Have you ever felt like you aren't enough the way that you are? That if you could just be a little smarter, 10lbs lighter, funnier and more popular that your life would be different?
I often recall that scene from Pirates of The Caribbean when Jack Sparrow says "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem".
So, the problem is not you, the problem is your attitude towards you!
One of the things I like doing most is making personal development easy and fun. For me, at the heart of all human growth is the relationship we each have with ourselves, or in other words our self-esteem.
Self-esteem is how we feel about our worth and our value and is often synonymous with self-regard or self-respect.
If, like me, you have ever second guessed yourself, felt like an impostor, held yourself back or sabotaged yourself its probably because you don’t feel very good about yourself.
Have you ever heard yourself say I'm not good enough, I'm so bad at my job, I'm too embarrassed to even tell people what I do, No one will ever like me, What would s/he see in me?
I know exactly how this feels so I want to help you with these 7 simple, effective and doable steps you can take right now to learn how to like yourself better and boost your self-esteem.
1. Use Positive Self Talk:
Affirmations are great (I consider myself the affirmation queen) but if you are suffering from low self esteem it's really important that you use affirmations that are believable and personal! If you don’t believe what you are saying, your mind will just reject it and you will end up feeling worse.
Self esteem is fuelled by real life experiences, not hope or false beliefs. So, affirmations should reinforce what you are already good at AND what makes you feel good!
2. Stop beating yourself and use compassion instead:
For a lot of us, when we make a mistake we beat ourselves up. This self criticism never actually does anything to help us, does it? In fact, it's actually very harmful and damaging behaviour. Research has suggested (pay attention) that self compassion is crucial to helping you like yourself more.
Imagine a young child making a mistake - would you go up to her and tell her that she is an awful eejit and should be embarrassed of herself? Or would you, with loving kindness reinforce that she does many things well and that she can always try again!
Talk to yourself like you talk to a toddler!
3. Do things you enjoy and make you happy:
We have to nourish our self-esteem. So, whether you feel like you have high or low self esteem it's important to continually do things that actually make you feel good, proud, accomplished, appreciated, respected, or empowered. That is why goal setting is so powerful, because by taking steps towards our goals we are increasing our sense of "I can" and "I got this".
4. Celebrate all the little things:
Happiness can be found is the smallest of gestures and the most fleeting moments. Not only is it important to acknowledge and savour all of these experiences but we also need to celebrate all the things that we do well on our journey. No matter how small you think the win is, take stock of it and celebrate it. Remember, you're not pushing the goal posts back, you're just forgetting to celebrate your wins before creating new goals.
5. Don’t compare yourself to others:
You are a unique, wonderful human being and you are so important to your friends, family, community and world. Comparison will rob you of your happiness and success so embrace your individuality and unique spirit or energy. It is not your job to make people like you by becoming more like them! Your only job is to fall in love with the person you are and are becoming!
6. Do more:
Always do 2 more reps! Whether you are in the gym, jogging outside or finishing work on a Friday night always try to go that extra mile and push yourself a little more each day! You have it in you to over deliver and the feeling of pride when you do will help show you that you CAN do anything you put your mind to, and more!
7. Focus on the good things:
When you have low self esteem it's easy to become caught up in a cycle of negativity, expectation and self loathing - your energy gravitates towards the negative aspects of your life and as a result, grows. Next time you start to feel negative, grab your phone and make a list of three things you're grateful for. It doesn't have to be big. Even wearing a pair of pants in public and not being caught out naked is a win here!
The most important relationship in your life is the relationship you have with yourself. It is not self indulgent, conceited or selfish to nurture your own needs or desires, in fact, it is imperative!