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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 May 20, 2019

      How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Past or Future

      How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Past or Future

      We sometimes hear people talk about the importance of living in the moment. We might hear about the different ways it will benefit us. It all sounds wonderful, but how exactly can we live in the moment when our mind is constantly racing?

      In this article, we’ll discuss some of the benefits of living in the moment you may not be aware of. Then we’ll look at some of the obstacles, and why we worry. Finally, and most importantly, I’ll show you how to live in the moment and stop worrying using some simple practices that you can easily incorporate into your busy schedule.

      The result: a happier and more fulfilling life

      Why Live in the Moment?

      “The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” – Buddha

      Living in the moment has innumerable benefits. Here are just a few that will enhance your life tremendously:

      Better Health

      By reducing stress and anxiety, you avoid many of the associated health consequences, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity. Studies have shown that being present can also improve psychological well-being.[1]

      Improve Your Relationships

      Have you ever been with someone who is physically present, but mentally he’s a million miles away?

      Being with unavailable people is a struggle, and makes relationships with them extremely difficult.

      How about being with someone who is fully present? We enjoy being with him because we can make a much deeper connection with him.

      By living in the moment, you can be that person other people enjoy being with, and you make relationships much easier.

      Greater Self-Control

      You have greater control over your mind, body, and emotions. Imagine how much better your life would be if it weren’t at the mercy of a racing mind, and unpredictable emotions. You would certainly be more at peace, and much happier.[2]

      Why Do We Worry?

      Before we answer this question, it’s important to distinguish between worry and concern.

      When we are concerned about something, we are more likely dealing with a real problem with realistic solutions. Then once we do whatever we can to address the problem, we’re willing to live with the outcome.

      Worrying, on the other hand, involves unrealistic thinking. We may worry about a problem that doesn’t really exist, or dwell on all the bad things that can happen as a result. Then, we feel unable to deal with the outcome. Either way, we have difficulty dealing with uncertainty, which is a normal part of life.

      Certainly, some of our problems may not have desirable outcomes, such as a serious health issue. Some problems may be beyond our control, such as civil unrest or economic downturn. In such cases, it can be hard to avoid worrying, but not impossible.

      We sometimes worry when we don’t know how to deal with a problem. For example, have you ever received a letter from the IRS telling you that you owe more money than you thought, and don’t have the funds to pay it? This is enough to scare anyone who is not familiar with taxes.

      How to Live in the Moment

      Step 1: Overcome Worrying

      In order to overcome worrying, we need to do two things:

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      Learn How to Live in the Moment

      By living in the moment, you calm your mind, and are able to see more clearly.

      The reason some problems seem so daunting is that our mind is racing so fast that we cannot see things as they truly are. So we make up a bunch of possible scenarios in our mind, most of which are unlikely to come true.

      In addition to seeing more clearly, living in the moment will help us think more realistically. Unrealistic thinking is fueled by confusion and uncontrolled emotions. Calming your mind will reduce confusion and calm your emotions.

      Learn to Focus on Solutions Instead of Problems

      Some people tend to be more solution-oriented, and others more problem-oriented. Some of the factors that may determine this are gender, upbringing, and education.

      People with higher educations tend to be problem-solvers. That is what their years of education train them to do. In addition, their jobs probably reinforce this way of thinking.

      If you’re not problem-solving oriented, don’t worry. You can train yourself to worry less. We’ll discuss that soon.

      Step 2: Identify Obstacles to Living in the Moment

      In today’s busy world, it can be a challenge to live in the moment. The reasons revolve around how our mind works, and outside influences.

      Racing Mind

      Many busy people have a racing mind that never seems to slow down. Their mind gets so agitated from too much sensory stimulation.

      You see, anything that stimulates any of our five senses (sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell) will trigger a thought, and that thought leads to another, and then another, and so on.

      If you have a busy life, all your activities will overstimulate your mind, and make it seemingly impossible to slow it down. And an agitated mind wants to go to another place and time.

      Unpleasant Situations and Troublesome Past

      None of us want to be in unpleasant situations, or remember those of the past. They can bring up painful emotions, which we don’t want to feel.

      So how do most people cope with painful emotions?

      By doing whatever we can to avoid them, and we can avoid them by taking our mind to another place and time where things are more pleasant.

      In other words, we avoid living in the present moment.

      Some people resort to doing things that stimulate sensory pleasure, such as eating, alcohol or sex. Others will consume substances that dull their mind, and keep them from thinking about unpleasant or stressful situations.

