It may surprise you to learn that over 80% of the population suffers from some degree of low self esteem. Feelings of low self-worth, insufficient confidence or a poor self-image are common in adolescents but the effects can be far-reaching.
Although not contagious, a lack of confidence or low self-esteem can ruin your life even into adulthood and damage your chances of ever finding true happiness.
Like a burglar in the night low self esteem can sneak up on you when you least expect it and lead to self-sabotaging behaviors; it may cause you to blow that crucial pitch with a new client; pick a fight with your spouse when things are going well; procrastinate and lose out on your dream job.
One of the best books I have ever read on building self-esteem is Psycho-Cybernetics by plastic surgeon and humanitarian Dr Maxwell Maltz. In this seminal work, Maltz compares low self-esteem and a poor self image to the facial flaws of the disfigured patients he treated.
If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it. As someone who was crippled by shyness during my teenage years, it helped me radically change the way I saw myself.
Besides providing useful advice on how to stop letting negative thoughts and people make you feel like a failure. Maltz explains that your feelings of low self-esteem could be keeping you from the success you deserve.
Although written 50 years ago, Psycho-Cybernetics is very much a handbook on how to increase confidence and self esteem and take total control of your life and destiny.
You may appear confident to the outside world and your life may be positive in many areas, but deep down there may be a feeling of malaise.
You get discouraged easily. You doubt yourself. You look at others racing ahead with their lives and wonder “why not me?”
Sometimes asking questions and making comparisons can be positive because they force you to make changes in your life and galvanize you into action.
But constantly comparing yourself to others and consuming yourself with feelings of inadequacy can be extremely damaging.
It’s important to feel good about yourself and work on building self-esteem. This process starts with self-acceptance because it puts you in touch with your potential, and helps you recognize that there are many things about you that are unique, special and worthy of love and respect.
It also shifts your perspective from one of lack and inadequacy to one that is positive and hopeful.
Here are some tips for building self-esteem:
- Remind yourself daily of your strengths and positive traits and characteristics.
- Reframe mistakes and failures as “opportunities to help you learn and grow.
- Tap into your creativity through reading, writing, painting, looking after animals or volunteering.
- Celebrate and acknowledge your achievements, both big and small.
- Replace your negative self-talk with positive, kind, supportive statements.
- Trust yourself and don’t rely on others to make you feel good.
- Lead a healthy lifestyle by exercising daily, eating a balanced diet and getting enough sleep.
- Surround yourself with positive people who believe in you and support you.
Expect Good Things
People who possess a healthy self-esteem and positive self-image believe they are worthy of the best things that life has to offer.
They are optimistic about their future and expect good things to happen.
Remember, life grows or shrinks according to the expectations you set for yourself.
If you expect similar results to those you have previously experienced, your apathy will create a future in line with this low expectation.
But if you believe in yourself and envisage a bold, bright future filled with passion and excitement, your motivation will bring about the positive outcome you imagine.
Feeling good about yourself and expecting to live a happy, fulfilled, and successful life, will inspire you to take the actions that are necessary for success.
You will start to attract opportunities that result in rich relationships, positive outcomes, more money and greater happiness into your life – because you believe you deserve these things and you are acting on this belief.
We Attract What We Are
Realize that everything that has shown up in your life you have consciously or unconsciously attracted through the thoughts and beliefs you have about yourself.
If where you are in life – the relationships you have attracted, your physical, financial, emotional and spiritual health are not as you want them to be, decide now to make a change. Tell yourself that you deserve better.
Reframe how you see yourself and change your expectations.
I want to leave you with this motivating video by the amazing Les Brown. He sums up succinctly how we all have the power to design our lives in a way that is consistent with our new expectations.
As clichéd as it sounds, your future is truly in your hands.
When you step out courageously to redefine who you are and leave behind the negative thoughts, feelings, people and situations that do not support you, you can design a magnificent future that is in alignment with your deepest desires.
When you train yourself to expect positive results and then act in accordance with these higher expectations you give off positive, attractive, loving energy based on soaring self-esteem and confidence and set the stage for a bright and promising tomorrow.
What Do You Think?
How do you keep yourself motivated? What strategies have helped you with building self esteem? Please comment and share your thoughts below.