How do you raise self-esteem, so that you have a better image of yourself, and as a result, can lead a great life? After all, a poor self-esteem is probably one of the greatest killers out there.
It is the one thing that can cause so many problems, from entering and maintaining bad relationships, to even leading to drug abuse and addictions.
To date, around 85% of people suffer from self-esteem issues, which means that around 85% of people are not leading a great, healthy life.
It's one of those things, that unless you know what it is, can even be affecting you and you wouldn't even know it.
I know it took me over 10 years to realize that I had poor self-esteem, and yet, when I tried some of the techniques to raising it (which I'll share later in this article;-), small and moderate things no longer bothered me.
That is, I no longer got offended or upset by things like insults or people giving me the cold shoulder (pretty good huh?).
This may not seem like a big deal, and on paper it doesn't. Yet getting upset and offended can be responsible for drug addiction, porn addiction, relationship fights, breakdowns, and even violence (because criminals never hurt people when they get offended, do they…).
Of course, if you can avoid or trivialize that upset and offense by raising your self-esteem, you will go along way to help healing your ego, your self and ultimately help spread healing in the world.
But before we do anything (and in case you are wandering), lets do a quick recap of symptoms of low self-esteem:
- Low opinion of yourself
- Treating yourself badly
- Unable to trust your own opinion
- Over-the-top concern about what people think of you
- Unable to accept compliments
- Having an eating disorder
- Poor social skills and poor communication
- Having bouts of Anxiety, which can lead to sadness and depression
- Unable to be assertive
- Plus much more
The problem is, the solution for raising self-esteem isn't an intellectual one. For example, it's easy to say to someone that you suspect having poor self-esteem, that they look great and are doing a great job. Yet the truth is that their subconscious will automatically call out, ‘LIE!', and you're back to square one.
The authorities even tried this during the 1980's, and found that it actually made the situation more worse.
The trick to raising self-esteem is two-fold (in my opinion). Firstly, we need to change the environment, and then your self talk. (if you are really bad that doing something like tidying up your room is a big, big chore, I would highly recommend mindfulness meditation first, just to calm yourself down, and then do a small 5 minute tidying task.).
Why are we affecting our environment first? Simply because for most of the time, we are the product of our environment.
So start off with doing something for 5-15 minutes, like cleaning the dishes or hoovering the house.
Something that won't take too long and will make your place look more tidy. The beauty behind this is that your will also be priming yourself. That is, you will be subconsciously saying, ‘I am in a nicer, tidier house because I deserve the best'.
Priming is about giving a stimulus that influences your immediate and future thoughts and actions. Priming is very important when it comes to raising self-esteem and having a good life.
You can even try doing something that you love and are good at, like getting involved in a hobby that you love taking part in. I personally love sprinting (and have gotten good over the last 9 months;-), plus its also very healthy for you and gives you a pretty good body afterwards (not trying to show off, just saying;-). It also has the benefit of increasing your Endorphins levels as well, so you actually feel great. Two for the price of one!
When you have done some exercise so you can feel good about yourself, or if you are not the exercise type, done an activity which primes your brain into thinking that you deserve the best, you can move onto other stuff.
Becoming more organized and managing your time is another great way of raising self-esteem and also primes your subconscious as well. And I don't just mean at home, but at work as well.
Having a clean desk tells your subconscious that you are very serious about your job, and that you deserve respect. Managing your time at work also says that you deserve to be labeled as a good employee (after all, tell me someone who is going to complain if you consistently hand in your tasks on time). Time management is priceless commodity, and goes a good healthy way in increasing your self-esteem.
Next, we come to our social circle and friends.
This is where the going can get a bit tough, because people with low self-esteem can attract similar people of low self-esteem (Of course, hopefully by the time you have tidied your place, got a slightly better body after a few months of exercise, and are becoming more of an efficient and professional employee, you should be attracting different type of people into your life;-)
Your friends can have a huge impact on your subconscious (especially if you are highly sensitive) so be very careful who you spend your time with!
Try to keep wingers and complainers at arms distance, and try to mix with people who support your goals, or who are generally positive in your favor. This will help you keep your energy from being drained away, allowing you more energy to complete tasks that can help you with your goals.
So now we have the environment re-defined, its time to get to the next level. I will do more articles on the following subjects (so please be patient) but if you have your environment slowly changing for the better, try the following for an extra does of healthy self-esteem;-)
– Learn to say, ‘No' to unreasonable demands, may it come from your boss (if you can) friends or your family
– Learn to be more assertive. Not rude, but fair and polite. This will show people that you deserve to be listened to and to show respect.
– Learn to change your self-talk. Of course, by this stage, this shouldn't be a biggie by now, and learning to stop constantly criticizing yourself and seeking approval from other people will be soon a thing of the past.
Instead of, ‘I always get this wrong!' You'll be saying things like, ‘You're good, I'm doing great at this…keep going'.
You get the idea.
This may sound weird at first, but after a while, it is surprisingly refreshing.
I remember when I had very low self-esteem, I was very passive and this caused me all sorts of psychological problems. I got hurt very easily, and was always to get people to like me and seek approval from them.
Nowadays, although I'm not perfect, I'm a little more assertive, I stand up for myself, and I am leading a (slightly) more tidier house.
Self-esteem can be a silent killer if you are not careful. Doing the above, while improving your diet and becoming more focused on your long-term goals, will not only help you become more successful, but you will feel better as well.