For many years my self esteem was in the toilet. As a child I took criticism to mean that I wasn’t good enough, and I carried that with me into adulthood. Then, as an adult I struggled with alcoholism and my self esteem became crushed by actions I was ashamed of. I felt like I was imprisoned by my own mind.
However, it doesn’t matter how low your image of yourself plunges, you can always build your self esteem to heights of confidence and love.
You are the creator
When we are young children, we inherently know that we are creators. We are expressive, trying new things with joy and curiosity. We aren’t discouraged if we don’t succeed immediately, as when we are learning to walk. We have dreams and we move toward them with faith. Overthinking is not even a thing!
Somewhere along the way, due to the super mold-ability of our brains and subconscious minds before the age of eight, we take in what the people around us are impressing as fact and believe what they are telling us. We are forced to do many things we don’t want to do and are taught that our life is out of our control. Our lives become dictated by people and situations around us, and that is what we learn to believe.
You can always change
It doesn’t matter how long you have felt inadequate or like you’ve let yourself or others down. Like me, you may have felt down on yourself for most of your life. No matter how long its been, you can decide right now to reject the lies and create new beliefs in your subconscious mind.
When I started changing my thinking, I didn’t get hung up on where the beliefs came from. I just wanted to change them! And so with time, I forgave the people in my life, as they had also been taught to see life in that way. I decided I would be the change. It has to start somewhere!
“You have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving yourself and see what happens.”Louise Hay
Ways to build self esteem
#1- Get to know yourself
This was the first step on my journey to higher self esteem. I had noooo idea who I was. I didn’t know my preferences, desires, creative abilities, nothing. I had been so enmeshed in what other people wanted and parroting what other people believed that I didn’t know what was real for me and what I had learned from someone else.
In order to build your self esteem, start peeling the onion of other people’s opinions off of your true self. Start questioning, “Am I feeling like I have to do this because I really want to, or because I want to look a certain way to other people?” Start asking yourself if you really do prefer doing a certain activity or if you do it so that you fit in. What do you want to do?
I’m still pealing the onion and getting to my true self. Its a journey, and its so worth the effort and attention. Here are some ways to get to know yourself:
- Pay attention to what you like. See how many things every day you can find that you enjoy and want to experience. Also notice what you don’t prefer, always countering with what you would want instead.
- Spend some quiet time with yourself. No TV, loud music, or distractions. Sit quietly and feel your body, let the thoughts drift through your head. Notice what you think. Start paying attention to whats going on inside.
- Write out what you value in life and what you want to experience. How would you want to live if no one else’s opinions mattered?
- Talk to yourself. You don’t have to do it out loud if you don’t want. Lol. But start having conversations with that deeper part of you that is dwelling in your unconscious awareness. That part will respond, and you’ll be amazed as ideas, answers to questions, and a full blown relationship develops!
#2- Know your worth
I have this reminder pinned to my vision board so I can remember it every day. Its not that I want to feel that I need to stand up for myself or defend my value, because I’ve found that if I think that way there will show up an abundance of situations where I will need to do just that. However, the value I will begin to see in myself will cause me to put a decisive end to being mistreated in any way.
I am impressing on my subconscious that I am invaluable to this world. Without me, the universe would be incomplete. This reminder helps me step into my true and confident self every day, no matter who I’m with and no matter where I am. I know my worth and the massive value I bring to every encounter.
Here are some ways to practice knowing your worth:
- Set boundaries. As you start to know more of what you want and don’t want, you will begin to live your life accordingly. That means making sure people around you know what you want and don’t want too. It will be uncomfortable at first, but will become easier with time and people will respond positively when they know exactly where you stand.
- Express yourself. You have so much unique beauty and creative energy to share with this world! You don’t need to be like anyone else. Follow your inner guidance. Get involved with art, or connect with people on a Facebook group you’re interested in. If you have an idea at work, blurt it out! As you start to believe that what you have to offer is valuable, others will reflect that as well.
- Learn a skill and share it with others. What is something you enjoy and want to become good at? Guitar? Writing a book? Gardening? Focus on learning, and pay attention to the tricks and lessons that were the most helpful to you. There are platforms such as Skillshare, YouTube or others where you can share what helped you. You will build your self esteem when you can help someone through a process that you have been through yourself.
#3- Validate your feelings
Many of us as children are taught not to express negative emotions. We are yelled at for fussing or if we’re scared we’re told there’s nothing to be afraid of. When our feelings are not validated as we grow up, as adults we may discount our feelings, stuffing them and treating them as unimportant.
