Love you and others will follow suit.

Hi, This week I’m going to carry on with my help and advice guide for Self Esteem. I can’t stress enough that you need to love and accept yourself before others will love you.  I have problems feeling valued if I am not valued by others. Being loved by others certainly does not hinder your self esteem. Might be more healthy if you are able to love yourself internally though. You need a reservoir of self-love to fall back on.

Learn to be assertive

  • Practise saying no. It could help to pause, take a breath and consider how you feel before agreeing to do something you don’t want to.
  • Give it time. Being assertive can feel difficult if you’re not used to it, but it can feel liberating – and it gets easier the more you do it.
  • Don’t take too much on. It’s ok to set boundaries around how much you do for other people. Over-stretching yourself to please others can drain your energy and affect your wellbeing.

The thing that has helped me the most has been learning to ignore other people’s opinions and expectations. I get to decide what’s important for me and my life and where to focus my energy/time. It wasn’t always that way. I tried too hard to please others and always wanted their approval or acceptance.

Set yourself a challenge

  • Do things you enjoy. You could take up a hobby, learn something new, do a creative activity or simply take the time to read a book or go for a walk.
  • Try volunteering. You might decide to volunteer your time for something you feel passionate about. For more information on volunteering,
  • Set small goals, such as trying a recipe, learning the days of the week in a new language or simply looking for information on something you’d like to do.

Try to do one thing that pushes you slightly … doesn’t matter if big or small … just something that makes you feel like you’re making progress. Don’t beat yourself up. Just allow yourself time to gradually build up your self-belief again

  • Do something for yourself every day. Try to get into the habit of doing something to be kind to yourself or look after yourself.
  • Let yourself have fun. Remember you don’t have to be perfect at something to enjoy doing it.

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So how can we help raise our self esteem?

To boost your self-esteem, you need to identify the negative beliefs you have about yourself, then challenge them. You may tell yourself you’re “too stupid” to apply for a new job, for example, or that “nobody cares” about you.Start to note these negative thoughts and write them down on a piece of paper or in a diary. Ask yourself when you first started to think these thoughts. Next, start to write down evidence that challenges these negative beliefs: “I’m really good at cryptic crosswords” or “My sister calls for a chat every week”. Write down other positive things about yourself, such as “I’m thoughtful” or “I’m a great cook” or “I’m someone that others trust”.

Also write down good things that other people say about you.

Aim to have at least 5 things on your list and add to it regularly. Then put your list somewhere you can see it. That way, you can keep reminding yourself that you’re OK.

“You might have low confidence now because of what happened when you were growing up,” says Professor Williams. “But we can grow and develop new ways of seeing ourselves at any age.”

Other ways to improve low self-esteem

Here are some other simple techniques that may help you feel better about yourself.

Recognise what you’re good at

We’re all good at something, whether it’s cooking, singing, doing puzzles or being a friend. We also tend to enjoy doing the things we’re good at, which can help boost your mood.

Build positive relationships

If you find certain people tend to bring you down, try to spend less time with them, or tell them how you feel about their words or actions.

Seek out relationships with people who are positive and who appreciate you.

Be kind to yourself

Professor Williams advises: “Be compassionate to yourself. That means being gentle to yourself at times when you feel like being self-critical.

“Think what you’d say to a friend in a similar situation. We often give far better advice to others than we do to ourselves.”

Start saying ‘no’

People with low self-esteem often feel they have to say yes to other people, even when they don’t really want to.

Visit me. I’ve bounced back from having a lack of confidence and low self esteem. I can help you do the same.

Until next time.

Have a great week and believe in yourself.

NameXX

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