Want to learn how to overcome low self esteem?
Learning how to overcome low self-esteem can have a huge effect on your life, what you think of yourself and how others see you.
In the past, my personal experience has cycled between having plenty of self-esteem and then periods when my esteem and confidence takes a nosedive!
I’ll be honest though, it has got so much better for me by just understanding what exactly is going on and learning how to clear my mind of any unwanted worries…
I believe this is all about mindset, recognizing the symptoms and then taking action, quickly.
We’ll get onto some great easy ways in how to overcome low self esteem in a moment but first…
One of the first questions that I came across when I first tried to help myself with this problem, was what exactly is the difference between low self-esteem and self-confidence?
Let’s take a look at this now.
Self Esteem vs Self Confidence
Before I talk specifically about low self-esteem, maybe you’re like I was and thought that self-esteem and self-confidence were exactly the same?
Or perhaps you’re having a laugh at the moment thinking how could I be so silly to not even know the difference…
Either way, just by reading this you’re building up your self-esteem and self-confidence, so it’s all good.
Let’s look at what is meant by low self-esteem and confidence.
What is the meaning of low self-esteem?
Firstly, a couple of questions:
- Do you feel good about yourself?
- Do you generally see the universe as a friendly place?
If you can answer any of those questions quite positively then I would say you have a good amount of self-esteem. That’s not to say you can’t increase your level of esteem (and we’ll talk a bit more about that later) but it definitely sounds like you’re on the right track.
Self-esteem is developed from your experiences, you’re upbringing and what situations you’ve found yourself in.
These all combine to shape the way you look at yourself and how you feel about the world around you.
So what can you do if you couldn’t answer the two questions positively?
Well, first of all…
you’re not alone, and there are some great activities you can do to increase your self-esteem.
Just keep reading.
So, what is the meaning of low Self-Confidence?
Before we go into more specifics and introduce some great activities you can do to increase your self-esteem, let’s introduce the term self-confidence.
Self-confidence is very often closely linked to self-esteem and that’s probably how it gets a bit confusing.
If you have a high level of self-esteem then in many ways you will feel self-confident in performing certain tasks and everyday activities that are familiar to you.
Self-confidence can be thought of as a two-part process.
One part of the process is how someone thinks about themselves and others. This might sound familiar (see self-esteem above).
The second part of this process is how that person functions with activities or tasks. This is despite the uncertainties or challenges that might become apparent with any new experiences that come from these actions.
So in short, you could have a high level of self-esteem but very low self-confidence.
For me, self-confidence was an issue when speaking to large audiences. Even though I used to get good feedback after public speaking, I can remember feeling terrified during work presentations and thinking how unconfident I was.
But the good news is you can build up your self-confidence in much the same way as your esteem and they will tend to complement each other when you practice certain activities.
Back to self-esteem…
What are the effects of Low Self-Esteem?
So what are some of the signs of having low self-esteem?
In no particular order, they can include:
- Sensitivity to criticism or being far too self-critical
- Being irritable or impatient, even with those close to you
- Staying away from social events or finding quick excuses to leave them early
- Avoiding anything out of your ‘comfort zone’
- Having constant negative thoughts about yourself
- Feelings of worthlessness and defeat
And of course, there are other signs we could add to this list but it boils down to you not feeling good about yourself.
Which is something you can definitely work on and improve. After all, you are worth it.
I first thought about how to overcome low self-esteem through somebody else!
This was in a work situation and it was the first time I saw the real effects of low self-esteem and ‘unwanted’ constructive criticism.
It was one of those annual appraisal type situations and the person being interviewed was a good performer but I really wanted to help them take it to the next level with their job.
So, part of the interview was talking constructively with that person about how they could improve. Sounds good right?
Problem was, they started to become emotional when constructive criticism came their way!
This was a few years ago and at the time I didn’t really appreciate how much of an effect low self-esteem could have on someone. They’ve since gone onto bigger and better things and I really hope I helped them in a small way achieve that but I will never forget the first time I made an interviewee upset, boy did I feel bad!
How to overcome low self-esteem?
Please remember that these can take a bit of work but they’re so worth it, read on and see which method suits you best.
