Self-esteem and confidence are basically an overall opinion of how you think about yourself, and can impact daily experiences. Our level of self-esteem affects virtually all of the areas of our lives, from the type of people we attract and our relationships, to career building and other important areas.
People with an unhealthy self-esteem can often send a vibe that other people can pick up on. Imagine a woman sitting in a coffee shop; she constantly thinks of herself as unattractive, not good enough, and worthless. She feels down and overwhelmed. She compares herself with others. How does she appear? Does she sit tall or does she slouch down and avoid eye contact? What type of vibe would she be sending? How would she present herself at work? Would she speak up in a conference or would she doubt her abilities and remain silent instead? Now, take that same woman, but with a healthier self-esteem. She is aware of her potential and her weaknesses, but when she makes a mistake she doesn’t get down on herself, and she values and respects herself. She has less doubts about herself and she knows what she is able to do. How would she present herself? What would be different? With both examples, the woman hasn’t physically changed, but her self-image, the people she attracts, and how she behaves is probably very different.
Having a healthy self-esteem impacts all areas of life and the people you attract. Creating a higher self confidence is a complicated area and can require a shift in your perceptions and thought processes. If your self-esteem is lower than you would like it to be, there is hope!
Here’s how you can build your self confidence and create a healthier self-esteem:
Retrain your Brain
Our brain can get used to thinking negatively, questioning our capabilities, doubting the possibilities, and worrying. If you have low self-esteem, your brain is probably trained to think with doubts and worry. Retrain your brain by thinking positively and accepting who you are with positive affirmations. When you first start retraining your brain, it will feel awkward and strange but that’s OK. You will be doing something new, which can often seem odd in the beginning. Some examples of positive thoughts are: “I know what I am doing”, “Nothing is wrong with me,” “I will be fine,” and “I have a lot to offer.” Tweak these to focus on the areas where you have difficulties. This is probably the most important aspect of building a stronger sense of self. Work on this daily. Accepting who you are will help develop a healthy self-esteem.
Take a History Inventory
Review your history and take a deep look at the messages you got growing up. Did you get the message that you can accomplish anything you put your mind and heart to? Or were you given the message that you have to be extremely careful at what you do and that you might mess up? Were you compared to your siblings or friends? Often times the messages we received growing up can severely impact our core self. Be more aware of the past messages so you can begin consciously correcting what you tell yourself.
Build a New Inventory
Prove your negative thoughts wrong by accomplishing the tasks that you doubt. Take a risk. If you think that you won’t ever be able to get organized, make it a goal and work to achieve it. Prove yourself wrong. The more you prove your fears and thoughts wrong, the more confidence you can build that you are actually able to accomplish the things you set your mind to.
Notice What you Have
Avoid comparing yourself with other people. Comparing will only point out what you don’t have, rather than allowing you to appreciate what you do have. Begin training your brain to notice what you have, what you do well, and avoid comparing yourself to others. You will never be any other person, so start accepting who you rather than fixating on someone else.
If you are struggling with an unhealthy self-esteem and want to make some changes, please contact me to schedule a therapy appointment, or book online using our easy online booking system!
About Jennine Estes, MFT
Think of me as your relationship consultant, I'm your neutral third party that can help you untangle the emotions and help you figure out what's really going on. I am a Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego, CA. Certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. Supervisor. I write relationship and self growth advice for my column Relationships in the Raw. Creator of #BeingLOVEDIs campaign. MFC#47653