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30 Things To Tell Yourself In Mirror When You Lack Self-Esteem

30 Things To Tell Yourself In Mirror When You Lack Self-Esteem

When you lack self-esteem, you do not accept yourself fully. Negative thoughts, failures, lack of skills tend to dominate your thoughts.  So, here are 30 quotes, songs and other odds and ends to help you the next time you stand in front of the mirror.

1. Set realistic goals

“I have to be realistic about what I can or can’t do. So, whatever I do has to be really worth it. I like to master the things I do.”– Queen Latifah

Too often, teenagers are awestruck by talent shows and celebrities and dream of just being like them and making millions. Much better to look at what you can do well and what skills you can acquire without daydreaming all the time.

2.  Set mini goals along the way

Break down your goals into mini steps. Moving on from each minor success is a great motivator and confidence booster

3.  Sing along with Rihanna

I love the song ‘Umbrella’ where she sings ‘Because the sun shines, we’ll shine together’. Watch this video with a friend/partner and then sing along together. Remember those lines, ‘Know that we’ll still have each other, You can stand under my umbrella’. This always gives my self-esteem a boost.

4. Update your own self image

How many times do you say? “I used to be great at playing the piano” or “I used to have so many friends back then.” Why not move into the present and start taking piano lessons again? The next time you stand in front of the mirror, say “I am really chuffed that I have started playing the piano again.”

5. Start competing with yourself

“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” – E.E. Cummings

Forget the so called friends on Facebook who are brighter, better and more successful. That is what they say! This is just feeding your envy habit. Start believing in and competing with yourself for a change.

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6. Recite to yourself all your achievements

Make a list of all your achievements. Think of all those exams you passed, your success on a project, your relationships, and how many miles you ran in the last marathon.

7. Don’t get too hung up on formal qualifications

Yes, I sucked at math at school. I wish I could have said this to my math teacher at the time!

self esteem and math

    8. Look at your physical attributes

    Maybe you have a nice smile or great legs, like I have. Take a long hard look at your eyes, face, smile, nails, hair, lips and so on. There must be at least five really good features. On a good day, I can find 10!

    9. Zap the negative thoughts

    Too often, you think of the obstacles that lie in your path. Try to replace these with positive thoughts where you repeat that you can do those things you want and this obstacle was just one minor setback .

    “Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” –Willie Nelson

    10. Gravitate towards empathetic people

    Get the empathy you need. Here is a joke:  “My girlfriend has just come back from the doctors saying she’s suffering from low self esteem. Who knows where the stupid fat cow gets that from?”

    11. Dig deep

    Try to get to know yourself better. Assess your limitations and discover whether these are really obstacles to your progress. Balance these with your skills, qualities and successes to get the broader picture.

    12. When you don’t like yourself, you don’t take as good care of yourself

    Just watch the video to see what happened to Sooper Puppy.

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    13. Break bad habits

    “Sow a thought, and you reap an act;

    Sow an act, and you reap a habit;

    Sow a habit, and you reap a character;

    Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.”- Samuel Smiles

    In his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, Sean Covey offers lots of advice to teenagers (and adults!) who get into bad habits and how to turn these around.

    14. Choose your friends carefully

    “ Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, simply surrounded by assholes .” – William Gibson

    15. Try to identify what the real issues are

    selfesteem

      16. Go for empowerment

      Get off social media which may alleviate loneliness and help you forget your low self-esteem. This is a short term fix. Aim to get out, socialize with real people and exercise more. These will boost your empowerment in no time at all.

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      17. Minimize your critical inner voice

      If you are too hard on yourself, try to tell yourself not to go down that road again. Try to ban’should’ and ‘must’ from your mental circuits.

      18. Helping children (and adults!)

      I really like Dr. Wayne Dyer’s book for kids called “Incredible You! 10 Ways to let your greatness shine through.” The book contains lessons about life and has beautiful, uplifting messages which parents and children can share. It is just a great book to help kids and their parents feel really good about themselves. It is a wonderful lesson in self-confidence.

      19. Award yourself a prize

      Take a break and think about why you should get an award for the top three qualities you have. These can be anything from how kind you are, your cooking abilities or your relationship with animals.

      20. Don’t undervalue yourself

      Too often, the harsh self criticism takes over and you may start thinking that you only succeeded because the task was easy. Try to think of the positives and the qualities you displayed and don’t put yourself down too much.

      21. Forget the all or nothing approach

      This smacks of perfectionism. Try to be realistic and stop thinking in terms of an all or nothing approach. Every outcome will have benefits and downsides.

      22. Identify the triggers

      Very often, a difficult deadline, a quarrel with your partner tend to be the triggers which make your self-esteem take a nose dive. Try to put these aside when you identify them, acknowledge them and think about the other 90% which is going really well.

      23. Treasure compliments

      We all seek praise and crave recognition for our efforts. When you receive a compliment, do not shrug it off by belittling your achievement. Just say “thank you” and rejoice that you got the recognition you deserve.

      24. Start giving your time

      This is a great one to boost self-esteem. If you perform a kind deed, you automatically feel better in that you have contributed in one small way to making the world a better place. You feel more valuable and that is really helpful in increasing your self-confidence.

      25. Don’t let fear and anxiety take over

      “Don’t believe everything you think. Thoughts are just that – thoughts.”- Allan Lokos

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      If you are afraid of facing new challenges and let anxiety make the decisions for you, your self-esteem will suffer in the long term and you will always blame yourself for not moving forward.

      26. Do something you keep putting off

      Think about that one task you have put off for months now. It could be anything from seeing a specialist to tidying up some clutter. Once you get this done, it can be a great way of increasing your confidence.

      27. Look after your appearance

      You may feel down but very often, dressing well and taking care of yourself will project the right image. Your feelings will catch up, as every time you look in the mirror you feel better.

      28. Keep a journal

      Write down your achievements, your great qualities and all the things you need to be grateful for. Keep it handy on your smartphone so that you can reassure yourself often.

      29. Seek distraction

      When you get into the downward spiral of negative thoughts, the best way to limit the fallout and other collateral damage is to do something else. This can be anything from going on a run to watching a funny video on YouTube.

      30. Learn from mistakes

      Don’t waste time in trying to cover up your mistakes. Instead, take a step back, analyse what went wrong and learn the lessons.

      Where are you on the self esteem scale? Have you ever thought about how over-confident people are so full of themselves and yet their results are mediocre?  Or, what about those people at the other end of the scale who never take a challenge or are plagued by doubts and self-criticism. This is where you need to realistically assess where you are on this scale. Time to reflect on your human qualities, skills, ethics, and achievements and assess them honestly.

      Featured photo credit: Comparisons/Celestine Chua via flickr.com

      More by this author

      Robert Locke

      Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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      Last Updated on January 15, 2021

      7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

      7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

      The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

      Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

      Posture

      First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

      • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
      • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
      • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
      • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

      All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

      Facial Expressions

      Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

      • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
      • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
      • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

      If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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      1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

      A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

      The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

      This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

      2. Relax Your Face

      New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

      The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

      To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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      3. Improve Your Eye Contact

      Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

      The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

      To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

      3. Smile More

      There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

      Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

      4. Hand Gestures

      Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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      It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

      5. Enhance Your Handshake

      In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

      “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

      It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

      6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

      As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

      Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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      Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

      Final Takeaways

      Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

      If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

      More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

      Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

      Reference

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