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We Don’t Need More Likes, We Need Self-Esteem

We Don’t Need More Likes, We Need Self-Esteem

Have you noticed how posting on social media sites can be addictive?

Like any drug, it starts off seeming like something fun and harmless. You post a few images of yourself on the beach, and suddenly dozens of your friends have liked or shared them. Feels good, doesn’t it?

However, in time, we can become caught in a vicious cycle of continuously needing positive feedback on our posts. If the likes and shares are missing – a part of us feels missing too.

It can be a tragic situation.

What’s missing isn’t others’ approval, it’s self-esteem.

Becoming dependent on likes and shares for our happiness is a difficult addiction to break.

Your mobile device holds your attention – and often holds you hostage.

The first step in learning to escape is to understand that needing constant likes and shares is usually a symptom of low self-esteem. If you can learn to boost your self-esteem, you’ll be able to break the mental and emotional chains that bind you.

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I’ll be honest with you, though. Building and maintaining self-esteem is not an easy task. You’ll need to work on it daily and know and practice the most effective tips and techniques. (Luckily, I’m about to share these with you!)

Self-esteem determines how you feel and think about yourself.

Why should you care about self-esteem? This question can be answered with another question: Do you care about yourself?

If you have low self-esteem, you may feel inferior and worthless. With high self-esteem, you’ll have the opposite qualities: confidence and value.

In other words, you should definitely care about your self-esteem. It’s vitally important for your personal well-being, happiness and success in life.

With high self-esteem, you’ll find yourself living a simpler, stronger and more purposeful life.

It’s the difference between a failed actor and someone like Tom Cruise. The first guy probably lacked self-belief, while Cruise has gone on to become one of the world’s most successful actors. He’s talented for sure, but he also possesses powerful self-esteem.

The magic of boosting self-esteem lies within you.

As we’ve seen, your happiness and success in life depend on your level of self-esteem.

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Let’s take a look now at seven ways you can increase your self-esteem (without becoming an egomaniac!).

Never, ever, expect perfection.

Have you noticed that when you constantly seek perfection – life often disappoints you? While it’s certainly a good idea to aim high, don’t get caught in the ‘perfection trap’. It can prevent you from taking advantage of new opportunities, as well as blocking your ability to finish things.

As an example, think of a time when you were seeking a new job. You may have overlooked the ideal role simply because it didn’t tick all your preconceived boxes.

Contribute to society.

If you’re too busy helping others less fortunate than yourself, then you won’t have time to worry about your low self-esteem. In fact, by contributing to society, you’ll definitely boost your self-esteem. Helping others makes you feel good about yourself.

So, why not put this into practice by finding ways to contribute to society? These could take the form of voluntary work or random acts of kindness.[1]

Live healthily every day.

You’ve no doubt come across sloppy people who don’t seem to care about their appearance or their lives. Don’t be like them. If you want a happy and successful life, you need to focus on your health. Through correct diet and exercise, you can not only look good – but feel good too. It’s amazing how much you can raise your self-esteem through this method. You’ll have more energy, more confidence and will begin to attract success to you.

The key is to make small changes that you can stick to. For example, don’t go immediately from eating meat daily to a strict vegan diet.[2] Instead, gradually wean yourself of meat by reducing your weekly intake.

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Recognize triggers to low self-esteem.

Difficult events like separating from a partner or losing a job can trigger a rapid fall in your self-esteem. It’s critical at these times to make an extra effort to maintain your balance, poise and self-belief. Eliminate thoughts such as: “I always mess things up,” and replace them with positive imagery such as one door closing… and another one opening.

Focus on what you do well.

If you look around at others, you’ll instantly see that they can do many things better than you. If you allow this comparison, you’ll inevitably feel weak and inferior. However, you don’t need to think like this.

Every one of us is unique. This means that we also have unique talents. Your boss may be great at decision making, whereas you might excel at customer service. The trick is to find what you’re good at and focus on this. Don’t try to be a jack of all trades![3]

Set challenging goals.

How many times have you been told to set goals, but have chosen to ignore this advice? Lots of times no doubt. I sympathize with you, as I used to be like that too. Goal setting seemed liked a good idea, but I never got around to doing it! Fortunately, in recent years I’ve learned that goal setting really does work.

To convince yourself of the power of goal setting, start off with a few easy goals such as: walking or cycling to work a few days a week, adding a few extra dollars a month to your savings account, and giving more of your time to loved ones.

Do what you love and have fun!

Low self-esteem can be associated with lethargy, anxiety and even depression. Don’t get dragged down into these ‘joy-killers’. Instead, make an effort to have fun at all times – and lighten up your life!

There are countless ways to have fun, but here are some of the best ones: spend time with friends who know how to laugh, watch a funny movie, seek humor that’s hidden in serious situations. By learning to laugh and enjoy yourself, you’ll naturally boost your self-esteem. You’ll also have a positive influence on people you interact with.

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So, there you have it.

I’ve revealed what self-esteem is, why you should value it – and how to boost it.

Now, it’s over to you.

Focus less on how many likes and shares you’ve received today, and instead, focus on the things that really matter in life. As you raise up your self-esteem, you’ll find new energy and purpose.

Life is a journey. Just make sure you’re traveling in the right direction.

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

[1] Random acts of kindness
[2] The Vegan Society: Definition of Vegan
[3] Wikipedia: Jack of all trades, master of none

More by this author

Craig J Todd

UK Writer who loves to use the power of words to inspire and motivate.

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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