You are the one person in your life that you cannot get away from, you are always with you, and therefore doesn’t it make sense to like yourself?
People confuse healthy self-esteem with arrogance sometimes. Arrogance is an inflated view of the self where as healthy self-esteem is knowing who you are, faults included and being okay with that, after all nobody is perfect.
So how can you increase your self-esteem and really like who you are?
- Positive self-talk. Often we are unaware of the automatic criticisms we subject ourselves to. Negative self talk, like “you are too stupid to do that,” is unhelpful and destructive. Look for evidence that the criticism is true and then when you realise that it is unfounded, replace the negative self talk with a positive. So the example above might be replaced by, “if I take my time I am sure I could learn that”.
- List your positive qualities. Sit with a pen and pad and make a list of 10 things you like about yourself. Make yourself aware of the positive traits you possess and feel good about them.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. You are a unique individual and everybody is different and special. Accept the person you are, faults included but be open to change and make efforts to cultivate traits in yourself that you admire.
- See mistakes as an opportunity to learn. Everybody makes mistakes; it doesn’t mean you are a failure, just human. Own your part in the mistake, assess what you could have done differently and use this as an opportunity for your personal growth so that you choose differently next time. Remember that your action may have resulted in failure but you are not a failure.
- Practice being assertive. Using “I” statements when expressing yourself shows that you are in charge of your life, for example “ I feel hurt when you talk to me like that” or “ I think you look lovely in that dress”. Own your feelings, thoughts and views in life and express them confidently.
- Talk about the positives in life. In your interactions with friends and family are you always discussing problems? Try looking for the positive things in life and discussing those. The more you focus on the positive the better you feel about yourself and the world you live in.