Many of us have low self esteem. This can come from many factors. My low self esteem came from my childhood. I had two older brothers who never let me grow as a person. I was always told to shut up, you are only a girl and no, you can’t …
This lack of esteem and confidence came and went at various times of my life. When I was at college and learning many new things, my confidence and esteem soared. At primary and high school, it was at an all time low as I had no friends. It was fair to good when I was teaching but after my children were born and past the toddler stage, it plummeted again.
If you do have low self esteem, first you need to find the cause of it. It could be like mine, something that happened when you were a child. It could be bullying by your boss or co-workers, or put-downs by your partner. Whatever the reason, you have lost that awareness of you as a unique person, you believe all the negative things you and others are saying.
I’ve talked about the ‘evil twin ‘ before and it is imperative that you get rid of those negative messages. They are a big part of what is keeping you ‘in your box’. It’s not going to be easy, I know because I’ve been there and done the hard work. But boy, the rewards are so worthwhile.
Remind yourself that you are unique. There is no-one else just like you on this planet. Only you. Even if you are an identical twin, you are still unique. To help improve your self esteem, sit down and create a new self image that supports who you are inside. Work out just who that wonderful person is and focus on your most important values.
One of the hardest things when you have low self esteem is to learn to love yourself. I still struggle with this sometimes. You need to love yourself, warts and all. Work out just what are your strengths and weaknesses. Talk about your strengths and work on those weaker areas.
Create a ‘new you’ vision board with an image of you laughing or smiling right bang in the middle. Then find images of things you love or want to do and put them around you. These can be photos of your children/grandchildren/partner, a beautiful flower or peaceful scene, an eagle (a symbol of freedom and power) soaring in the skies, a cat asleep in the sun, somewhere you want to visit, whatever makes you feel good about life.
Learn to forgive your failings. No-one is perfect and no-one can do everything. I suck at technical stuff so I don’t stress over it. If I can’t find someone else to do it, I research and do it myself. When I make mistakes (and I do, often) I forgive myself immediately and tell myself I’m not perfect. I don’t berate myself for being stupid, something I used to do.
Design a life that you want to live, one that will give you confidence and happiness. If you need to make major changes to accomplish this, then make them without regret. If someone is holding you back, give them an ultimatum, they either stop putting you down or one of you will have to leave. If your children are causing you grief, and lets face it, children can do this so easily, talk to them and explain the new rules. You don’t have to tell them that they are draining your confidence in yourself, just let them know you won’t tolerate that sort of behavior any longer. Remember, you are the adult here.
Get rid of anger and learn to forgive others. Anger is self destructive and most certainly not good for us. I know how hard it can be to forgive others, there are some people in my life that I’ll probably never forgive but they’re either dead or I try not to see them. So if you cannot forgive them, put them out of your life and thoughts.
If, you had an unhappy childhood like I did, give your own children the childhood you wanted to have. Include boundaries in the love and fun and you’ll have friends for life. I did this for my children (with no role model) and my reward has been two loving and well adjusted adults who come home as often as they can. When they can’t see us, they’ll either ring or text.
Talk to people. If you have a good relationship with your significant other, explain your problems and accept help when it’s offered. If your SO is the problem, find a friend or counselor to talk to. Remember, it takes strength to ask for help. It is not a sign of weakness.
And always remember, you are the architect of your own life. Yes it’s hard to drag that low self esteem up from the hole it’s sitting in beneath your feet. Just know that your self confidence is attached to your self esteem by invisible silken threads, very strong threads. As your esteem lifts, your confidence soars. And then you can fly!