It is hard to keep up with society’s ever-changing standards of beauty, talent, intelligence, etc. If you even attempt to keep up with the trends, you may wind up with low self-esteem. In fact, low self-esteem can result from several different situations and circumstances.
Many people, whether they outwardly show signs or verbally admit it, suffer from low self-esteem. Low self-esteem is defined as a low level of confidence in one’s worth and abilities. People with low self-esteem tend to take failures harder than normal, and find it difficult to bounce back from negative experiences.
Below is a list of common causes of low self-esteem and what you can do to boost your self-esteem.
Common Causes Of Low Self-Esteem
NEGATIVE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES
Whether you have experienced hardships with great parents, or you had negligent parents, those experiences could have long-lasting effects on your psyche. Our belief systems are formed during the first few years of childhood. This is especially important to understand, because negative experiences shape a person’s mind forever, unless that person actively works to shift his/her paradigm. In many cases, one who has had negative childhood experiences grows up with low self-esteem.
Depending on how active you are in being in control of your mind/thoughts, it’s hard to avoid having a naturally negative mindset. Most people who suffer from a negative mindset are also at the risk of having low self-esteem.
Traumatic and abusive situations tend to stick with a person and ultimately shape his/her perspective on him/herself and the rest of the world. As a result, one can pull away from social situations, isolating oneself, and suffer from low self-esteem.
NEGATIVE SELF/BODY IMAGE
Many people have a negative image of themselves. Typically, people tend to see themselves in the best light, in regards to avoiding feeling blamed or to look better in the eyes of others. However, in private, they may actually hold a negative image of themselves. The same applies to negative body image, although, most people are more open about speaking negatively about their bodies in public.
PREVIOUS FAILURES/BAD CHOICES
It can be difficult to bounce back from failures, and unfortunately, some people are unable to cope with the experience. Others find it hard to get passed failures or bad decisions. As a result, they beat themselves up, and develop low self-esteem.
Author, educator, and activist, Alan Gaines stresses the saying “pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.” You may not have been able to avoid the experiences of your past, but you have control over what happens next in your story. You just have to write that vision the way you want to see it play out.
Read on to find out how you can increase your self-esteem level.
7 Activities That Can Boost Your Self-Esteem
1 BE YOUR OWN HYPE MAN
Talk to yourself. Write uplifting and encouraging notes and letters to yourself. There is a site called FutureMe.Org where you can send emails to your future self. It’s especially fun when you send them months and even years in advance, because you may completely forget about it, and one day receive a message from YOU! Creepy and cool, right?
2 WORK/SPEND TIME WITH CHILDREN
Children have a way of seeing and immediately accepting you for exactly who you are. They aren’t programmed or conditioned to judge you, and they will usually welcome you with open arms and embrace you wholeheartedly.
One way to feel good about yourself is making other people feel good. Volunteering is a great way to give yourself a much needed boost. You tend to get lost in service and often forget your immediate issues. Sometimes, depending on where you offer your service, you will find that there are others in worse situations than yourself. Aside from being a very humbling experience, that can help you to see your situation from a different perspective.
4 JOURNAL THROUGH IT
Writing can be therapeutic, especially when you’re writing out your thoughts and feelings for the purpose of evaluating them. Getting things down on paper allows you to step back and physically see everything you’re dealing with laid out in front of you. Then, you can tackle your issues piece by piece, taking notes along the way.
Therapists take notes as you talk to them, sharing your deepest thoughts and feelings. Then, they repeat your thoughts back to you, taking it step by step and organizing their notes in order to get to the bottom of things. You can at least begin the process independently, by writing down your own thoughts and evaluating them.
5 TALK TO SOMEONE ELSE
Often times, we see ourselves in a less than grand manner, and it may take talking with someone about our perceptions to bring us back to reality. If you have friends and loved ones who truly support you, they will take any opportunity given to uplift you. If your loved ones knew that you consider yourself to be unattractive, a failure, or less than in any way, they’d probably shower you with love and compliments in an attempt to change your mind.
6 TALK TO YOURSELF
No. That was not a typo. Talking to yourself is a great way to fast-track boosting your self-esteem. You can simply speak aloud, saying positive, affirming, uplifting things that make you feel good. Another way to practice this exercise is by standing in a mirror, and speaking directly to yourself. The words you speak and think to yourself have a major impact on your subconscious.
TYPES OF THINGS YOU CAN SAY TO YOURSELF
“I am beautiful/handsome.”
“I am loved and supported.”
“I am intelligent.”
“I am confident.”
“I am important, and I make a difference in the world around me.”
“I am surrounded by positive people.”
“I have everything I need.”
“I am successful.”
7 FORGIVE YOURSELF
Sometimes, low self-esteem stems from being way too hard on yourself about things that most people don’t get right the first or second time around. Life is a journey of learning lessons, and you should allow yourself to make mistakes so that you can learn from them. Forgiveness is not just extended from you to other people: it can and should also be extended from you to yourself as well. Show yourself a bit of compassion and leniency.