As a mental health therapist, I have seen many clients struggle with self-esteem issues. Honestly, rebuilding self-esteem goes further than treating yourself kindly and reading inspirational quotes. Thinking patterns need to be re-evaluated FIRST and then the quotes will make more sense!
Here are 5 ideas to consider:
1. Check Your Perceptions – We all perceive the world differently. How you perceive the world AND yourself can be shaped by your experiences. What messages keep replaying in your head? If someone fed you unhealthy messages about yourself (“You’re not good enough”, “Don’t be a quitter”, “Maybe you didn’t try hard enough”) these messages may be on repeat in your head. If you TRULY want to rebuild your self-esteem take CONTROL of your thoughts. Change the tape and it will be easier to believe in your strengths.
2. Leave Your Mistakes In The Past – One of the hardest things for anyone to do is to forgive others. What’s even harder is forgiving yourself. Are you still beating yourself up about not getting into college? A failed relationship? Not getting hired for that killer job? Messing up your finances? You can’t move forward if your feet and heart are cemented in these mistakes. Use a trusted friend, spiritual advisor, mentor or counselor to help you through this process. Once you forgive yourself you can begin the process of loving yourself!
3. No Complaints!! – Listen to yourself. Read your Facebook posts and look at your Instagram following. Is your dialogue all negative? Or have you withdrawn into negativity by avoiding social media posts? How often do you find yourself complaining? No wonder rebuilding self-esteem seems so daunting! You’re drowning in garbage! Challenge yourself to lessen complaints. Try it for one day and see how many days you can conquer! Challenge yourself to talk about goals, favorite shows, hobbies, sports, etc.
4. Check Your Tribe – Do you have any optimistic or successful friends? Follow their footsteps. See who feeds them with positive messages. If your tribe is also full of complaints or drama then it’s time to block them. Stop blaming social media for being negative. You have control over what you view. Replace it with pages, blogs or news channels that educate you, uplift you and encourage you!
5. Don’t. Take. It. Personal. – I love this message and it keeps me from beating myself up. I learned this in the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. People in your life will literally throw their own crap on you. Stop catching their crap! It’s unnecessary weight. When I realized that people’s reactions to me were not a personal attack I was relieved of guilt, shame and self-sabotage. I no longer question my abilities, worth or value. Imagine how liberating that can be!
These five tips can get you on the path to self-love, rebuilding self-worth and can eliminate harmful thinking that threatened your self-esteem in the first place!