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Guide

The Power of Self-Esteem – A healthy self-esteem is the key to the joy of life!

Lesson 1

Well-developed self-esteem is highly desirable. Some people misunderstand what self-esteem is, or misappropriate its results.

A healthy self-esteem is essential to experiencing the joy we should all have access to. There are many contributors to our self-esteem, as well as internal and external aspects that diminish it.

This guide explains how self-esteem develops, and how it can be negatively affected by actions of others and/or our own inappropriate thinking.

Most importantly, it outlines proven methods of boosting self-esteem. The benefits cannot be overstated, as anyone who has steps to do so will attest. 

Ignore Your Inner Critic and Build Your Self-Confidence

Picture having a friend who incessantly bites on your ears with snippy comments about everything you do in life.

A friend who goes out of their way to make sure your shortcomings are highlighted in bold so that you do not miss any of it in your every waking moment.

You probably are wondering why you would willingly subject yourself to all that. It all makes sense, nobody needs that kind of a negative load in their life and kicking such a friend to the curb serves them right.

In this logic, if you are willing to rid yourself of external friends who sap away your will to live, why then should you allow the presence of a critical inner voice?

Your own opinion is invaluable to your existence. It molds your character - ideally the way you desire - and it is our most immediate refuge in times of crisis.

In a sense, we are our very own best friends or our most profound nemesis in life. Whatever we tell ourselves goes and our mental process initiates a behavioral response accordingly.

It is unfortunate that at times, perhaps often, this process is unconscious and may appear to be in opposition to what we believe we accept as true. That is, although we may think a certain thing, or that a particular action is proper for the circumstance, we may not act on that truth.

Instead, we may allow our inner critic to override our core beliefs, and the behavioral response then matches that, which may not be what we truly desire.

Building Self-confidence by Conditioning your Inner Voice

Identify the Active Role Played by Your Inner Voice

Some may not be conscious of the influence their inner voice holds on them. You first need to put a label on the voice to determine if it is constructive to your needs or fuel for self-defeating patterns.

Think about a problem you are currently facing and monitor the thought process that develops in your mind. Take note of these thought processes when subjected to different situations, both happy and sad.


This assessment lets you catch your inner critic at work and realize the extent to which it influences your decision-making process.

Combating the Inner Critic

Having let the inner critic thrive within you for so long, overcoming its influence can be a daunting task. Have a clear objective of what you would like to replace the criticism with to serve from now on as your support system.

Getting rid of the inner critic without a favorable substitute only creates a void which is fertile soil for more negativity.

Retrace your steps, inner critics do not just grow out of the blue. They are slowly propagated by the environment we are subjected to, or expose ourselves to.

Your inner voice is not necessarily a reflection of the person you really are; it could be a product of toxic personalities in your immediate (past and present) environment.

Some people are raised by abusive families that constantly bombard them with opinions of inferiority and inadequacy in life. Others have friends who are continually preying on their self-esteem or influencers who tell them they cannot amount to anything.

Giving in to these assumptions without applying effort to prove them wrong lets conceited people culture their sore personalities in us. Withdraw from everyone who fits this description and seek friends and a support system that is more optimistic about life. Your inner critic immediately shrinks in importance in this setup.

Motivating Yourself and Building Self-confidence

Self-confidence is a muscle you have to flex every day to keep improving your emotional wellness. Events in life occur unpredictably, and as people grow, they are usually faced with more and more responsibilities.

To become effective in your obligations and to develop the resilience to do so, you must equip yourself with the right mental, emotional and physical vigor.

Practice self-care with well-rounded techniques that meshes with our modern, highly social lifestyles. Self-appreciation is the first step. Reward your achievements in life and say good things about yourself to yourself or others.

Appreciate what you see in the mirror every morning, and engage in recreational activities that you genuinely enjoy.

These behaviors build a supportive attitude for you to thrive and your inner critic transforms to be your most avid cheerleader in life.


Be Positive about Yourself and Love All of Your Flaws

One of the most useful skills to master to help cope with the dynamic lifestyles in the modern world is embracing your imperfections. Flaws are a big part of being human and no one, not even the wealthiest or the most privileged, can truly say they have the perfect life free of flaws.

How you perceive individual flaws determines their scale of influence in your life. To some, flaws are their primary justification for living below their potential, while to others they are a constant reminder they need to better themselves to better their situation.

The most important thing to remind yourself every time you are in touch with your flaws is, imperfections do not make you inadequate in life, a wrong mentality does. The whole essence of life is not to live it ‘perfectly’ as this is unattainable.

It’s an everyday experience that presents a ton of opportunities and imperfections to work with that can be transformed into desirable outcomes in the long run.

Acknowledging and Appreciating your Flaws for What They Are

Working With What You Have

Many aspects bring balance to your life. Focusing only on your flaws is being unfair to yourself, but if you are willing to take time to pinpoint each and every weakness in your life, you might as well take time to do something to remedy how they affect you.

Categorize your flaws into two, those imperfections you can do something about and those that are beyond your control. Knowing your limitations helps you make concessions in life and move on without the burden of self-pity.

Character flaws like having an uncontrollable need to be validated, temper issues or anything that reflects low self-esteem can be improved systematically. Flaws that revolve around disability or permanent health conditions will require you to seek ways to help you embrace your reality, not by alienating yourself, but surrounding yourself with an enabling support system.

Opening Up And Clearing Communication Channels

It is especially hard to uphold a positive mentality or even accepting your flaws if you are continually trying to hide them from the world. Many people are too devastated by their shortcomings, and they tend to imagine the world will turn on them once they expose their flaws.

