8 Ways To Improve Your Self-Esteem
There’s a lot of chaos and drama going on in the world right now but the ability to navigate this successfully is going to come down to your self-esteem and your self-respect, which are intricately connected.
You need self-esteem to have self-respect.
The problem, as I see it, is that most people suffer from extremely low self-esteem.
But let’s back up a bit and examine why that may be.
When you are born, you are surrounded by your family… your tribe. You take on their beliefs and values, at least initially. Then you go to school and you more or less align with the beliefs and values of your friends and teachers. And so you go along, to get along.
You don’t have self-esteem. What you have is the esteem of others.
You behave/submit/comply in order to belong, be loved, and feel safe. What you do and say will be guided by your concern over what others will think, say and do to you. If their beliefs and values are dysfunctional, guess what, you likely will be as well.
As you get older, especially around adolescence, you are meant to develop your own sense of self… who you are as an individual. Not just as a member of a tribe.
If you were successful in separating from your tribe so that you learned to put your needs above or at least equal to that of your tribe, then you developed self-esteem.
As a child, if someone didn’t treat you well but you were dependent upon them for your survival (literally), you likely did what you had to in order to survive. That is self-preservation.
But as you get older and aren’t as dependent upon others, if you allow someone to mistreat you, then you are actively giving your power away and lowering your self-esteem. This is a choice. And not a good one for you.
Unfortunately, a person with low self-esteem doesn’t trust their own intuition and decision-making capabilities. Instead, they outsource their thinking and decision-making to others. This blind faith in figures of authority, prestige, and power ultimately ends in impositions and then acquiesence to never-ending impositions.
Submission and obedience are the hallmarks of low self-esteem.
If someone isn’t able to separate from the tribe, they will inevitably give their power away for the “greater good.” That sounds virtuous, but it’s at their personal expense. What makes up a society is individuals, so what’s not good for the individual is not good for the society.
If a person has high self-esteem or at least some self-esteem, they would not be so quick to give their power away. They may still desire to be of service to others, but not at the expense of themselves. Sacrificing yourself to others is a cult mentality and our CULT-ure is big on self-sacrifice.
Women, more than anyone, feel guilty if they don’t ascribe to martyrdom. Doing everything for everyone else and making yourself last on your priority list. As the saying goes, you can’t give from an empty cup. But our society puts the emphasis on bleeding yourself dry for the sake of others. But what about you? Do not expect the tribe to take care of you.
The hallmarks of self-esteem are individuality and authenticity.
They don’t care what others think. They don’t feel compelled to do what everyone else is doing. And they damn well don’t submit and comply just because someone tells them to. These are the people who are the black sheep, that go against the grain, that stand up for themselves.
To put it simply, self-esteem is trust in yourself. Whereas, not having self-esteem means putting your trust in others.
What is SELF-ESTEEM and how do we get it?
Self-esteem can be described as:
- confidence in one’s own worth or abilities
- a person’s overall sense of self-worth or personal value (how much you appreciate and like yourself)
Most commonly, self-esteem involves a variety of beliefs about yourself, for example, the appraisal of your own appearance, beliefs, emotions, and behaviors. However, much of our appraisal is based on the appraisal from others. Which is why self-esteem tends to be externally created.
But you don’t get/improve self-esteem through the opinion of others. Rather, your self-esteem is created internally.
“Self-esteem is being able to sustain your reality without the approval of others.” ~ Caroline Myss
Self-esteem is created through:
Being unapologetically you
Have the confidence to be yourself and stop caring about what others think. What you say, think and do is your business. Not Karen’s.
Don’t allow anyone to tell you what to believe, what you can and cannot say and what your perceptions of everything ought to be.
READ: 10 Qualities Of A Sexually Confident Woman
Setting boundaries and enforcing them
Nothing says low self-esteem and a lack of self-respect like submitting to tyranny and madness. The world is swimming in it.
Learn to say NO to things you know are not in your best interest. Don’t allow people to mistreat you.
You can’t have self-respect if you let others disrespect you. When people show you who they really are, believe them. And then walk away.
And stand up for what you believe in, even if you are the only one believing it. Don’t allow others to gaslight you.
What you allow will continue, so stop allowing it.
Staying true to your word
If you say you’re going to do something/not do something, then make damn sure you follow through. There’s no quicker way to undermine your self-esteem than to go back on your word. Don’t do it.
Treating your body with love, respect and compassion
READ: The Sensual Woman’s Guide To Eating Well
Also READ: The Sexy Woman’s Guide To Exercise
READ: 10 Ways To Love And Respect Yourself
Listening to your body and your intuition
And following that…instead of what everyone else is doing and saying.
READ: Do You Let Your Intuition Guide You?
Asking for what you want and need
You get what you ask for in life.
But you’ll only ask for what you think you deserve. Whether that’s with your friends, family, employer or lover.
You manifest your own reality. Decide what you want, take action and accept nothing less.
READ: Why Women Don’t Ask For What They Want
Making yourself a priority
I wrote a whole blog on that. See below.
READ: It’s Time To Start Making Yourself A Priority
Doing the inner work
I will need to write an entire blog on this, but in a nutshell, you need to determine what subconscious programs are running your life. Fears and past traumas affect you on a daily basis, whether you are aware of them or not.
Do you make time to do nothing and reflect on your life? Are you avoiding dealing with people and things that don’t serve your highest good? Is there someone you need to forgive so that you can move forward?
Inner work involves dealing with the core issues of unhappiness in your life and figuring out where you are letting your energy be drained from you. And then dealing with it.
Taking personal responsibility for your life is the first step.
Take that step. xo
Photo Credit: Adobe Stock/deagreez