Sometimes our feelings give us the impression that there is something wrong with us. We think that we shouldn’t be feeling the way we are. We might become completely swept away by our feelings and identify with them so strongly that we react in anger or avoidance (drinking/Netflix binging/overworking).
Important points to remember when validating our feelings:
- You are not your emotions. Emotions stem from thoughts that are believed by your subconscious. You transcend your thoughts and your emotions as you are a spiritual being. So, realize that how you’re feeling doesn’t change your core self. Feelings are letting you know that there is a belief that is unhealthy to your body and energy flow, which allows you to change those thinking patterns.
- Negative emotions will dissipate. I was taught by an amazing therapist, that thoughts are like clouds. They will float away and not linger forever. This is helpful because I know sometimes strong negative feelings can feel all-encompassing, as though the world is ending. I learned to acknowledge them, let them be, even send them love, and then after a time they will drift off. No need to fear them, fight them, or shame yourself.
- Appreciate your feelings. Your feelings are feedback from your body. This is your inner self speaking to you. I take note during the day when I am triggered into an emotional reaction to a situation. These are opportunities for me to see where I can modify my beliefs. My feelings allow me to grow and expand into a more freer human experience.
#4- Accomplish goals
A game-changer that will quickly help you build your self esteem is setting goals and accomplishing them. This is not always the first step, due to the fact that low self esteem can create a lack of motivation. But once you are on the path and building momentum day by day, this action step will cause quantum leaps in your life!
I’m at the point in my journey where I’m shooting higher than I ever could have dreamed and I know I will achieve my goals. My confidence has grown along the journey as I reach one goal at a time. My excitement has also grown, and I want this for every person because I believe we are here to create, grow, and expand the world as a whole.
Ways to accomplish goals:
- Start small. If you are just starting to build your self esteem, than you will need to have small goals to begin. I started with committing to writing in my appreciation journal (I could never stick to journaling EVER) just 5 things I was grateful for every day. It was something that would only take me 2-3 minutes, which was perfect for when I forgot and needed to do it quickly. Even with that small task, I showed myself that I could be trusted to do what I said I would. This was huge!
- Break them down. Make sure your goals are broken into smaller steps, well laid out and organized. This helps because you can focus on one part fully instead of worrying about the whole thing. Your mind will be laser focused and before you know it, all the steps will be done!
- Celebrate your wins. It is super important to actively look for and celebrate any amount of movement in the direction of achieving your goal. This will be your energy, and the law of attraction will work to bring you what you are focused on. This will work like compounding interest and the wins will multiply.
#5- Know that everything happens FOR you
Start to believe that the universe is working FOR you not against you. Even the seemingly negative experiences can be transformed. Make a decision that you choose peace, confidence, and love over being right. Decide that you are going to look for the good in every moment in order to pave the life you want in the future. What you believe and think about is what you create.
Everything changed for me when I decided that being happy and free from my victim state was more important than anything. I did whatever it took to change my thinking and achieve peace with myself. Little did I know that making that decision would not only free me from the negative self image that had trapped me my entire life, but it offered me the ability to create my entire life the way that I want! I know now from experience, that everything is happening for me every moment of every day. I am so grateful!
Ways to cultivate a positive outlook:
- Start an Appreciation Journal! This is the single most powerful daily habit that changed my life. It started with 3 things, then went to 5 things, then into 5 things I appreciate about myself and 5 things I appreciate about others, and keeps morphing. Its literally my favorite part of my day. I highly suggest this one done daily.
- Assume everything that happens is an opportunity. This didn’t happen right away for me, and I still work on remembering this idea when unexpected situations arise. But I have been shown soooo many times at this point that what may seem like an obstacle usually turns out to be nothing or even a positive. I had a bug fly up my nose while I was walking Charlie (my dog) yesterday, and after snorting a bunch and then not breathing out of my nose for the remainder of the walk, I felt grateful for my nose hairs that stopped that bug from going straight into my lungs! It may be a silly story, but it shows you that ANYTHING can be turned into an opportunity for positive thought.
- Positive aspects journal. This journal helped me tremendously regarding my relationships with others. Its so easy to forget that spiritually we are all connected and a part of the same spiritual mind. Everything in my environment, including the people, are a reflection of myself in some way. Writing positive aspects about people who were rubbing me the wrong way was a great way to release the resistance to them. I found so much relief and amazingly, the way they acted either changed, stopped bothering me, or they were not in my environment anymore. Its amazing how this works!
Go fourth and LIVE
I hope you found some info here than can help you on your journey to greater self esteem and a more confident experience. Remember to be kind to yourself always and understanding; change can take time and definitely takes consistency. Know that no matter what, you can change your beliefs and be free to live your life to the fullest in every possible way!