How you think about yourself sets the tone for everything you do. Every interaction with another person, every choice you make, and every opinion you hold is influenced by your self-esteem. When you have high self-esteem, life is simply easier. The little things don’t bother you as much. You can make a mistake and easily bounce back because you don’t have to beat yourself up about it. You don’t need attention or validation from others to feel worthy of love because you give yourself all the love you need. As a result, people are more drawn to you and your stability, and you will naturally find it easier to give to others.
Obviously, everyone wants high self-esteem because of this variety of benefits, but it’s easier said than done. We hear messages all the time that tell us to we can’t love ourselves. The media tells us we need X, Y, or Z or we won’t be good enough, and unfortunately, many of us were not taught self-esteem growing up or have toxic people in our lives that keep us down. Fortunately, the only person responsible for your self-esteem is yourself, and with a lot of self-work and enough determination, you can raise your self-worth. Read on for some tips for raising your self-esteem.
Challenge Your Inner Critic
Everyone has an inner critic. It’s that little voice in your head that always seems to want to put you down. Maybe it tells you that you are lazy and need to work harder, that you aren’t good at your job, or that you are ugly and unworthy of love. Whatever it says, the louder your inner critic gets, the more difficult it is to love yourself. Fighting these negative thoughts isn’t as simple as turning off a switch, but you can go a long way by simply noticing when your inner critic tends to pop up. Keep in mind that, as mean as it is, your inner critic is only trying to motivate you the only way it knows how. Unfortunately, it doesn’t realize that saying hurtful things is not helping you. That is why it needs to be challenged.
When you hear that little voice say those cruel things to you, immediately challenge them. When it starts to say that you aren’t doing a good enough job, flip the script and tell your critic everything you are doing right. If it comes back with more insults, refocus your mind on something else, like what you are eating for dinner or what you have to do today. Don’t let your inner critic dictate your thought process.
Motivate Yourself in Other Ways
Your inner critic has been a source of motivation for a long time, but as you begin to challenge it more and more, it will be less and less effective. Fortunately, there are many healthier ways to motivate yourself. If you find yourself struggling to be compelled to do something, think instead of how you benefit from doing it. Instead of beating yourself up for not wanting to go to the gym, write out a list of reasons to go. Keep these benefits in mind any time you find yourself wavering in motivation; you could even put them somewhere you see often, like your refrigerator or next to your mirror. Over time, your inner critic will quiet more and more, you will be able to motivate yourself in healthier ways.
Appreciate Yourself Every Day
Each day, take a minute or two to just appreciate the things you like about yourself. Take a beat and write down three qualities you embody that you can appreciate. Be as specific as you can. You may write, “I made my friend laugh when they had a bad day,” or “I care very deeply about my partner.” This helps you think of yourself more positively over time and can lift your mood, even if it is only for a brief amount of time each day.
Let Go of Perfectionism
Perfectionism is a disease. It tells us that everything we do has to perfect, and if it can’t be, it’s not even worth trying. The key here is to learn to be okay with being “good enough.” If you listen to the perfectionism, nothing will ever get done, but if you can accept that finished is better than perfect, you are able to accomplish much more.
Raising self-esteem is easier said than done, and sometimes, you need help. If that’s the case, contact Counseling Services of Parker. Our kind counselor in Parker may be able to help you find your own self-worth.