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

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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 July 20, 2021

      How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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      How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

      You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

      Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

      Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

      Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

      1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

      According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

      “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

      Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

      Warming up

      If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

      If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

      Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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      1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
      2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
      3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

      Stay hydrated

      Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

      To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

      Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

      Meditate

      Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

      Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

      Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

      Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

      2. Focus on your goal

      One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

      Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

      Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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      Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

      If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

      3. Convert negativity to positivity

      There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

      ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

      It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

      Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

      Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

      Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

      4. Understand your content

      Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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      However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

      “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

      Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

      Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

      One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

      5. Practice makes perfect

      Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

      In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

      Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

      6. Be authentic

      There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

      Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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      Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

      To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

      With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

      Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

      7. Post speech evaluation

      Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

      Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

      We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

      You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

      Improve your next speech

      As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

      Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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      • How did I do?
      • Are there any areas for improvement?
      • Did I sound or look stressed?
      • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
      • Was I saying “um” too often?
      • How was the flow of the speech?

      Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

      If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

      Reference

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