Boosting your self-esteem is a must if you’ve just lost your job, been dumped by a lover, failed a professional exam or being put down by people’s comments that you’re no good. People tell you not to take it personally but it’s hard to do. You feel worthless and of no use. But, there’s a solution to your self-worth crisis.
I know you can get out of your current situation because I’ve been there. I had my sense of self-worth go downhill immediately I got married but I found ways around it and today, I have my sense of self-worth intact. What happened then was, my husband was a preacher and very popular amongst his fold but here I was, coming into his life, at the height of his popularity and people could not gravitate towards me like they would to him. Because they did not know me at close range, they tended to avoid me, opting for my husband’s company but instead of allowing it to bother me; I found a solution to the problem. These are some of the things I did to boost my sense of self-worth:
- I took stock of my life, my past and realised I was not worthless because I’d prior to that time been a successful journalist. I listed all the major achievements I attained and they further opened my eyes to the fact that I could also achieve milestones, if given a chance.
- As much as I took pride in my achievements, I did not hinge my self-esteem on them. Rather, I hinged my sense of self-worth on ‘my being’ and not ‘my doing’. What I mean by this is; I did not hinge my self-esteem on performance (if I did, I’d be disappointed if I couldn’t perform) but on being capable of doing anything I set my mind to doing.
- I started reaching out to people. I realised that was the only way I could boost my self-esteem. I looked around and stretched a helping hand towards people I felt needed help. I made more friends this way and this helped boost my sense of self-worth.
- I learnt new skills. Most of the things I know now (like Internet Marketing and article writing) were learnt during this period. I really immersed myself in this skill acquisition drive and it really helped my self-esteem.
- I read most of the time. Any free time I had during this period was converted to reading self-improvement books, which really transformed my way of thinking. I read books by Zig Ziglar, Jim Rohn, Brian Tracy, Mike Litman, Tony Robbins, etc and they all helped to boost my self-esteem in no small measure.
- I tapped into the love of God for me. I convinced myself that once God loved me that of people would follow suit. During those days, my favourite was a song rendered by Whitney Houston few days before her death with Kelly Price. The song was titled 'Yes, Jesus Loves Me'. Watch Whitney Houston render it live in 1994 during a Santiago, Chile concert:
As much as you can find help by implementing some of the tips I used, I’d like to share some more tips below:
10 Ways to Boost Your Sense of Self-Worth
1) Watch the Things that Bring Down Your Self-Esteem
Take a critical look at the situations and conditions that usually bring your self-esteem down. Such triggers are not limited to:
* Not getting a business deal through
* Muddling up a business presentation or job interview
* A marital crisis or challenge with a co-worker
* A drastic change in life circumstances, such as a job loss or divorce
2) Watch Your Attitude towards Such Triggers
When such triggers occur, watch how you react. Also watch what you think about them and what you say to yourself about such situations. Your interpretation of what the situation means should also be considered. Generally, your thoughts and beliefs might be positive, negative or neutral. They might be logical (that is, based on facts or reason) or illogical (that is, based on false ideas). When your thoughts are irrational or negative, you need to take the next step, which is to
3) Test Your Negative or Irrational Thoughts
The way you initially think or respond to a situation may not be totally accurate, so, you have to test the accuracy of your thoughts to determine if it’s consistent with facts and logic or whether other explanations for the situation might be possible.
Even though it could be difficult to recognise imprecision in thinking because of our long-held thoughts and beliefs (many of which are just perceptions or opinions), you still have to come to the point where you ask yourself: “are my thoughts about my job loss accurate? Are they not being influenced by my long-held beliefs that I’m no good (because my teacher always told me that) and I believe I cannot hold a job for long?”
Testing the accuracy of your thoughts would no doubt help you to attack any long-held belief that is dragging your self-esteem downhill.
Also watch thought patterns that have a propensity to bring down your self-esteem like:
* Not seperating yourself from your failures. If a business you did fails, you internalize it and say “I’ve failed again”, instead of saying “thebusiness failed.”
* Seeing all as Good or Bad. This means you don’t give room for the neutral at all. You’ve just been given an assignment and you tell yourself, “I’d be a total failure if I don’t perform well on this assignment.” For me, that’s too extreme because the assertion did not take many things (such as the nature of the assignment and whether you’re equipped for it) into cognisane.
