Everyone has dealt with or is currently dealing with issues of self-esteem. Whether it has to do with their performance at work, their body image, or personal relationships, we’ve all experienced successes and failures when it comes to our own self-esteem. The role self-esteem plays in our everyday life is crucial to whether or not we are growing positively or negatively, especially for people in periods of transition or high-stress in their lives. From adolescents to their grandparents, the influence our self-esteem has in our lives can make or break us. One simple google search on self-esteem statistics brings up a myriad of research showing just how much of an impact a positive, or negative, self-image can have in our lives. With direct links to depression, social anxiety, and the inability to express oneself, we need to get a grip on how we view ourselves and take control of our lives and our success. Through my own struggles and experiences, my time as a teacher and a coach, and through putting my own personal growth as a priority, I’ve come to realize that there are simple strategies that everyone can do to make sure they are positively influence themselves and their own self-image.
1. Talk to Yourself
How we talk to ourselves determines a lot about who we are and how we interact with others. When you look in the mirror, do you immediately start to point out the areas that you feel need improvement? Do you immediately go to a negative place in your mind, discouraging yourself? Or are you positive? Do you give yourself a pep talk, or focus on your successes? If you don’t speak to yourself with respect and encouragement, how can you expect others to? Take time to recognize your successes, and don’t let your mistakes define you, learn from them and grow.
2. Compare yourself…to YOU!
In every situation, the only person you can control is yourself. Taking responsibility for your own growth, your own self-image, is a crucial part of building positive self-worth. Too often we allow the successes or failures of others to dictate how we feel. When we compare ourselves to others, it distracts us from focusing on ourselves and our own growth. These distractions often times can lead us to feelings of pride, when we feel we’re more successful, or discouragement and depression, when we feel we’re failing where others succeed. When we focus on ourselves, those failures and successes both become motivation to continue pushing ourselves.
3. Do For Others
When we take a moment to help others, no matter how small, it always helps build our self-esteem. Doing something good for someone else will help you combat those bad feelings about yourself. On top of this, when you do for others, they value you more, which starts a pattern of positivity from one person to another.
4. Start Small
A big reason why so many people fail at following through with New Years resolutions is because their goal is too large for them to follow through. Changing habits in your life take time, they take progress, and they take small victories. If you really want to start building a positive self-worth, start small. Set goals that may seem small, but are nearly impossible to not follow through with. This can be something as simple as writing down one positive thing about yourself every day. Before you know it, you will have a comprehensive list of positive attributes, but more importantly you are beginning a habit of focusing on the positive and having encouraging conversations with yourself.
5. Have a Plan
Be intentional with your growth. If you don’t take time to think through a plan to build your self-esteem, it will never happen. If you don’t understand that growth takes time and effort, you won’t ever reach your potential. Take time today, right in this moment, and make a decision to build yourself up, to bring positivity to the forefront of your life.
“Life is nothing but a mirror of your consistent thoughts.” – Tony Robbins