Low self-esteem is often linked with feeling incompetent or inadequate. When we feel like we aren’t able to accomplish much we often lose motivation to do the things that are important to us. For example, applying for jobs, going to the gym, or finishing a degree, may be a struggle when our lack of self-esteem gets in the way. If you believe that you or somebody else is struggling with low self-esteem, the following tips may help you move away from feelings of inadequacy and closer towards self-confidence and self-love.
Have you ever felt upset when your vision of something didn’t go as planned? Not getting an A on an exam or struggling to finish a paper overnight might bring you down. It might help to learn that often, when we don’t manage the tasks that we thought we could, chances are that we had unrealistic expectations of ourselves. Having unrealistic expectations threatens our self-esteem because whenever we don’t accomplish something we feel let down. In the future, remember to make your goals small, realistic, and measurable so that you can feel good about yourself once you accomplish them.
Perhaps some of you may be asking yourself “How can I associate mistakes with kindness?” You may have been brought up to believe that mistakes are “bad” and that they should not happen. The truth is, making mistakes is something that we all have in common. Mistakes actually help us excel in life because often, we learn from them. Mistakes help us realize that there are areas for improvement, and so, in a strange way, we can be thankful for them because without mistakes, it’s harder to experience change and growth. Therefore, rather than beating yourself up with negative self-talk when making a mistake, you could be kind yourself by asking “What have I learned from this?” or “What has this experience taught me?”” Initially, you may struggle to view your mistakes through a positive lens but with practice, you may realize that the more you perceive your mistakes as an opportunity for growth, the less likely you are to judge yourself, which in turn, boosts your self-esteem.
The way we view ourselves is largely linked to our social environment. When friends appreciate our good qualities and enjoy spending time with us, we feel good about ourselves. Sometimes our friends help us see positive qualities that would have gone unnoticed without them. Good social company can be very therapeutic due to viewing ourselves through a more accurate lens. Often people with low self-esteem have a distorted self-image by noticing only areas for improvement. Their strengths go unnoticed. With the right type of crowd they may acknowledge their strengths, which is largely responsible for boosting self-esteem and self-worth.