3 strategies to boost your self- esteem

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A  healthy level of self- esteem is comprised of a balanced and realistic evaluation of the whole self, which involves awareness, recognition and acceptance of both positive and negative aspects of the self. Needless to say challenging your beliefs about yourself, adjusting unhelpful behaviors and adapting helpful ones will heighten your self- esteem the most. The following, however, are 3 DIY strategies that could help too.

1. Make a distinction between who you are and what you do/have done-when we criticize ourselves for making a mistake, failing, not living up to our expectations or being imperfect, we tend to label ourselves and that label influences how we value ourselves. Firstly always question if you deserve that label.

Realize that, for example, making a stupid and inappropriate remark does not mean you are stupid. Your IQ did not change from what it was before that remark was made, did it not? It is a behavior choice at a specific moment not the definition of who you are. Similarly can be said in situations in which you might have failed to reach a goal… Does that mean you are failure as you might label yourself? Will you always fail in the future? Have you had no successes before? And what is your definition of failure, does it truly define your whole self or is it specific to this goal?

When you are able to make that distinction, you are not letting situational and changeable factors diminish your self- esteem. Learning your lesson and improving the next time will strengthen  your self-esteem, as well as, your skills and capacities.

2. Focus on yourself not on comparing yourself with others-  Comparing ourselves to others is usually done by focusing only on that which we lack/ our flaws , which magnify them and by ignoring our strengths and assets,  while in the comparison  over-exaggerating  others’ assets, even putting them on a pedestal as the ideal standard and minimizing or ignoring others’ flaws and struggles. Both are unrealistic and the consequences are harmful to your self -esteem.

Redirect your focus on your own strengths, assets and fortunes instead. Appreciating and valuing your true self starts by acknowledging and celebrating all the positive points of your inner beauty( your values, virtues, inner strengths, characteristics, abilities, talents etc.) You can write them down and also mention why you are grateful for them, which will solidify your positive points. Think about being a better version of yourself by developing your own strengths and skills further, growing the positive characteristics and virtues in you even more, rather than aiming at becoming or achieving a biased and imagined perceived standard that you see in others.

Motivate and encourage yourself by looking at your achievements, who you are right now and how you can realistically become a better version of the present you, rather than only criticizing yourself for not being who you think you should be more like and changing yourself to be like others. Be accepting and kinder to yourself, as well as, pat yourself on the back when you deserve it. It will help you boost your self -esteem as you will see yourself in a more positive and imperfectly human light.

Be aware of your needs and nurture yourself – Being aware of what you need, be it psychological, emotional, social, physical needs etc ( e.g. emotional support,  time to relax or heal, delegate your duties, alone time, further develop your knowledge,  pamper yourself, taking a nap) and fulfilling these needs is telling yourself I matter. I value myself and I am worthy of giving myself the love, care, attention and personal growth that I require now. I am worthy of investing time and effort in myself at least I as do in others (who you probably unquestionably are attuned to and attend more easily to their needs). When you do that you validate yourself and thereby strengthen your self- esteem.

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How to boost happiness and contentment in your life -part 2

 

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1. Practice being mindful- be aware and authentically focused on the present rather than regretting the past or thinking about possible negative scenarios in the future. Mindfulness is characterized by consciously choosing to explore, experience, be curious and open to your feelings, physical sensations, thoughts, behaviors,others and the surroundings. You are therefore off the automatic pilot and more aware of even the smallest and the most fleeting moment of positivity and happiness that you experience, which allows you to savor it.

2. Self-efficacy-Work on boosting your self-efficacy because it facilitates achievements of goals and your psychological well-being, thus it will raise your level of happiness and contentment.  Self-efficacy reflects the belief of being capable to carry out an effective behaviour to cope with challenging demands from the environment and produce the desirable outcome. It makes us more confident, open and hopeful about the future too. Self-efficacy influences the level of effort, motivation, resilience, perseverance and commitment to solve problems and cope with life’s struggles. People with high self-efficacy are more optimistic, satisfied, happy and socially integrated.

If you want to read about how to boost your self efficacy  click here- https://drsharongalor.wordpress.com/2015/06/17/4-research-backed-ways-to-boost-your-self-efficacy

3. Volunteer- making others happy, helping and making a difference in others’ lives makes us feel happy and fulfilled. Seeing the impact that it has on others also makes us feel appreciated and valued. Volunteering  gives us a sense of meaning, purpose and belonging, which adds to our happiness, pride and joy. Acts of kindness can function as a positive distraction or as a way of emotionally coping with our struggles, as well as, it can provide another perspective on our own lives. Research findings even show physical health benefits to 2-3 hours per week of volunteering.

4. Reduce social isolation- Reach out and socialize; socializing more, connecting with others and/or having positive relationships with loved ones and friendships boosts enjoyment, fulfillment, happiness and many other positive emotions,which enriches your life and fills up your resources.

5. Reduce social comparisons – Take images and messages from the media with a grain of salt and beware of comparing yourself with other.

6. Take breaks from technology – Our noses are automatically glued to the screens, which makes us miss a certain level of intimacy and connection with others that can contribute to our happiness even more. It also causes us to lose focus, reduces attention and productivity so turning it off or setting more limits can help us to be more satisfied with the way we that function daily.

You might have noticed that the 12 ways to  boost your happiness and life satisfaction have one thing in common and that is that you need to make an deliberate choice and take action in order to raise your level of happiness and life satisfaction. Feel free to share what, when and how you are going to start applying them  in your life.

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