Self-esteem is how we value ourselves; it is how we perceive our value to the world and how valuable we think we are to others. Self-esteem affects our trust in others, our relationships, our work – nearly every part of our lives. Positive self-esteem gives us the strength and flexibility to take charge of our lives and grow from our mistakes without the fear of rejection.
Following are some outward signs of positive self-esteem:
- Non-blaming behavior
- An awareness of personal strengths
- An ability to make mistakes and learn from them
- An ability to accept feedback from others
- An ability to solve problems
- An independent and cooperative attitude
- Feeling comfortable with a wide range of emotions
- An ability to trust others
- A good sense of personal limitations
- Good self-care
- The ability to say “no”
Low self-esteem is a debilitating condition that keeps individuals from realizing their full potential. A person with low self-esteem often feels unworthy, incapable, and incompetent.
Below are some signs of low self-esteem:
- Negative view of life
- Difficulty making decisions
- Perfectionist attitude
- Mistrusting others – even those who show signs of affection
- Difficulty making friends for fear of being judged
- Blaming behavior
- Fear of taking risks or trying new things
- Feelings of being unloved and unlovable
- Dependence – letting others make decisions
- Fear of being ridiculed
How can you raise low self-esteem? Feelings of low self-esteem often build up over a lifetime and letting go of ingrained feelings and behaviors is not an easy task. It may take time, hard work, and it may require professional counseling.
There are some simple, positive thinking techniques that can be used to help improve self-esteem. These are called positive affirmations. Using affirmations to counter negative self-talk is a simple, positive way to help increase self-esteem. Affirmations are encouraging messages we can give ourselves every day until they become a routine part of our feelings and beliefs.
Affirmations work best when a person is relaxed. But since we are often upset when giving ourselves negative self-messages, we may need to counter negative messages with positive ones.
For example, replace the message “I made a stupid mistake, and I am no good at this job,” with “Yes, I made a mistake but I have learned from it, and now I can a better job.”
Try to begin and end each day by giving yourself a positive message.
The following affirmations can help you to work toward a positive self-image:
- I respect myself and others
- I am confident, and it shows
- I care about myself
- I believe in my abilities
- I trust my inner wisdom and intuition
- I am a good friend to myself and others
- I am learning and growing every day
- I like and accept myself just as I am
- I believe in myself
- I am happy in my own skin
- I have many gifts to offer
- I am a good person at all times of day and night
- I trust myself to make good choices
- I accept others as they are
See if you can add some positive affirmations to this list that reflect your personal touch!
If you would like more information about how to improve your self-esteem, have questions about counseling, or would like to schedule an appointment please contact Janet now.