Self Esteem Building Through
Positive Thought and Action
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Self esteem building can make the difference between a life of feeling insecure and inadequate and creating an empowered and joyful life. It can be done most effectively through a combination of positive action and positive thinking.
Self esteem can be defined as having a realistic respect for or favorable impression of oneself. Truly healthy self esteem allows us to appreciate ourselves, warts and all. Having good self esteem does not mean thinking that everything we are and do is wonderful, it simply means that we can identify and enjoy our strengths, and avoid being too harsh on ourselves when it comes to our perceived weaknesses. It is also easier for a person with healthy self esteem to recognize (without judgment) aspects of their life that they are not satisfied with, and take positive action to improve them. Self esteem building and maintenance is vitally important to living a happy, healthy life.
There are many benefits to having good self esteem, and these range from feeling happier and more in control of our lives and ourselves, being better able to cope with life’s ups and downs, having better relationships, experiencing better health, and being able to create more success and fulfillment in our work.
Self esteem building allows us to create a solid base of confidence in ourselves and provides an emotional buffer from difficulties that we may encounter in our lives. A person with good self esteem is less likely to take every chance remark from others too personally, and to beat themselves up over every perceived mistake they make. By being able to separate themselves emotionally from events that are occurring around them, this person can cope with things from a position of greater strength, calm, and clarity. They learn from their experiences and develop their skills and understanding in doing so, which in turn enhances self esteem building.
Clearly the case for building good self esteem is a strong one, but what if your self esteem is at rock bottom? Where do you start?
One thing that can lead to poor self esteem is being unable to acknowledge our strengths and abilities, and this can easily become a destructive cycle. By failing to appreciate the things that are good about ourselves, our self esteem becomes lowered, and we find it harder and harder to find anything in relation to ourselves to feel good about.
If you are currently on this downward spiral, don’t despair. A simple decision that you want to create stronger self esteem can begin reversing the trend. Then, start building your self esteem by spending time doing something you love and are good at.
In commencing self esteem building, make it a priority to do as much as you can of an activity that you can do. Forget taking on challenges right now – save those for when you are feeling strong and confident. Think of something, however simple or small, that you have mastered already, and start spending time doing that.
As well as actually taking part in your chosen activity, really focus on the enjoyment you gain, and enjoy your ability to do it. The more activities that you can participate in that help you feel capable and accomplished the better, but even one is a great start!
As well as noticing that you are doing a good job at whatever you are doing, you need to start giving yourself some encouraging feedback. Positive action is one part of self esteem building, and the other equally important part is positive thought. If you have spent most of your life telling yourself that you are stupid, clumsy, unattractive, or whatever other horrible insults so many of us throw at ourselves, it is no wonder that your self esteem is probably very shaky. It is time to stop telling yourself negative things that you wouldn’t dream of saying to a friend, but that you habitually say to yourself.
When you are actively engaged in something you are good at, it is a great time to start telling yourself that you are smart, coordinated, talented, and attractive. This will almost certainly feel weird, fake, and uncomfortable if you have been repeating the exact opposite for years, but it is a powerful way to start undoing all the damage that the negativity has caused. Affirmations are a very effective way of replacing negative thoughts with positive ones, and this is a vital aspect to self esteem building.
Other very important practical actions include looking after your physical needs for rest, sleep, exercise, and nutritious food. By taking care of yourself, you are sending a strong message to your subconscious that you value yourself, and that you are worth taking care of.
Also, it is very helpful to choose the companionship of people who are positive and encouraging, and to avoid, whenever possible, being around people whose attitude is negative and critical. Seek out the company of people who feel really good about themselves, and if you open your heart and mind to their positive influence, you will undoubtedly find that some of it will rub off.
Commit yourself to self esteem building through positive thoughts and actions, and you will begin to notice a change for the better in your feelings and your world.
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