Self-esteem is one of those things that we are never taught about, but impacts upon every day of our lives.
How would you rate your self-esteem? Have you ever thought about it before? If it is low, comfort zones are rarely left, dreams are seldom realized, and the world can be a lonely and frightening place.
If it is high, anything is possible, criticism is not to be feared, and all failures can be overcome.
So how can we make sure our self-esteem is high? Look at the following seven steps to assess how high/low your self-esteem is and identify what you can do about it.
1. Do you have negative beliefs about yourself?
In a world where we are bombarded with images of the perfect body image and what we need to live the perfect life, it is easy to beat ourselves up for not making the grade.
Are you somebody who rises above all of the hype or do you fall into the consumer trap of being convinced that you need to look like a supermodel, behave like the model citizen and have every new gadget or fantastic holiday going to be happy?
How do you view yourself?
Take some time to think about this. Write a list if it helps.
If most of your beliefs are negative (I am too short, too fat, too ugly, too poor, too dull, etc…), then this is a symptom of low self-esteem.
Try to dispel some of this negativity by doing what you can to change the beliefs you have.
Try telling yourself the opposite and see how this affects your behavior and the way you look at yourself.
After all, your thoughts are yours to control!
2. Do you know what you are good at?
We are all good at something, even if we have not figured out what it is yet.
It could be the art of conversation, making people laugh, organization, helping others, singing, creating things, etc.…
If you can’t think of anything, then this is a symptom of low self-esteem.
Spend some time asking those that know you well what you are good at. It will be good for you to hear what they have to say.
Start a new group that uses the skills that those close to you say that you have.
This way, you will improve and learn to appreciate your skills.
3. Do you have positive relationships?
It is very difficult to have positive relationships when self-esteem is low.
The way we treat ourselves tends to be the way that we treat others, so this has to be the starting point. If we are patient and loving with ourselves, then this will flow into all that we do.
Think about all of the relationships you have in your life. Are they positive? Do you expect too much of others because you expect too much of yourself?
Start with treating yourself with respect and dignity, the rest will follow.
4. Are you kind to yourself?
This is so important.
So many of us are too harsh on ourselves, and this is a sign of low self-esteem.
It is okay to make a mistake; no-one is perfect. The important thing is that we learn from them and that we do what we have to do to make up for them.
Living in fear of getting things wrong or upsetting someone is a life half-lived. Check out the voice in your head.
How does it react when you make a mistake or when you are thinking about yourself?
Make sure you take control. Make sure it is kind! If we were all perfect, the world would be a very boring place.
5. Are you assertive?
Do you have confidence in your decisions?
Not being assertive is another indicator of low self-esteem.
If you feel that others make better decisions than you and let them take over, it is a sign that you have little belief in yourself and your capabilities.
Try to identify why. Did something happen that caused you to question your abilities in this area? These beliefs can be challenged.
Watch people who are assertive and follow their lead until you feel confident enough not to watch them anymore.
It may well be that you have never had a good role model. It’s never too late to learn.
6. Are you someone who always says ‘yes’?
This is a sign of low self-esteem. Worrying that we may upset someone can cause upset and lead us to take on things which we know it would be better not to take on.
Whenever you are posed with this dilemma, ask yourself your intention for saying yes. If the only reason is that you do not want to upset someone, you should probably be saying no.
It gets easier with time, the hardest being the first time.
Take control of your thoughts, be kind to yourself, and remember that you are not here to please everybody.
The person you are here to please most is yourself so that you can then be a happy, assertive person bringing positivity into the lives of others.
7. Do you challenge yourself?
If the answer to this question is no, it is a sign of low self-esteem.
When we are confident and allow ourselves to learn from failure rather than fearing it, we are willing to step right out of our comfort zones straight into the unknown.
This is when magic can happen.
This is when we can experience truly amazing things.
When was the last time you tried something new? If you find this difficult to do, question the reason why.
What is the worst that can happen? Visualize yourself doing whatever it is that is out of your comfort zone and the feeling of joy that its completion will bring. Stay with this feeling. Tell yourself that you can do it.
Start small and move onto bigger things. Dispel the myths that you are not able. We can all do whatever we tell ourselves we can do as long as we put the effort in!
The world is huge. Our place in it is small and short; it is hugely important that the life we lead is positive for us and for others, and this starts with how we view ourselves.
Self-esteem plays a huge factor in what we allow ourselves to do and what we allow ourselves to achieve in every aspect of our lives.
If self-esteem is low, it is important to recognize it and do something about it.
Every life is valuable, including our own. We need to make sure we see it that way!