Everyone has moments when their self-esteem feels a little shaky. For some people, though, it can be a constant struggle. We can try to fake confidence in a number of ways, but until we get to the deeper reasons behind why we feel the way that we do about ourselves, low self-esteem is something that we will always have to contend with.
Most of us have a skewed perception of our value that’s based on other people’s judgments of who we are. We define ourselves through the eyes of others, and usually not in a positive way. Seeing other people as your mirror can be a bad habit, because sometimes their perception of you is like looking in a fun house mirror. The reflection can be distorted and completely untrue.
The only way that we can truly feel more self-confident is if we decide that we are worthy of respect and love. Building and maintaining a positive relationship with the self is a key component in increasing self-esteem.
None of us are perfect. We all have faults and cracks, and these “flaws” are the very things that make us unique and beautiful. Acknowledge yourself in your entirety, both the “good” and the “bad,” and choose to love it all.
If you are having some trouble with self-esteem, here are nine things that will help you to boost your confidence.
1. Stand in the “Superwoman” pose. Researchers at Harvard studied people while they did different “power poses.” They found that when people stood with their hands on their hips, their chests out and heads up for two minutes, there were significant changes in their emotional states. This isn’t so much about “faking it until you make it,” but standing proudly with your head held high. If you are feeling a little down on yourself, stand like this for a couple of minutes. The mind-body connection will kick in and your attitude will change.
2. Live and speak your truth. When you listen to your inner voice and make choices that are in alignment with your personal truth, you can’t help but feel more confident. Say no when you mean it, speak kindly but firmly, and set good boundaries.
3. Make a list of your achievements. You probably have accomplishments and qualities that you are proud of, but sometimes you forget how great you are! Accomplishments large and small should be listed, from graduating high school, to staying calm when life gets chaotic.
4. Look at things from a new perspective. The only thing in this world that we have control over is our perspective. If we constantly see only the negative in ourselves or the world, we can feel helpless and insecure. Every time you think a negative thought, try to think of at least two positive ones to replace it.
5. Stop comparing yourself to others. We all come in to this world with building blocks that we are supposed to use to create our lives. If you are constantly focused on what someone else is doing with their blocks, if they are building faster or slower, better or worse, then you are not putting enough care and attention towards your own creation. When you see someone who has something that you want but don’t have, try something new. Instead of saying “I suck, I will never have that. Why does she get that and not me?” say “I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that she has that! I want that! Thank you Universe for bringing it to me!”
6. Decide to let go of negative relationships. When people in our lives don’t treat us well, it can have a direct effect on how we feel about ourselves. If you have a relationship with someone who isn’t very nice to you, then maybe it’s time to let them go. You deserve better.
7. Make a firm commitment to having positive self-esteem. What you focus on is what you receive, so really committing to a healthier you will have a huge impact on your confidence level. Say with intention every day, “I am firmly committed to supporting myself and feeling more confident.”
8. Help others. Get involved in your community by volunteering. When we help others, it can make us feel good about ourselves because we are involved in a meaningful activity.
9. Celebrate your “wins. When you accomplish something, even if it’s just getting up on time, throw your fist in the air, do a victory dance, and give yourself some positive self-talk. It might feel a little silly at first, but being your own best cheerleader is a great habit to get in to. It’s fun and it feels good.
Barbara Buck is a Foundational Reconnective Healing Practitioner, writer, and teacher. For more information about her, please visit her website at www.theomancollective.com. Check her out on the Happy Empaths Twitter feed @the_empath.