And, if you want to try an alternative method to increase your self-esteem, confidence and start feeling really great about yourself again, try out these great hypnosis downloads.
Negative self-talk – control it!
It’s not good to completely repress your feelings but at the same time, you don’t want to be repeating negativity to yourself all the time.
Think of these phrases for example:
- I’m such a failure
- No one loves me
- Why am I rubbish at everything?
- I’m a really bad person!
This is negative self-talk and by telling ourselves these things, over and over again, it can really destroy our self-esteem.
So how about 2 ways in which you can change this?
- Use the Self-esteem ‘superpower’ – Positive self-talk
Make a huge effort to be kind to yourself and when something positive happens tell yourself about it!
Even the most simple examples can turn into positive phrases that will start to bite into that low self-esteem. Maybe you could find yourself saying the following (aloud or in your mind!):
- I had a great walk this morning, it felt wonderful to stretch my legs
- It took a while but the kitchen has never looked so clean
- Wow, I managed to finish that crossword puzzle
- My partner made me a cup of tea in bed this morning, I am so lucky…
Silly examples? Maybe… But I have said all of these to myself with the exception of the kitchen cleaning, always get lost with that one!
And to help with the first technique, how about:
- Dumping your thoughts!
It can be difficult to identify positivity and good feelings when you have low self-esteem.
What you need is a fail-safe method to record your feelings and this can be something as simple as keeping a journal or notebook with you.
Learn to use it as often as possible.
It can be great to record any negativity, so you can try and find what’s causing those feelings, but it is sometimes even better at remembering the positivity as well.
Then when you get a spare moment later in the day, with a cuppa, in the bath, or whatever, look over your notes.
Embrace anything positive that has happened to you that day.
Don’t compare yourself to others
Your self-esteem can be easily affected when you fall into something called the ‘comparison trap’!
Have you ever said, or heard others say the following:
- Why can’t I have their good looks?
- It’s not fair, why have they got that talent?
- If only I could be like them…
Most of us have been there and it’s absolutely crazy. All this comparison does is reinforce a low level of self-esteem which is bonkers because we are not that person.
Also, in most cases, there’s going to be something under the surface that we wouldn’t want anyway!
It’s so important to learn how to be happy with yourself…
So what can we do about this?
This is where a journal or notebook can come in very handy again.
Be aware of the times that you compare yourself to others and ask yourself a question or three:
- How are you feeling when you make that comparison?
- When you think clearly about it later, was the comparison realistic and should you really care?
- Do you compare yourself with many others or just one person?
Being able to examine these feelings when you’re more relaxed and away from that situation can really help you to realize that you…
Need to start thinking of things that you like about yourself and stop comparing with others.
If you find yourself in the ‘comparison trap’ in the future, just remember that you have positive qualities as well and that others are probably ‘comparing’ their life away at the same time!
Don’t put yourself second all the time!
Putting others first can be a very endearing quality but it’s important to be assertive, at least once in a while.
Has a friend or partner asked where you want to eat and, yet again, you’ve said it’s up to you?
That could be a symptom of low self-esteem…
Don’t get me wrong, it’s ok to be a people pleaser but how about you say this next time:
“You choose but it’s my turn next time”
Always remember that your choices, thoughts and feelings do matter and that you can still be a nice person and assertive when it matters.
How to boost your self-confidence?
As we mentioned earlier, boosting your self-esteem can have a direct effect on your level of self-confidence.
One article in particular really caught my attention when I started to research self-confidence and I’d love to share that with you today. Here it is:
Zenhabits have completely nailed this and there are some fantastic tips in there, 25 in fact (funny old thing!).
What I would like to add is that if you can deal with your self-esteem first then quite often your level of confidence in everything around you will increase as well.
Some things of course will always frighten certain people. For me it’s presentations and cockroaches, and I’ve just learned to grin and bear it (presentations that is).
Does any of this help?
I hope you’ve found this how to overcome low self-esteem article useful.
Please do check out the article link above if you need any further help with self-confidence and as for self-esteem, practising the methods I described will definitely have a positive effect on how you see yourself and react to the world around you.
Be kind to yourself.
Thanks for reading, feel free to leave comments below.
P.S. Looking for a great way to build self-esteem, improve self-worth and feel better about yourself right now? Check this out below…