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 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?