High self esteem allows for healthy relationships, effective communication, personal and professional growth (due to the high value placed on development and belief in one’s self), and positive societal behavior (treating others with respect). What happens when an individual has low self esteem? How does it manifest and appear to the outside world? Often the lack of self worth manifests as a doormat where the person allows themselves to be taken advantage of and never taking a stand. Others are constantly involved in conflict because they feel attacked and need to protect themselves, therefore appearing very defensive. Another possibility is having a very high ego to counteract the lack of self worth which manifests as arrogance or over confidence. Are there benefits in having a low self image? Although it’s clear that having high self esteem allows individuals to further in their careers and personal lives more efficiently, challenges arise(including recession and unemployment) which immediately contribute to changes in self image. Here are some suggestions on how to work through what’s blocking you, followed by ways to focus on your strengths to help overcome these obstacles.
1. Understand exactly why you’re feeling low, where did it come from? What specifically is getting you down?
2. When things don't go your way, don’t automatically label the situation as negative. Ask the question: What is the positive in this? What lesson can I learn from this experience?
3. Understand the harm that’s being caused from the destructive feelings… Create a support system to share your concerns and then map out the potential solutions.
4. Find effective ways to be aware of these negative situations in the future, see the lesson and create a plan of action.
8 tips to build your self esteem:
1. What makes you feel proud? What are your achievements? Write them down when you’re feeling good about yourself, when you’ve just finished a very productive day or when you’ve achieved a goal and feel accomplished.
2. Do a SWOT analysis- Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities (options including activities, job opportunities, contacts), Threats (people and things getting in your way of accomplishing your high self worth).
3. Associate with positive, self confident individuals, they will rub off on you and also show you the light in every dark situation.
4. Ask for feedback, be vulnerable and open to change.
5. Plan ahead. Self-confidence comes from being prepared and aware.
6. Take action. High self esteem comes from taking action and putting things into motion, just thinking about it doesn’t do anything. Break down your challenges and start working through them one step at a time.
7. Role-play and rehearse for success- To handle conflict, confrontation, reprimanding an employee, job interview, negotiating a raise, or making a presentation, it’s so much easier once you’ve practiced it.
8. Celebrate your success and share with others.
We experience so many daily challenges and obstacles which cause stress and prevent us from living a peaceful and enjoyable life. Given the current economy, real estate market, and high unemployment rates, stress levels seem to be at an all-time high. Relieving stress and finding the calm and clarity to make important decisions and enjoy life to the fullest is imperative. Since we can’t re-do what’s already done, let’s make sure to enjoy the daily journey that we create-with as little stress as possible. Having a friend, family member, or coach could really benefit in discussing daily pressures and brainstorming solutions. In the meantime, here are some suggestions for alleviating stress and manifesting tranquility:
1. Live in the present! How does living in the past and focusing on regrets help you fulfill your life’s purpose and allow you to enjoy your existence? Learn from previous experiences by living smarter today. When things don’t go your way, look at the benefits of being spontaneous and take yourself out of your comfort zone.
2. Meditation can clear the mind to help you relax while yoga, tai chi, and qi gong will also provide physical exercise.
3. Do something enjoyable on a daily basis and schedule it as though it was a required task. This might include volunteering, time in the sun, walking outside, art, writing, crafts, or watching your favorite TV show.
4. Workout by joining a gym or becoming part of a team (softball, volleyball, running group). Not only will physical activity release tension, joining a group will provide motivation and a greater sense of belonging.
5. Wind down before bedtime (minimum of 1-2 hours). Most media sources (TV, radio, and computer) cause our mind to race which prevents us from falling asleep peacefully. Give your body and mind some time to relax by reading a book, journaling, or organizing the activities for the following day.
6. Have some reflection time. Write down your concerns, what’s causing stress/fear, then brainstorm potential solutions, and also be aware of worst-case scenarios. Then visualize the ideal situation, problems solved/eliminated, and feel yourself enjoying the rewards of your hard work! Being able to visualize a solution is very important in relieving stress because it allows you to see and feel a resolution, which means that peace is possible and potentially around the corner.
7. Get enough sleep, 7-8 hours at minimum will help you feel rejuvenated and prevent the little things from adding to the stress.
Regardless of the stress relieving method, finding and removing the source of the problem is ideal. If that’s not possible, it’s beneficial to find ways to balance the negative with positive or change your perspective about the stress causer. As mentioned earlier, having a friend, family member, or coach to share another view or perspective is valuable for promoting change and empowering you to think differently.
Have you ever found yourself getting really frustrated with the way people conduct themselves, handle issues, react to situations, or respond to you? Every time you see them, interact with them, or even feel their presence in a room, your hairs stand up and your blood starts to boil. You probably find yourself asking,” Why does this person frustrate me so much? Why do they get to me, and why am I letting them get to me?” Are you ready to hear the answer and embark on a journey of self-discovery and potentially learn things about yourself that you don’t want to know?
We are all familiar with the glass half full and half empty perspective on life. What causes us to believe in the positive outlook versus the negative outlook? Are we born with a gene that automatically triggers us to be an eternal optimist or pessimist? The question is, if having a positive perspective on life can reduce blood pressure, keep us young and healthy, and overall improve our life, then why do so many people view life and its challenges with such a negative outlook?