By Jennifer Pinto –
Hi Everyone! So last time I talked about how we beat ourselves up over everything we do wrong and how there are several factors that lead to us, women losing our self-esteem. This week I want to focus on concrete ways that we can get back our self-esteem and keep it for good.
Just to recap, we realized that with self-esteem:
- Life becomes simpler and lighter.
- You’ll have more inner stability.
- You’ll be a happier person.
Click to read the first part: Low Self Esteem? Don’t Worry, You’ll Get Over It Soon!
Now let’s take a look at some simple but effective ways in which we can rebuild our self-esteem.
- Pray and ask the Lord to help you with your attempts.
Jesus is always listening to us. He yearns to help us with our problems and our struggles. Sit down every day and tell Him how low you feel and how you want to change that for yourself. Ask Him to guide you and show you His love and a path out of it. Prayer is the single most powerful tool you have with you. And with God on your side, who (including the negative part of yourself) can stand before you? Romans 8:31
- Stop criticizing yourself.
A good place to start with raising your self-esteem is to replace the voice of your own inner critic. We all criticize ourselves from time to time but learning how to stop it is the key. For some of us it can motivate us to move forward but many of us get dragged down. Thoughts like:
- “You are no good, you’re a failure”
- “You are worse or uglier than everyone else”
There are ways to reduce that critical voice and replace it with more positive thoughts.
One way to do so is simply to say stop whenever the critic rises up in your mind. You can use a stop-word like STOP! Or “No, let’s not go there!” After that, refocus your thoughts to something more constructive like planning what you need to do the following day or week, reading some uplifting verse.
- Take a 2 minute self-appreciation break.
This is a very simple habit. And if you spend just two minutes on it every day for a few weeks then it will make huge difference.
Take a deep breath, slow down and ask yourself this question: what are 3 things I can appreciate about myself? They don’t have to be big things. A few examples:
- I cook and care for my family to the best of my ability.
- I can make people laugh and forget about their troubles.
- I am a thoughtful and caring person to most people I meet.
- Do the right thing for yourself.
When you do what you think is the right thing to do then you raise and strengthen your self-esteem. It might be a little thing like getting up and going to the gym to get fit. Or it may to stop feeling sorry for yourself and focus on moving ahead.
It’s not always easy. But stay focused on it and do the best you can. One way to do this is to take this step first thing in the day. This sets the tone for the rest of your day.
- Don’t try to be a perfectionist.
This can be a destructive habit. It can paralyze you from taking action because you become so afraid of not living up to some standard. And so you put off trying and you do not get the results you want. This will make your self-esteem sink. It is a vicious cycle. Time to break it! Remember, no one is perfect, no one will ever be. So do your best and be happy! Excellence is being the best you can be. And that is what we should strive for. The perfectionist will ultimately destroy herself and others around her.
- Try something new.
When you try something new, you challenge yourself and step outside of your comfort zone. This can give your self-esteem a big boost. It could be cooking a new dish. I’ll give you an example. Recently I made “Kunafah”, an Arabic sweet I was craving. I always thought it was hard to make but I found a lazy recipe and gave it a shot! It turned out quite accurate for a first attempt. The sense of achievement I felt was incredible!
Make it a habit to step out of your comfort zone regularly. Don’t expect too much, just try something out.
- Stop comparing yourself to everyone else!
This is the worst thing to do for one big reason… you end up trying to measure yourself against someone else’s benchmark. It’s like asking a fish to climb a tree or a monkey to swim in the sea! There will always be someone better than you in something or the other. So what? You have your share of talents and skills. Enjoy being who you are! You are special!
Try this instead. Compare yourself to yourself. Focus on you. Become a better version of yourself! This will both motivate you and raise your self-esteem.
In conclusion, try to be your own best friend. Nothing can replace this! No one can do what you can do for yourself. If you can’t do it alone, get a friend to help you. If that doesn’t work, seek help. I’m sure a counsellor can help you out.
There is always a rainbow after the rain, always sunshine after the clouds. Find that rainbow! Stay blessed.
Jennifer Pinto is a freelance corporate trainer, trained counsellor & Zumba® Fitness Instructor. She can be contacted at email@example.com