* Rejecting Your Achievements. Thoughts that urge you to reject your achievements and dwell on the negative will eventually rob you of your self-esteem. For instance, “I only did well on that job assignment because it didn’t involve much computer work.”
* Erroneously Taking feelings for facts. A situation where you confuse feelings or beliefs with facts needs to be checked. For instance, “I feel like a bad mother, so I must be a bad mother.”
* Putting Yourself Down. A situation where you undervalue yourself or put yourself down needs to be quickly checked. This can be the aftermath of an error or mistake you committed and you believe the only thing you deserve at that moment is a punishment. For instance, “I don't deserve anything better, afterall; I caused the company to lose $10,000.”
* Jumping to Conclusions. This is a situation where you rush to a concusion without any concrete evidence. For instance, you sent a mail to a friend to lend you some money and the friend hasn’t had time to check the mail but you hurriedly conclude; “My friend has lost respect for me because I asked him for money.”
4) Alter Negative thoughts and beliefs
I always tell people, you can do whatever you set up your mind to doing. So, try and replace all the negative thoughts with accurate and positive ones.
* Tell yourself positive things. Self talk is very important in boosting your self-esteem so try telling yourself postive things like, “even though the professional examinations were tough the other time, I’ll pass this time around.” Don’t give room for pessimism at all because I believe whatever you say will eventually happen, so, say the positive and you will see the positive all over your life.
* Get over your mistakes. We all make mistakes and the fact that you failed on an assignment before does not mean you’ll fail the second time, so, forgive yourself and get over your mistake. Tell yourself, “I made a mistake, but that doesn't make me a worthless person."
* Have realistic expectations. Don’t allow the words 'should' and 'must' in your vocabulary, they reinforce compulsion and you might be putting pressure on yourself if you allow your thoughts to be dominated by these words.
* Dwell on the positive. Think about the positive things you have done in your life. Think about how well things have gone lately. Look at the skills you've gained and used to better your job performance. This will make you feel good about yourself.
* Encourage yourself. Cheer yourself on. Even when things are not going the way you want them, pat yourself on the back for being bold to make positive changes. For instance, “My job interview might not have been perfect, but the panel asked questions and remained engaged throughout; this invariably means, I achieved my goal.”
* These might initally seem difficult to do but hang in there and realize the fact that recognising these self esteem killers and counteracting them is the only way to improve your self worth and confidence over time.
Other Ways to Boost Your Self Esteem
5) Love and Respect Yourself. Nobody can do this for you. You’ve got to love yourself, be kind to yourself and respect yourself. There is nothing bad with self love. Even the scriptures instructed us to “love yourself as your neighbour.” So, love and respect yourself. If you do this, you’ll see people following that same route –loving and respecting you! Self love includes taking care of your body and if you’re a woman, going for facials, fixing your hair, going for a massage, and generally looking good, is the way to go. And this is not leaving out the male folk because the way you look greatly affects your sense of self worth.
6) Take People’s Comments and Attitude to you with a Pinch of Salt. I agree that people’s comments might be constructive but most of the time, it is destructive and I’ve never been bothered about what people say about me. I do the things I love and if you make a comment, I’ll check to see if it’s constructive, if it’s not, I’ll instantly forget about it.
7) Learn and Do New Things. That’s a very powerful way to boost your self-esteem. Go out and learn a new skill. Don’t just learn it, go ahead and practicalise all you’ve learnt (example, knitting). It helps to engage the mind in new and exciting ways.
8) Reach Out to Others. Find people who need help and offer to help in anyway you can (with your time, energy, resources, money, etc). This would make you fulfilled and boost your self confidence.
9) Take Responsibility for Your Self Worth. Accept the fact that you’re responsible for your self esteem, whether it soars or it plunges down irretreivably. This would help you pay special attention to buidling your self esteem, instead of surrendering it to other people who will mess it up. Trust your instinct and decision-making ability, instead of waiting for other people to do it for you. Trust your ability to pull any assignment through (you don’t need anybody, as you’ll soon discover). Take responsibility, not only for your life but your self worth.
10) Seize Opportunities as they come your way. Opportunities are the stuff life is made of and the more you’re able to seize and utilise, the more your self confidence will soar. So, train yourself to recognise opportunities and take hold of them. You’ll feel better this way and your self confidence will soar.
Summary and Action TakeAway
I honestly don’t know how you’re feeling now but one thing I know is, you can improve your self worth by engaging the tips above. So, what are you waiting for? Get to work now!
And go from here
to here in no small time.
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