On the face of it, you may think 2016 isn’t a good year at all, considering what’s happening all around the world and on a personal level, it may seem that there’s just nothing special about 2016 from any other years. But then again, it’s your attitude towards life that matters and you may have overlooked certain things if you don’t think you’ve been doing well this year. You may have debts to pay off, but you don’t live malnourished and below the poverty line. You may not have found your soul mate yet, but there are certainly people in your life whose presence you treasure.
So here’s a list of top ten things to be grateful for and a sure sign that your life is on the right track.
1. You’re still alive!
And that, my dear reader, is nothing short of a miracle. You are alive right now in the 21st century at a very exciting time in the history of mankind and there’s nowhere else you’d rather be. You are alive and every day you can feel the sun shine on your face and breathe fresh air and experience the wonders of the natural world around you. You’re alive and aware and that’s all that matters.
2. You have a roof over your head
Wherever you are, whether it’s a tiny rented room of an apartment or a penthouse, you have a place to call home. No matter how bad the day there’s always a special place you can return to relax and rejuvenate yourself.
3. You’re loved
When you call your parents, you know they’ll always be there for you. When you meet up with your friends, you know there are some people with whom you can share your darkest secrets. You have someone in your life who’s always got your back.
4. You have food and water
You don’t have to worry about how or when you’ll be able to afford your next meal. You don’t have to steal or scourge for leftovers to satiate your hunger. You have access to healthy food and clean water and that’s a privilege so many people in the world lack.
5. You tried to improve yourself
You know you’re not perfect, but hey you tried your best and made resolutions and that’s what counts.
6. You failed but kept going
Yes, you’ve had setbacks but each failure is a stepping stone to success and the fact that you’re still trying proves that you haven’t let past defeats take you down,
7. You forgive others
There are people in your life you’d rather avoid, but instead of wasting your time and plotting revenge, you’ve chosen to let go and move on.
8. You forgive yourself
Many of us know how to forgive others but when it comes to forgiving ourselves, we may need a little help from our friends. But at the end of the day, you know who you are, despite your shortcomings and you choose to live a better life and that’s a very good sign.
9. You have clothes
You may not have a celebrity’s wardrobe, but you have clothes that make you look and feel great or those that evoke special memories. You have breezy clothes for summer and woolen scarf to keep you warm in winter.
10. You dream big
And no matter what you’ve not stopped dreaming and you’re still here, doing what you can to make your dreams come true and that is the biggest sign that you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be.
So congratulations! You’ve lived a great year. Keep focusing on the bright side. The world is still beautiful and now’s your time to make it an even better place to live in.
Having high self-esteem is important if you are aiming for personal or professional success. Interestingly, most people will high levels of self-esteem act in similar ways. That’s why it’s often easy to pick them out in a crowd. There’s something about the way they hold themselves and speak, isn’t there?
We all have different hopes, dreams, experiences, and paths, but confidence has its own universal language. This list will present some of the things you won’t find yourself doing if you have high self-esteem.
1. Compare Yourself to Others
People with low self-esteem are constantly comparing their situation to others. On the other hand, people with higher self-esteem show empathy and compassion while also protecting their own sanity. They know how much they can handle and when they can offer a helping hand.
In the age of social media, however, social comparisons are nearly ubiquitous. One study found that “participants who used Facebook most often had poorer trait self-esteem, and this was mediated by greater exposure to upward social comparisons on social media”. Basically, you will feel worse about yourself if you are constantly getting glimpses into lives that you consider to be better than yours.
Try to limit your time on social media. Also, when you do start scrolling, keep in mind that each profile is carefully crafted to create the appearance of a perfect life. Check yourself when you find yourself wishing for greener grass.
2. Be Mean-Spirited
People with low self-esteem bully others. They take pleasure in putting other people down. People with positive self-esteem see no need to down other people, choosing instead to encourage and celebrate successes.
If you find that you feel the need to put others down, analyze where that’s coming from. If they’ve had success in life, help them feel good about that achievement. They may do the same for you one day.
