The Six Ways to Overcome Low Self-Esteem
Overcoming low self-esteem is a necessary step for career success. Regardless of their geographic location, overcoming low self-esteem seems to be one of the top concerns for professional women. You’d think that how to improve self-esteem would not be a top priority for successful women, but our experience shows otherwise.
What is self-esteem?
According to Wikipedia, “Self esteem is a term used in psychology to reflect a person’s overall emotional evaluation of his or her own worth. It is a judgment of oneself as well as an attitude toward the self.” In other words, it’s a judgment of your own worthiness, which more often than not has no connection with reality. People with high self-esteem are happier and live healthier lives. They are motivated and feel confident about their abilities. They tend to challenge themselves at work because they feel they can live up to their own expectations. They take failures and mistakes as opportunities to learn rather than as a reflection of their unworthiness. It becomes clear that improving self esteem should be among your priorities when a large percentage of your thoughts are along the lines of, “I can’t do that,” “I’m not good enough to apply for that job,” “She’ll never give me that chance,” etc.
Improving Self Esteem – 6 Things you can do now
- Ask your friends to be your mirror. Meet individually with 2-4 friends who know you well. Tell them you are working on overcoming low self esteem and would appreciate their help. Then ask them the following questions:
- What do I do really well?
- What makes me unique?
- What do you love about me?
Write down their answers. Enter them into your computer and print the list in large letters. Read them aloud daily when you wake up.
- Pump up your courage.Think about moments in your life when you were really courageous. What did you do? How did you feel? Remember as many details about those precious moments, regardless of how insignificant you think they were. Share them with one of your close friends. Notice how good it feels to talk positively about yourself.
- Give up trying to be perfect.One fast way of overcoming low self esteem is to realize you will never be perfect. So stop trying now. Remove from your vocabulary terms like “always” and “never” as they are usually responsible for you feeling inadequate. “I always fail,” “I never finish what I start,” etc.
- Set realistic goals. Aiming for realistic goals, rather than for perfection, will do marvels towards improving self esteem. But you can’t just set the goals, you have to fulfill them one by one. Use the list of wonderful things your friends said about you as the soundtrack that replaces your negative thoughts about yourself.
- Learn to hit the “delete” button. You control your brain. Your brain doesn’t control you. So every time a thought of the negative variety materializes, hit the deletebutton and replace it with a positive thought. It goes like this: You’re invited to an after hours and your first thought is, “I never go to these things. I don’t fit with the group.” Your next thought should be, “Delete, delete, delete.” And your next one, “I’m going because I’m awesome and I want to socialize with my co-workers so they get to know how awesome I am.” Replace the situation and words with your reality and the things your friends said about you.
- Recognize and appreciate your greatness. Keep a diary where you record daily absolutely everything you do for others. After a week, review your dairy and make a list of adjectives that describe you in view of the things you’ve done for others. You’ll have a list that says you are generous, selfless, thoughtful, organized, etc., etc. Add this list to the list you made in point 1.