“Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand-break on.”

Self- esteem is confidence in one’s own worth or abilities; self-respect. It is basically your opinion of yourself- “how much you like yourself.”  This element is of critical importance not just to a healthy personality but also to how well you perform socially and professionally. For the simple reason that when you like and respect yourself, you always perform and behave better than if you did not.

Reasons for a low self-esteem can be varied- unhappy childhood, poor academic performance, ongoing stressful life due to relationship or financial difficulties, poor treatment from parents/ carers, ongoing medical issues, negative peers or bad experiences. Whatever the reason, anyone struggling to keep their self- esteem high must remember that everyone goes through these phases occasionally and it is possible to boost a low self-esteem through practice.

Let’s explore how self-esteem can be raised.

Speak to yourself in a positive tone:

All negative, harmful self-talk must be eliminated. People tend to tag themselves with negative labels that they may have gathered with time from their surroundings or may have self-generated them as a result of their failures.

Speaking to yourself positively does not mean that you don’t recognise or address the problems, it simply means that you talk to yourself and not be self-destructive.

Appreciate your strengths:

It is important that you pay attention to your individual special qualities and acknowledge your skills. Sometimes, you might feel that there is nothing special or positive about you but that cannot be the truth.

We are all a unique creation and we must honour the fact!

It is important to pay attention to and appreciate the strengths, no matter how small they may seem. Once the strengths are recognised, you need to reinforce them by focusing on them frequently.

Be assertive:

You are a unique human being and you have worth. This must be recognised and reinforced by you. You deserve to take care of yourself and set boundaries. Like everyone else, you deserve respect and must be treated well. This thought must be revisited and reinforced frequently. Remember, everyone doesn’t have to like you. Instead, congratulate yourself if you aren’t liked by a few because you are being a genuine person. Never hesitate to communicate your needs, opinions, or feelings.

Accept mistakes:

Making mistakes is an indication that you are actively involved in life. The more involved you are the more mistakes you will make but you will also allow yourself more opportunities of being successful and having a fulfilled life. Accept your mistakes as learning experiences.

Surround yourself with positive people:

Although we may like to believe that people surrounding us cannot impact our self-esteem, this is not the truth. People are a huge part of us, in which case you should surround yourself with people who would inspire and encourage you.  If you’re surrounded by others who push themselves, have uplifting attitudes, and always strive for their best, these qualities will also start to seep into your daily life and character.

Boosting your self-esteem is like building a relationship with yourself, where you must invest time and energy to create something marvelous. It is possible. Happy building!