If you want to meet your most harsh critic, look in the mirror.
The relationship between low self-esteem and mental health is complex. Studies have shown that people with low self-esteem subconsciously engage in behavior that undermines their success, making them less likely to receive promotions, raises or even job opportunities.
Thanks to the influence of my kickass, positive-vibe-filled parents, I have had quite a few people ask how I manage to radiate a self-assured attitude. Here are a few of my tried-and-true tips to boost your self-esteem and become your own best friend.
View yourself as you view your friends
Would you judge your friends the way you judge yourself? Probably not. Reminding yourself that your peers are not judging you as harshly as you think they might be, or even at all, can help alleviate anxiety and boost confidence.
Don’t be hard on yourself when you make a mistake. Treat yourself with the same kindness, compassion and support you would show a loved one because you deserve to feel good about yourself.
Trust your intuition
We don’t give our gut enough credit, people actually refer to it as our second brain. I have learned (many, many more times than I care to admit) that if I get a gut feeling, it’s always right. There have been multiple instances of meeting a good friend’s significant other that I experienced a weird feeling in the pit of my stomach. Some of them have been perfectly nice, but there was something I could not put my finger on that I felt uneasy with. Low and behold, I have been right in my judgement, every single time.
This is because your intuition is shaped by your past experiences and the existing knowledge you gained from those experiences. Not acting on those intrusive impulses is a sign that you have an intense fear of failure. The ability to follow your intuition has everything to do with whether you respect what your intuition is saying. So give your gut a nice tall glass of kombucha for being so helpful.
Track all your victories
It feels good to win, whether those are quick wins or big successes. Keep a log of your victories as you achieve them, both for your career and personal life. Rapid logging, the language used in bullet journaling, is a great way to quickly and efficiently keep track of these accomplishments. It teaches to do more with less and has helped me in taking effective yet thorough notes during meetings.
Include positive experiences (winning a competition, learning a new skill, etc.) and times you’ve overcome obstacles (like dealing with a family member getting ill, enduring a financial crisis, etc.). Tracking and reviewing accomplishments creates and reinforces your self-image as a winner and, in turn, will boost your self-esteem.
Celebrate your successes
YAS KWEEN! Take the time to celebrate your successes and don’t be ashamed about it. Celebrating victories gives us proof of learning, growing and succeeding and also inspires us to keep going.
Celebrating doesn’t always have to be a party, it comes in all forms. It could be going out to dinner with a loved one, taking a spa day, buying yourself something special or even just watching your favorite Netflix show. Imagine something you would love to do to celebrate yourself and commit to doing it.
Avoid comparing yourself
More often than not, we compare ourselves to others, whether that be appearance, material items or even relationships. It’s a human instinct. This instinct became even more apparent as we entered the age of social media, making it easier to get a glimpse into the lives of our peers. In my experience, setting a time limit for how long I spend on social media has helped in my efforts to decrease comparing myself to others. You can even go as far as deleting social media apps all together to take a hiatus or permanently.
These tools, while essential to sharing a message, building relationships and growing businesses, can add to the toxicity of comparison and, in result, affect your self-esteem. At first, this may not seem like a big deal, but similar to a virus, your lack of self-confidence can spread to all areas of your life.
Cut out negative energy
Negative influences adversely affect the way we feel about ourselves. Over time, this can lead to depression and reduce your quality of life. There is an array of mental and physical effects from negative thinking.
Stress comes from negative people in your life who don’t believe in or support you. Being around those influences is toxic for your self-esteem. So, get rid of them.
Take a long look in the mirror, because I can guarantee the version you see of yourself is not even close to the strong, intelligent and beautiful person you really are.
What are some ways you have built up your self-esteem? Leave your tips in the comments below!