3. Let Imperfection Ruin Your Day
Perfectionism isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but obsessing over making everything perfect is a sign that you have low self-esteem and can lead to never-ending negative thoughts. This can turn into an inability to solve problems creatively, which will only make self-esteem issues worse.
Those with high self-esteem disconnect from the results and do their best without expecting perfection.
People with that kind of confidence understand that messing up is a part of life and that each time they aim and miss success, they’ll at least learn something along the way.
If you miss the mark, or if your plan doesn’t work out exactly as you would have liked, take a deep breath and see if you can pivot in order to do better next time.
4. Dwell on Failure
It’s common to hear people dwelling on all the ways things will go wrong. They are positive that their every failure signals an impossible task or an innate inability to do something. People with healthy self-esteem discover why they failed and try again.
People with higher levels of confidence also tend to adopt a growth mindset. This type of thinking supports the idea that most of your abilities can be improved and altered, as opposed to being fixed.
For example, instead of saying, “I’m just not good at math; that’s why I did bad on the test,” someone with a growth mindset would say, “Math is difficult for me, so I’ll have to put in some more practice to improve next time.”
Next time you experience a failure, check out this video to help you believe in yourself again:
5. Devalue Your Self-Esteem
People with high self-esteem value their own perception of themselves – they understand that they come first and don’t feel guilty about taking care of themselves. They believe charity starts within, and if they don’t believe that, they’ll never have a healthy self-image.
Self-care is often top of the priority list for people with self-esteem. For some ways to practice self-care, check out this article.
6. Try to Please Others
They can’t please all the people all the time, so confident people first focus on doing what will make them feel fulfilled and happy. While they will politely listen to others’ thoughts and advice, they know that their goals and dreams have to be completed on their own terms.
7. Close Yourself off
Confident people have the ability to be vulnerable. It’s those with poor self-esteem that hide all the best parts of themselves behind an emotional wall. Instead of keeping the real you a secret, be open and honest in all your dealings.
As Brené Brown, author of Daring Greatly, points out, “Vulnerability is about showing up and being seen”. When you embrace each facet of who you are and allow others to see them as well, it will create deeper, more meaningful connections in your life. When that happens, you’ll realize that perfection doesn’t lead to people liking you more.
You can learn more about the power of vulnerability in this TED talk with Brené Brown:
8. Follow and Avoiding Leading
People with low self-esteem don’t believe they can lead, so they end up following others, sometimes into unhealthy situations. Rather than seeking a sense of belonging, people with high self-esteem walk their own paths and create social circles that build them up.
9. Fish for Compliments
If you’re constantly seeking compliments, you’re not confident. People with high self-esteem always do their best (and go out of their way to do good deeds) because it’s what they want to do, not because they’re seeking recognition. If you need to hear compliments, say them to yourself in the mirror.
You can even try some positive affirmations if you need a confidence boost. Check out these affirmations to get started.
10. Be Lazy
People work harder when they have high self-esteem because they’re not bogged down by doubts and complaints. Those with low self-esteem end up procrastinating and wasting their energy thinking about all the work they have to do rather than rolling up their sleeves and just getting it done.
This may also bounce off perfectionism. Perfectionists often feel intimidated by certain projects if they fear that they won’t be able to complete them perfectly. Tap into your confidence and simply do your best without worrying about a perfect outcome.
11. Shy Away from Risks
When you trust yourself, you’ll be willing to participate more in life. People with low self-esteem are always on the sidelines, waiting for the perfect moment to jump in. Instead of letting life pass you by, have confidence in your success and take the risks necessary to succeed.
People with low self-esteem are always in other peoples’ business – they’re more interested in what everyone else is doing than themselves. People with high self-esteem are more interested in their own life and stay out of others’ affairs.
Instead of participating in idle gossip, talk about some positive news you heard recently, or that fascinating book you just finished. There’s plenty to talk about beyond what this or that person did wrong in their life.
The Bottom Line
Self-esteem is to success in life. People who maintain a healthy level of self-esteem believe in themselves and push themselves to succeed, while those with low confidence feel a sense of entitlement.
If you need a boost in your self-image and mental health, avoid negative self-talk and the other mistakes of people with low self-esteem. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.