The Power of Positive Self-Esteem and How to Enhance It

The Power of Positive Self-Esteem and How to Enhance It

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Our opinion of ourselves is so important as it affects how we talk to ourselves, interact with others and our overall wellbeing.

So, today we want to talk about self-esteem.

Self-esteem is our opinion of ourselves. People with healthy self-esteem like themselves and value their achievements. Whereas people with low self-esteem feel unhappy or unsatisfied with themselves.

Self-esteem is important as it can affect our decision making and motivation. This influences our academic and professional success, relationships and mental health.

Theories of Self-Esteem

The concept of self-esteem is present in Maslow's hierarchy of needs, which depicts esteem as one of the basic human motivations.

Maslow suggested that individuals need both appreciation from other people and inner self-respect to build esteem. Both needs must be fulfilled for an individual to grow as a person and reach self-actualization.

Self-Esteem and Confidence

Self-esteem also has a relationship with self-confidence. While these two concepts are related, they are different. Confidence relates to a person’s ability in a particular area of their life. A person can be very confident about their abilities, but still have low self-esteem.

Self-Esteem and Quality of Life

Low self-esteem can be problematic and can severely affect our quality of life.

Characteristics of Low Self-Esteem:

  • Being extremely critical of ourselves
  • Having negative and critical self-talk and self-blaming
  • Judging ourselves to be inferior to our peers
  • Assuming luck plays a large role in our achievements and not taking the credit for them
  • Not believing a person who compliments us
  • Downplaying or ignoring our positive qualities

These extremes in behaviour may result in issues with self-care, body image and alcohol and substance abuse as well as difficulty with relationships, problems at work and withdrawal from activities where we may be judged.

Self-esteem is strongly related to how we view and react to the things that happen in our life. 

it is for these reasons that working on and building our self-esteem is essential for our overall sense of wellbeing.

Self-Esteem Building

Below we have listed three ways to start to improve our self-respect and self-esteem, if this is something we are struggling with. Building self-esteem does take attention and daily practise but is highly beneficial and essential for a healthy view of ourselves.

1. Practise Positive Self-Talk and Challenge Negative Self-Talk

A great place to start when improving our self-esteem is practising positive self-talk. A good way to do this is by treating ourselves like we would a best friend. We should endeavour to not be hard on ourselves when we make a mistake and be supportive, kind and understanding of ourselves.

When we do find that we are talking to ourselves critically we should look for evidence that the criticism is not true. If we are unable to be objective consulting a family member of trusted friend can help. In doing this we will realise that most of our negative self-talk is unfounded.

2. Focus On What is in Our Control

This one is easier said than done but trying to ‘stop worrying’ is essential to building self-esteem. It can help to forget the things we can’t change, such as things in the past and accepting that we can’t see or change the future.

It can help to start thinking about what we can change and try to keep our thoughts in the here-and-now.

3. Acknowledge The Positive

Being critical and judgemental of ourselves are harmful traits of low self-esteem. So, a great way to combat our self-criticism is accepting compliments and acknowledging our achievements and positive traits.

Another way to let positivity into our lives is to remind ourselves of our good points every day. Sit down and write a list and refer to it often (we can consult our loved ones if we are struggling with this).

Over To You…

It takes effort and vigilance to replace unhelpful thoughts and behaviours with healthier versions. Give yourself time to establish the new habits.

Now go ahead and Win Your Week!