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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 March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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