yourself down, is the key to increasing your self-esteem. When you believe in yourself and your abilities, you’re able to try new things, achieve more, and live a happier life.

A good life coach can help you to increase your self-esteem and get you moving forward.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

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