      A Wandering Mind

      From the moment we are born (likely sooner) until the time we die, our body and mind are active performing some function. So it’s natural for our mind to have some level of activity, whether conscious or unconscious.

      Generally, a wandering mind is unproductive. As noted above, one thought starts an endless chain of thoughts. The reason is that one thought reminds us of something else, and this process can go on until we need our mind to perform a specific function, or until we get distracted with something else.

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      Now, there are times when a wandering mind can be productive, such as when creating works of art, or trying to find creative solutions to problems. In such cases, we need our mind to explore different possibilities.[3]

      Outside Influences

      Most of us are not fully aware of how our environment and social norms influence our thinking and behavior. People and institutions are constantly competing for our attention. The news media draw our attention to the past, and advertising usually to the future.[4]

      Many people around us who dwell on the past or future try to draw us to their way of thinking. Even the whole concept of the American dream is geared toward the future. It tells us that if we acquire things like a good career, family, and house, then we’ll be happy.

      Step 3: Practice Mindfulness

      So how can we live in the moment in a world that is constantly trying to draw our attention to the past and future?

      Before we get into concrete actions you can take, it’s important to understand what mindfulness is. You’ve probably heard the term before, but may not fully understand what it means.

      Understand Mindfulness

      The concept of mindfulness is actually quite simple. To be mindful IS to live in the moment.

      When you are mindful, your attention is focused on what is happening in the present moment. When you are mindful, you are fully in touch with reality because the present moment is where reality is taking place.

      You are aware of what is happening in your body, mind, emotions, and the world around you. This is different than thinking about these things. To develop greater understanding, you don’t have to think about them so much, but rather just observe them.

      This may be counter-intuitive to many people, especially intellectuals, because they’re so used to using logic to develop greater understanding. With mindfulness, we calm our mind and emotions so we can see clearer. Then much of our understanding will come from simply observation. When we develop mindfulness, we literally expand our awareness.

      To develop mindfulness, we need to train ourselves to observe things more objectively, that is, without our emotions or preconceived ideas influencing our views.

      You’d be surprised to find out just how much your emotions and past experiences influence your judgments. What many of us do, including intellectuals, is make a quick judgment about a person or situation, then add the reasoning afterwards. That is not logic, but rather rationalization.

      When you are mindful, you reserve judgment until you have more information. Notice how I said “more information,” and not “complete information.” It is impossible to have complete information about something because there are infinite numbers of factors affecting it. So the best thing to do is be as objective as possible, and always be open to new information.

      Viewing the world in this manner can be a challenge, and takes some practice to overcome years of habitual thinking. But it can make our lives infinitely more fulfilling, as we’ll be able to make much better decisions that will result in real happiness and inner peace.

      So if you’re ready to live a better life, read on for some simple mindfulness practices that you can incorporate into your busy life to help you live in the moment, that is, reality.

      You don’t have to do all of them, but rather choose the ones that appeal to you, and suit your lifestyle.

      Mindfulness Meditation

      Mindfulness meditation is the mainstay of developing mindfulness and living in the moment. To practice mindfulness meditation, all you really have to do is sit quietly and follow your breathing. When your mind wanders off, just bring it back to your breath.

      Notice how your lungs expand with each in-breath, and contract with each out-breath. Let your breathing become relaxed and natural.

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      You don’t have to do it perfectly. The idea is to give your mind a rest from the constant sensory stimulation of all your activities, and just allow it to settle down naturally. Start with about 5 to 10 minutes per day and work your way up to about 20 minutes or longer.

      This practice is highly effective, and can have both short-term and long-term benefits.

      If you want to learn more about mindfulness meditation, take a look at this article: How to Practice Mindful Meditation to Calm Your Thoughts

      Also, there are many good books on the market that explain the concepts and techniques in greater detail. Some examples are

      Mindful Breathing

      While this may sound the same as mindfulness meditation, all you’re really doing is taking short breaks occasionally (10 to 15 seconds) to observe your breathing. Stop whatever you’re doing, and take a few mindful breaths, then resume your activity. That’s it.

      You can do mindful breathing at any time of the day during your busy schedule. What it does is interrupt the acceleration of your mind. It is like taking your foot off the accelerator while driving. It’s a nice refreshing break you can take without anyone noticing.

      Here’re some breathing exercises you can try to learn: 5 Breathing Exercises for Anxiety (Simple and Calm Anxiety Quickly)

      Mindful Walking

      Walking is an activity that you perform several times throughout the day. We often think we’re being productive by texting, or calling someone while walking. But are we really?

