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How You Can Improve Your Self-Esteem Instantly

How You Can Improve Your Self-Esteem Instantly

I recently found out that I created my own self-esteem!   Then I learned how to re-create my impressions of past events and banish negative mental images: it changed my life.

Self-esteem was a problem for me as far back as I can remember.  I know now that I wasn’t bad, stupid, incompetent, unworthy, or any of the other negative descriptions I pinned on myself, and neither were you. Healthy self-esteem isn’t something we’re born with, like brown hair or blue eyes; it is an attitude that is learned and developed over time, and our interactions with people—especially our parents—teach us to evaluate our own self worth.

Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.

    Parents will inevitably complain about their children’s behavior; after all, children have limited self control—they make mistakes, and push boundaries.  Yet, even while feeling upset by their children’s conduct, parents need to remember to correct and criticize the behavior, not the child.  The behavior might have been bad, not the person, but the child might take the criticism personally, believing themselves to be stupid or incompetent, rather than recognizing that it was the behavior being corrected.

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    All personal beliefs about ourselves are created inside our own minds, and we create the meaning of events in our childhood by our own interpretation of them.

    We create the meanings of events, and those meanings create our beliefs about ourselves. Those beliefs about ourselves create our self-esteem. All of us create our own sense of worth (or confidence) by the meanings and significance we attribute to events in our lives. You can improve your self-esteem and re-create your life by changing the meanings and beliefs you ascribed to experiences you had as a child.

    Improve Your Self-Esteem

    There are four steps to changing your self-esteem for the better:

    1. Learn to recognize the negative statements you believe about yourself.
    2. Discover the events in your life that led you to acquire these opinions.
    3. Formulate alternative interpretations for those events.
    4. Relive the events using the new positive interpretations.

    What behaviors do you criticize yourself about the most?  Answering that question will help you discern negative self-beliefs.  Then, think how your beliefs about yourself affect your behavior.

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    For example, I used to berate myself about not speaking up and giving my opinion or ideas during office meetings or even in casual conversations with a group of friends. I was afraid of sounding stupid or incompetent and feared that people would think exactly the same thing about my remarks. I didn’t really think that I was stupid—I just thought that everyone else was better and more important, so, my belief was that I wasn’t good enough or important.

    Discover the events in your life that led you to acquire these opinions.

    Look back to your early childhood for occasions where your negative self-beliefs were formed as a consequence of your hurt feelings. Since most of your early interactions with others were with your parents, that is a good place to start.This does not put blame on your parents; they were doing the best they could. Besides, you were the one who created those meanings, not your parents.

    Formulate alternative interpretations for those events.

    Write another version and put a different spin on those events by looking at the four W’s: Who, What, When, and Where.

    Who was involved?

    In retrospect, your parents were almost certainly the ones involved in those situations simply because the majority of your childhood was spent in their company.  Perhaps pointing out faults with people or things was a personality trait that your mom and dad shared.  If that’s why they routinely found fault with you, then their nit-picking was more a reflection of their own limitations, not yours.  Understand that their criticism had nothing to do with whether you were good enough or not and that other people’s opinions would not have been as judgmental.

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    What were they unhappy about?

    Your parents didn’t approve of your behavior at times, but that didn’t mean that they didn’t love you.  Making mistakes is part of learning and growing; every human makes them.  Recognize that there is no correlation between the occasional blunders you made and your worthiness as a person.

    When did these events happen?

    More than likely, a lot of water has passed under the bridge since those events occurred.  Realize that you have grown and learned a lot since then.  Your knack for overcoming difficulties and rising above the challenges that life throws at you has improved considerably.

    Where did the events happen?

    These incidents probably happened at home; after all, that was where you spent most of your early childhood.  Remind yourself that the experiences that triggered your negative self-talk might have occurred at home only, not in other surroundings.

    Develop at least four positive interpretations for each of the pivotal life events that you discover.

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    Re-live the events using the new positive interpretations.

    With each incident, re-live it and replace your original meaning with the new positive interpretations.  Realize that your parents’ shortcomings cannot limit your beliefs, self-reliance, or ability to succeed.  You were—and are—good, smart, competent, and worthy.

    If you truly re-live those past events, replacing the negative with positive meanings, you will feel so much better about yourself.  That’s how you re-create and improve your self-esteem.

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    Last Updated on October 20, 2020

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

    We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

    The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

    Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

    1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

    Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

    For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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    • (1) Research
    • (2) Deciding the topic
    • (3) Creating the outline
    • (4) Drafting the content
    • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
    • (6) Revision
    • (7) etc.

    Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

    2. Change Your Environment

    Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

    One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

    3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

    Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

    Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

    My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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    Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

    4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

    If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

    Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

    I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

    5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

    I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

    Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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    As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

    6. Get a Buddy

    Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

    I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

    7. Tell Others About Your Goals

    This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

    For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

    8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

    What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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    9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

    If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

    Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

    10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

    Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

    Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

    11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

    At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

    Reality check:

    I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

    Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

    More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

    Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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