Self-esteem is an important part of our every day lives. It is influenced by our upbringing and by our social circles and by our inborn attitudes and our way of thinking. It is hard wired into our make up but at the same time it is ever changing. Self-esteem is a combination of self-respect, self-confidence and self-perception.
Self-esteem can affect our psychological health and our physical health, and those are intertwined. Just like we know we have to work on taking care of our physical health, we should also work on taking care of our psychological health.
As stated in an earlier post, meditation can be a great tool for both our physical and our psychological health. We can work on our self-esteem using our meditation and in training ourselves to think more positively.
For a sense of high self-esteem we need to have a stable sense of personal worth or worthiness. To me, self-esteem is a combination of self-confidence and self-respect ( giving us the feeling of personal worth ). A person’s self-esteem is built on the beliefs one has about oneself, thus it’s how one’s self “perception” affects their well being and self-esteem.
Our personality affects our self-esteem, our upbringing another part and our social atmosphere are yet another part of it. Our innate ability to competently cope with the basic challenges of life, our attitude in response to that and our perception of being worthy of happiness are important to our self perception and again our self-esteem. Most everybody is affected by what others think of us and therefore they influence what we think of ourselves. You might hear yourself say that you don’t care what they think, but for all but that rare person, we care a lot.
All that being said, for our health and our well being, we need to work on having positive or high self-esteem. Our psychological health and our
physical health are intertwined so just like we know we have to work on taking care of our physical health, we should also work on taking care of our psychological health. As stated in an earlier post, meditation can be a great tool for both.
Some people use their successes and failures as a measure of their self-esteem and of course their looks compared socially within their circle of family and friends and sometimes even so far as what we see on TV. So much of our way of thinking is ingrained in us beginning as small children. But the reality of using successes and failures, is in my mind, is not valid because those are separate issues from who we are as people. The problem with making your self-esteem contingent upon successes is that we are bound to fail at any moment for reasons beyond our control and that makes our platform pretty shaky.
During meditation we can work on building our self-esteem, our self respect and our self confidence. People with good healthy self-esteem share some important beliefs and ways of thinking. We can learn to use positive ideas and thoughts to build and keep our self-esteem strong. Good self-esteem can come from learning from the past, planning for the future, and living in the present.
We should not lose time worrying about what happened in the past because we can’t change it. Nor should we worry excessively about what could happen in the future because we only have so much control over that as well. So we need to fully trust in our capacity to solve problems, and we should not hesitate after failures or difficulties, but we should feel secure enough to modify our choices and move forward in light of our experiences.
People with a healthy level of self-esteem firmly believe in certain values and principles, and are ready to defend them even when finding opposition. They also feel secure enough to modify their beliefs and values as needed because they consider themselves equal in dignity to others, rather than inferior or superior. People with positive self-esteem accept that everyone has different talents, personal prestige or financial standings. Those with self-confidence and self worth take for granted that they are interesting and valuable to others, especially for those with whom they have a friendship or relationship. Our acceptance of these truths can be key to building our self-esteem.
Self-esteem is also built on sensitivity to the feelings and needs of others and not taking advantage of other people in a negative way. You just can’t feel good or positive about yourself if you treat others with disdain or disrespect or also if you don’t trust your own judgment to do the right thing. Tearing down others does not truly improve your own sense of self-worth because eventually it will eat you up inside and it is a false feeling of superiority. In others words, you know the truth in your heart so rather than tearing down of others we need to work on building up of ourselves. One of my all time favorite says is “Every time you throw a little dirt, you lose a little ground”.
We need to recognize and accept that we are all individuals and we are each unique in our own way and beauty is what you make of it. We need to accept that we are not perfect and neither is anyone else. Then we need to love ourselves for who and what we are with all of our virtues and all of our faults.
Most people will feel lower self-esteem when they are struggling with health issues. It is import to work on more positive thinking in regards to oneself when we are ill or fighting illness. It is affected by how we care for ourselves, all the more reason to take care of yourself in every way possible.
In order to achieve a high self esteem, it is essential to focus on identifying your strengths, positive assets, and resources related to each component of taking care of ourselves, and using these strengths to cope with life challenges and dealing with stress.