      Instead of getting on your cell phone, or letting your mind wander off, why not use your walking for training yourself to live in the moment?

      Mindful walking is similar to mindful breathing. But instead of focusing on your breath, focus on your walking. Pay attention to each footstep. Also, notice the different motions of your arms, legs, and torso. When your mind wanders off, just bring your attention back to your walking.

      You can even make a meditation out of walking. That is, go walking for a few minutes outside. Start by slowing down your pace. If you slow down your body, your mind will follow.

      In addition to paying attention to your walking, notice the trees, sunshine, and critters. A mindful walk is enjoyable, and can really help your mind settle down.

      Mindful Eating

      Eating is an activity that most of us perform mindlessly. The reason is that it doesn’t require your attention to perform. So what many of us do is try to multitask while we eat. We may talk on the phone, text, watch TV, or even hold a meeting.

      The problem with not eating mindfully is that we don’t eat what our body and mind need to perform at an optimal level. We may eat unhealthy foods, or too much. This can lead to various health problems, especially as we get older.

      Mindful eating has many health benefits, such as reduced food cravings, better digestion, and even weight loss.[5]

      So how do you eat mindfully? Start by slowing down, and avoid the temptation to distract yourself with another activity. Here are 3 different aspects of eating where you can practice mindfulness:

      • Eating itself: Focus your attention on choosing a portion of food to insert into your mouth. Notice the smell, flavor, and texture as you chew it; then finally swallow it. As with following your breath during meditation, pay close attention to every aspect of eating.
      • Choice of foods: Although you’ve already chosen your food before you have begun eating, you can still take the opportunity to contemplate your choices. Think about the nutrients your body needs to sustain itself. Ask yourself, “Is this what my body and mind need to be healthy, and perform at an optimal level?” “Is it sufficient, or too much?” By asking yourself these questions, you will be more inclined to make better choices in the future.
      • Contemplating the sources: Most of us don’t think about all the work it takes to provide us with the food we eat. While you’re eating, consider all the work by the farmer, shipping company, and the grocery store. These are real people who worked hard to provide you with the food necessary for your survival.

      You can find more tips about mindful eating here: 7 Simple Steps to Mindful Eating

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      Mindful Activities

      Choose an activity that you perform regularly, such as washing dishes. Focus all your attention on this activity, and resist the temptation to let your mind wander, or get distracted. When it does, then just bring your attention back to washing dishes.

      Notice some of the specific movements, or sensations of washing dishes, such as how the soapy water feels on your hands, the circular motion of scrubbing the dish, or the rinsing. You’d be surprised at how such a mundane activity can truly expand your awareness.

      You can choose any activity you like, such as ironing, folding clothes, mowing the lawn, or showering. Over time, you will begin doing all these activities with greater mindfulness.

      Bonus Suggestion

      Here is one activity that is not generally considered a mindful activity. It is physical training. For those of you who already workout, it may be easy to see how physical training requires you to live in the moment.

      Here’s how it works:

      In order to perform an exercise to get the desired benefit, you need to use a proper technique. In order to use the proper technique, you need to pay close attention to how you are doing the exercise. In other words, you need to be fully present in the moment.

      Another aspect of training that helps you live in the moment is tuning into what is happening in your body. First, during exercising, you need to pay close attention to how your body feels. Are you exercising hard enough, or not enough?

      There are times to go easy, such as during warm-up exercises; and times to push yourself hard, such as when you’re warmed up and want to stimulate growth.

      Second, when you’re not in the gym training, you need to pay close attention to the signals your body is sending you. What nutrients and how much do you need to consume to support your training? How much rest do you need?

      By tuning in to your body, you force yourself to be in the moment. So, physical training done properly is just about as effective as meditation, or any mindful activity, for developing mindfulness. It’s also great for your health.

      Final Thoughts

      Practicing mindfulness is like regularly putting small amounts of change in a jar. They will all add up over time. And this will add up to greater peace and happiness.

      Remember, you don’t have to do the mindfulness practices perfectly to get the benefits. All you have to do is keep bringing your mind back to the present moment when it wanders off.

      Practicing mindfulness may be a bit challenging in the beginning; but I can assure you, it will get easier fairly quickly.

      The benefits of living in the moment are well within your reach, no matter how much your mind is racing. If you stick with these mindfulness practices, you too will learn how to live in the moment and stop worrying; and when you do, a whole new world will open up for you. This is what Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh calls the ultimate reality.

      Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

      Reference

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