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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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      Published on April 7, 2021

      6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

      6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

      Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

      While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

      1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

      Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

      If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

      In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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      2. They Make Everything Transactional

      Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

      For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

      Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

      A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

      Some statements to be wary of include:

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      • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
      • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
      • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
      • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

      3. They Criticize Everything

      One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

      However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

      Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

      • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
      • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
      • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
      • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

      4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

      We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

      For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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      This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

      5. They Socially Isolate You

      Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

      Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

      This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

      In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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      6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

      It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

      Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

      Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

      • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
      • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
      • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
      • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

      Final Thoughts

      It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

      More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

      Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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