Being confident in yourself is infectious and if you present yourself well, others will notice how good you look and how radiant your self-esteem will shine and it will come around full circle in making you know that you are valuable to yourself and to others. Building self esteem and self confidence is the key to happiness and success, not only for you, but for those around you.
Find the positive in everyday living. Heed the old saying, count your blessings. Positive thinking can be practiced and help you avoid negative thoughts that erode your self esteem and add to your stress. Don’t use words like “must” and “should have”. Don’t beat yourself up when you make a mistake, just learn from it and think positive about what you learned from your mistake. Everyone makes mistakes but mistakes aren’t permanent reflections on you as a person. They’re isolated moments in time, and they are quickly the past. Tell yourself, “I made a mistake, but that doesn’t make me a bad person.” Use your inner voice to encourage yourself and use your meditation time to focus on the positive. Work to recognize the thoughts and beliefs that contribute to your low self-esteem, you can and should actively counter them. This will help you accept your value as a person. As your self-esteem increases, your confidence and sense of well-being will be beneficial in many ways to you and those around you as well.
Live in the present and not in the past. Only use the past as a learning tool and find the ways you grew in a positive way from the experiences. I had a client that was legally blind, but you know what her hobby was? She did cross stitch! And I actually changed my preoccupation with unhealthy worry due to a little plaque that she made in cross stitch for me and I have kept that plaque as a reminder of not only what it says but a reminder of that great lady who challenged herself beyond her handicap, she had self confidence and high self-esteem. The plaque simply said “Worry is like a rocking chair – it gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere”! I used to spend hours and lose sleep due to worry and that little thought brought me away from my negative thinking. I know it’s not as simple as that sounds really but it did make me realize that it was up to me to change my thinking and get up and do something, and that was the beginning!
Along with learning to meditate and to worry less, I also learned to lighten up. If it wasn’t life threatening or life changing then I learned to not take it so seriously. It was amazing how learning to ask yourself that simple question will alleviate so much stress and negative feelinsg from you life. When something bad or negative happens, regardless of the reason, before I get all worked up about it I ask myself, will this kill me? Will it kill someone else? Will this actually change my life? If you answer no, then accept your mistake, your failure, your happening and move on. You will do better next time! To keep your self-esteem healthy you can work on your way of thinking. It’s not always easy, I know, but it is worth the effort, you are worth the effort and those you know and love are worth the effort that you put into you!
Another way to help you build you self-esteem is to help others. Volunteer to help those less fortunate that yourself, there is always someone who is less fortunate or worse off than you are. When you know you are making a positive difference in other people’s lives (even if it’s just being kinder to the people that are part of your day, servers, co-workers, receptionists, ect. ), you’ll know that you are a positive force in the world–which will boost your self confidence and self-esteem.
Realize that negative thinking is often based on unhelpful interpretation. The problem is that as humans we often find negative and not so helpful thoughts in our lives based on just one or two experiences. We have to break that habit and purposefully begin to think positive and keep tabs on our self-esteem, consciously taking care of it as a part of ourselves. Don’t under rate or underestimate yourself. Try to push yourself beyond your physical or mental limits. Such a pressure can help you see how easily things can be achieved and thereby helps you hone and recognize your skills. If you don’t succeed at first, learn from it and try again and if it means anything to you, you will master it!
Everyday as a matter of practice count your blessings, identify your successes, know that no one is perfect, be thankful for what you have, determine to be and think positive, and accept compliments as honest feedback and add them to your knowledge that you are a worthy and valuable person.
Taking care of your appearance can give you a boost and maybe earn you good feedback which will elevate your self-esteem and elevating your self esteem will help you project a positive image which may also earn you good feedback and again, strengthen your self-esteem and that will increase your successes and thus again, your self confidence and self-esteem. However, don’t depend on hearing it from others, your thoughts are what matter to you and you can choose to see the good and the positive in you. Consciously feeding good thoughts into your own mind will help change your way of thinking from negative to positive. Doing things like getting your hair done and your nails done and taking care of yourself only increases your feeling of well being and self-esteem and really, you know you deserve to take care of yourself. So build your self-esteem and it will in turn, make your life better.
The very fact that you found and have read this article should show you that you are ready, willing and able to work on taking care of yourself and bettering your world and therefore improve the lives of those around you because of it!