Advertising
Advertising

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.

    Advertising

    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.

    Advertising

    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.

    Advertising

    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.

    Advertising

     

    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.

    More by this author

    Stop Worry in Its Tracks With This Simple Trick How to Improve Impulse Control for More Success with Simple Tips How You Can Improve Your Self-Esteem Instantly

    Trending in Lifestyle

    1 How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries 2 18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life 3 10 Easy At-Home Leg Toning Workouts for Women 4 10 Best Wireless Headphones For Running 5 9 Best Blood Pressure Monitors You Can Use at Home

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on July 10, 2020

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

    We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

    So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

    Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

    What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

    Boundaries are limits

    —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

    Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

    Advertising

    Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

    Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

    Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

    How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

    Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

    1. Self-Awareness Comes First

    Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

    You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

    To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

    Advertising

    You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

    • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
    • When do you feel disrespected?
    • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
    • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
    • When do you want to be alone?
    • How much space do you need?

    You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

    2. Clear Communication Is Essential

    Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

    Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

    3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

    Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

    That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

    Sample language:

    Advertising

    • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
    • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
    • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
    • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
    • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
    • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
    • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

    Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

    4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

    Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

    Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

    Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

    We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

    It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

    It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

    Advertising

    Final Thoughts

    Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

    Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

    Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

    The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

    Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

    Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

    They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

    Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

    Read Next