Self-esteem is a crucial element of your overall happiness and well-being. In the simplest terms, self-esteem is the belief that you have in yourself and your abilities, and this can play a key role in mental health, confidence, and success.
Learning how to build your self-esteem can feel like an uphill battle because most of us are not conditioned to automatically see the best in ourselves. With just a few simple tricks, however, you will be able to boost your self-esteem and enjoy enormous benefits to your life and wellbeing.
To determine the ways in which self-esteem can help you, it’s important to take a closer look at the damage that poor self-esteem can do to your life. A lack of self-esteem can restrict and limit your life, preventing you from pursuing your goals and dreams. Low self-esteem can even negatively impact your relationships.
Learning how to break down negative cycles and patterns of behavior will raise your self-esteem and allow you to overcome self-imposed limitations. You’ll be able to explore and enjoy your life to its full potential.
Try these strategies to develop greater self-esteem and more fully enjoy your life:
- BE AWARE OF NEGATIVE THOUGHTS. One of the first steps on your journey is to become aware of your own negative thoughts. Only when you are aware of them will you have the power to change them. You can practice catching your thoughts as they occur. Try journaling to capture your negative thoughts, as this can make you more aware of what you are thinking at any given moment. Think about why you think these thoughts?
- ASK OTHERS FOR THEIR PERCEPTION OF YOU. Our self-esteem is often based on the way that we assume others see us, but we are not always accurate in our assessment. Those we love tend to be easier on us than we are on ourselves. Ask those close to you to compile a list of things that they like about you or to write a description of the way they see you. You may be pleasantly surprised at the answers!
- PARTICIPATE IN ACTIVIDADES THAT BUILD SELF-ESTEEM. Learning something new is great for our self-esteem, as it produces dopamine and endorphins in the brain – and both are crucial for helping us to feel good. Whether you’re trying something totalmente nuevo or returning to an old, favorite activity, give yourself something to do. Remember: you don’t have to be the best at something in order to enjoy it!
- FOCUS ON SUCCESS. Another habit to break is that of focusing on your failures and the things you have done wrong. Instead, each time you remember a failure, change your thinking to focus on a time when you smashed your goals. It is also helpful to see what you learned or how you grew. Failure is an important opportunity to stretch yourself. It’s a matter of perspectiva.
- BREAK THE APOLOGY HABIT. Many of us are conditioned to apologize even when we haven’t done anything wrong. This is especially common for women. This action, however, can make you feel like a failure and be detrimental to your self-esteem. During the next week, pay attention to how often you apologize, and change the language. Consider assertiveness training to help you make your point without apologizing unnecessarily.
- AVOID COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS. Comparing yourself to los demás will never end well, so practice focusing on your own life instead of worrying about others.
Building your self-esteem can be a long journey but putting in the work will help you to feel feliz and more confident!
Dr. Patty Jiménez is the Founder of Recetas. She obtained 2 Masters in Theology and Ministry and a Doctorate in Ministry specializing in Latinx theology and ministry. She has over 27 years experience in Catholic Ministry and is a spiritual director and training as a wellness coach.