Self-esteem is a loaded concept. We don’t have enough, or we have too much. Maybe it causes flashbacks of awkward teen years, or reminds you of someone who thinks to highly of himself.
Growing self-esteem means fostering confidence in yourself and your abilities. It reflects an overall sense of value or worth and filters our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Self-esteem impacts our physical, emotional, and mental health, and it plays a role in our relationships and jobs.
If you are someone looking to better your self-confidence, here are some practical steps to take inventory of your thoughts.
Triggers – First, identify what or who triggers negative thinking. A difficult coworker? Checking your bank account? Interactions with certain family members?
Self-talk – Next, listen to your thinking, or “self-talk.” What do you tell yourself? is it based on fact or emotion? Rational or irrational? Perhaps you are simply assuming the worst-case scenario.
Accuracy – Are your thoughts true? If not, challenge them. Often times our thoughts are influenced more by perception than reality. We jump to conclusions, downplay the positive, or overgeneralize.
Positivity – Finally, replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Avoid thinking of “should have” and “could have” scenarios. When mistakes are made, forgive yourself. Give yourself credit for good things and small wins.
Taking Care of Yourself
A health self-esteem translates into accepting and valuing yourself for exactly who you are, even your flaws. Rearranging your thoughts and prioritizing emotional self-care takes time and practice. The more you challenge your negative thoughts and habits, the greater the pride you can take in yourself. Remember, there is only one unique you, and you are valuable to this world!