9 July 2021
Self-esteem is our internal sense of self-worth. It is a result of our judgments about our abilities, contributions and value.
Having a healthy level self-esteem is critical to our happiness and confidence to handle work and life challenges. However when one has an overload of self-esteem, one may come across as aloof and egoistic; and if insufficient, it produces stress and unhappiness.
A person who has a healthy dose of self-esteem will exude humble confidence; it is a mental state where the person is aware of their self-worth while at the same time receptive to new learnings. They are aware of their strengths, abilities and contributions and at the same time accepts that there are areas of growth and development without feeling inadequate.
Here are some tips to boost your self-esteem and confidence. As you will notice, it is just a matter of shifting our focus to see the other side of the coin.
Tip 1: Stop comparing – The act of comparing ourselves with others will create a sense of better or lesser. When we compare with people who are better, we either admire or feel envious of them. Either way, we feel that we are not good enough. This affects our self-esteem. Be aware that life is a journey and whichever point in life that you are at, rejoice and celebrate what you have and at the same time continue move forward. It is useful to remember that we all start our journey at different times and there is no basis for comparison.
Tip 2: List your successes – If you have made it to this point in your life, you certainly would have accumulated some experiences of success. Recall what they are. We tend to forget what we have achieved and focus on what we lack. Make a list of your achievements, no matter how small and you will be amazed at yourself. Make an effort to list 20 now and go celebrate!
Tip 3: Identify your qualities – We all have personal traits that are unique to us. We call them our signature strengths. What are yours? How have you used them to help you experience life challenges in a positive manner? What are three strengths can you use to help you build an even healthier self-esteem? Choose one quality or trait a week and mindfully use it to help you achieve higher confidence.
Tip 4: List your skills & abilities – All of us would have some form of skills in our life that is useful. Taking stock of these skills can give us more confidence that we have value. It is important to remember that skills development is an ongoing process and if we choose one area to invest our time in we will become masterful in that area. This sense of mastery will give us a higher level of self-esteem and confidence. See failures as learning opportunities. The more you fail the faster you succeed.
Tip 5: Choose your friends wisely – Who we are, is a result of the relationships that we have built with people around us. Some people nurtures and encourages us while others who does the opposite. Be mindful and associate more with supportive friends, work colleagues and family members. Spend more time with those who help us feel good. Be appreciate to those who give us constructive feedback with good intentions.
Tip 6: Rewire yourself – We are nothing more than a hard-wired computer (brain), programmed by people and environment over time. In those years, we have learned to believe what we can or cannot do. It is time to take charge and re-program your mind. Our mental thoughts influences our emotions and that in turn affects our body postures and facial expressions. It is also true the other way around. When we shift our body postures and facial expressions, we shift our emotions and in turn, shifts our mental states. Try smiling widely and project a happy and confident body posture. How do you feel? A psychologist once said, “Fake it till you make it.”
Tip 7: Extend help to others – Giving others with our time, energy and talents will make us feel significant and that we matter. Don’t wait for others to ask for your help. Walk up and ask if you can be of help. Volunteer a piece of information, offer a kind word, extend your time and effort selflessly. Go out of your way to lend support. What goes around, comes around.
Tip 8: Identify your passion – When we have a sense of purpose in life, it gives us meaning and motivation. That increases our enthusiasm in life. It is certain that all of us have passion for something. It is just a matter of noticing and observing what they are. When we do something that we are passionate about, we lose track of time. We get immersed in the activity and we feel satisfied and complete. Discover what that is for you. Ask yourself, “How is my passion in this area helping people and community around me indirectly. Just like a bee going around looking for nectar, the bee is also unknowingly pollinating the flowers and helping trees to produce fruits.
Tip 9: Be true to yourself – Know that you are unique and you exist for a reason. Be true to yourself and develop the courage to share your feeling and thoughts of what you believe in. You are not here to live your life for someone else. Don’t hold back expressing your true thoughts and feelings just to make someone else happy or to be accepted. Be yourself. You can still share a differing opinion in a respectful manner and still maintain a healthy relationship. Remember the movie “Frozen”?
Bonus Tip: Accept Compliments – You may notice that sometimes, we feel uncomfortable receiving compliments from others. We reply in a way that suggest we don’t deserve them. While it may be seen as humility, we are also indirectly re-affirming our sub-conscious that we are not worthy of that positive feedback. So, learn to respond with a simple, “Thank you”
There is nothing stopping each of us from developing a healthier self-esteem and confidence. It is just a matter to seeing the coin from the more empowering side. You have a choice. Remember, achieving a higher self-esteem and confidence does not come easily. You need to put in effort to re-condition yourself.
I’m curious, what might be some of your personal anecdote on how you had shifted your own self-esteem and confidence to higher level?
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