What is Self-Esteem?
You’ve probably heard the phrase before, but what is it, really? Put simply, someone with high self-esteem feels worthy and effective. Said another way, they see themselves as generally “good enough” and able to function well. On the contrary, someone with low self-esteem struggles with their self-worth, and they see themselves as deficient in some way.
What Comes Along with Low Self-Esteem?
Those with low self-esteem may struggle with mental health issues like depression and anxiety. They may struggle in relationships because they see themselves as unlovable or unattractive. It’s common to hold back from trying new things or excelling in work life because of feeling incompetent or fearing failure. They may also carry around feelings of shame, guilt, anger, and sadness.
Low Self-Esteem Can Affect Anyone
Even people who seem to be confident, happy people can be fighting a secret battle with low self-esteem. Each person suffering from low self-esteem has their own story and their own reasons for their insecurity. If you struggle with low self-esteem, you are likely very aware of the ways in which it holds you back and brings you down.
Maybe you’ve figured there’s not much you can do about it, or it’s just part of your personality. On the contrary, our self-esteem is made up mostly of stories we tell ourselves about who we are, what we deserve, what we can do, and how the world sees us. The journey towards a healthy self-image starts with changing that story.
5 Things You Can Do To Boost Your Self-Esteem
1. Pay attention to your self-talk.
Do you put yourself down? Call yourself names? It may seem harmless to be hard on yourself, but the way you treat yourself shapes your own self-worth. If you talk to yourself like someone you don’t like, it will make it difficult to like yourself. Try talking to yourself like you would talk to someone you love and respect.
2. Surround yourself with those who love you.
By nurturing relationships with people who appreciate you for who you are, you are able to practice authenticity and vulnerability in a safe way. In turn, you will learn to value who you are.
3. Practice boundaries.
Learn how to say “no”. Limit the extent to which you take on the struggles of others as your own. By making your needs a priority, you are nurturing your self-worth.
4. Treat yourself like someone whose wellbeing you are responsible for.
Take care of yourself the same way you would care for a child. By keeping your own self-interest in mind, again, you are putting a high value on your own well-being, and showing yourself that you are worthy of care.
5. When the going gets tough, ask for help.
Reach out to loved ones, mentors, support groups, and professionals for the help you need.
While these tips will help you get started on your journey toward greater self-worth, often it will be helpful to dive deeper with a trained therapist. If you or a loved one are suffering from the effects of low self-esteem, know that professional help is always an option.