They build a wall around their life with their unattached personalities and are always living in their heads (as a means to avoid facing life), resulting in depression. You will be amazed by what others have to deal with in their day once you decide to open up.

Communicating to trusted people about your inadequacies lets you sigh with relief and get a different perspective from people who have already experienced similar feelings and circumstances.

Redefine Yourself

Having flaws and being insecure about them often makes people assume a persona that displays the weakness, self-doubt and constant anxiety they are trying to hide. Projecting this to the public gives others an opportunity to judge us, crush our ego and deprive the motivation to thrive in life. Giving others power to define and control your life lets third parties misuse and abuse you, however it suits them.

You need to take back the control by first building some positivity within you to make your inner voice work for you instead of against you. Feeling good about yourself makes your persona more assertive and impervious to negativity from others. This way you can seek what you truly desire in life, indulge in activities that fulfill you and also turn your flaws into stepping stones as you work to improve on yourself.

Everyone is subject to their own set of imperfections in life. Without such flaws, the human experience would lose its luster. Part of the beauty of life is in not knowing what tomorrow holds, and with every good fortune or misfortune coming our way, a new opportunity arises for us to improve on our existence.

Never apologize for your flaws, own them boldly like badges that remind you of your tenacity in life.


Build Your Self-Esteem by Focusing on Your Positive Traits

If I were to tell you not to think of a purple dragon, what’s the likelihood that your brain will comply?

Surely, your mind took the initiative, and you envisioned some form of a mauve beast flying through the air or galloping in an open meadow.

This simple trick perfectly showcases the power of the mind. Even when told not to do something, the strength of the unconscious overwhelms.

While this brain game may seem innocent, it’s actually a beautiful template for building self-confidence. If your brain overrides a simple command like, “don’t picture a purple dragon,” imagine what else it could ignore when given the proper practice.

Every day we’re flooded with a stream of thoughts, both positive and negative. Some are confidence boosting while others are downright hurtful. Is there a trick to minimizing the negative thoughts and only focusing on the positive? Let’s see.

Positive Thinking: It Begins in the Mind

For many, the Law of Attraction has been the basis for behavior since the dawn of the enlightenment age, although it may not always be called that. Exponents believe that the energy you put out is what you’ll receive. This goes far beyond extending kind gestures or treating others with respect, with a reasonable expectation of reciprocity.

From the biblical “ask and ye shall receive” to the studies and musings of modern writers, there is a belief that what we ‘get’ in our lives is proportionate to what we subconsciously expect. It’s an actual force that begins in the brain.

Positive thinking has been shown to increase growth neurons and promote mental clarity. Also, researchers have found that positive thinking leads to a domino effect of more positive thoughts.

This ideology works wonders for increasing our self-confidence. If we make positive self-talk a practice, we’ll continue to repeat these patterns mentally.
Building your self-esteem requires a consistent stream of positive thinking, affirmations, and love.

You have to focus on what makes you shine as opposed to your flaws. By making this a habit, you’re training your brain to increase those growth neurons and shun negativity.

While this may seem easier said than done, the reality of these findings is in fact, real. To indeed see changes in your self-esteem, you have to practice speaking kindly to yourself.

Here are a few ways you can start focusing on your positive traits and living a life of confidence:

Eliminate Toxic People and Avoid Triggers

If you find it hard to find your inner strengths, perhaps it’s time to eliminate the dead-ends and remove exposure to things or people that don’t serve you or may even be causing you emotional harm. Start by cutting ties with negative people.

Their energy will surely rub off on you, making you distressed. If you can’t eliminate all forms of communication, create as much distance as is practical. The separation can be distressing in the short-term, but for your long-term wellbeing, is essential.

Practice Self-Affirmations

The power of positive self-talk is strong and proven. So strong, it can completely change the way you look at yourself. Every day, make it a habit to repeat your strengths to yourself, even those you may not fully possess yet, but wish to!

Whether it’s in writing or performed in front of the mirror, remind yourself why you’re amazing. Give yourself an unforgettable pep-talk that keeps you going throughout the day.

Take Care of Yourself

The favorite saying, “when you look good, you feel good” is modeled on truth. Even if you’re not feeling the best mentally, don’t let that impact your physical expression of yourself.

“Fake it till you make it” may sound trite, but once you have convinced your subconscious mind, you won’t have to pretend anymore, and your subconscious will drive you to successes you once only dreamed of.

Take the time to dress yourself in clothes you would be proud to be seen in, even if you are staying at home. Walk with confidence, even if you feel at your worst.

These actions will help you create a pattern of behavior that comes from within, requiring little effort on your part. Soon, you’ll begin to honestly feel that inner confidence.

Focusing on your positive qualities requires sustained, introspective healing and analyzation. Earnestly take the time to appreciate what makes you, you! In time, you’ll find that focusing on your positive traits in an innate habit. You’ll have the self-confidence you need to take on the world.


Having a High Self-Esteem Is Not Being Arrogant or Narcissistic

We live in a society where people go to great lengths to achieve that perfect selfie. Some individuals even make a pretty hefty living off of their looks. They’re defined by the attention they receive.

When the sole or most significant determinant of self-esteem is based on a person’s aesthetics, unhealthy patterns can develop. The selfie-obsessed world we live in walks a fine line between self-confidence and utter narcissism.

Countless individuals find gratification from their online profile; so much so, they base their entire self-worth on how many likes, friends or followers they have. This lifestyle and attitude carry significant emotional risks, as well as often masking a shallow existence and low-self-esteem. Three characteristics are often associated with each other when describing human behavior.

While the three frequently overlap, they couldn’t be far from different. Those three traits are arrogance, narcissism, and self-confidence. We all want to develop a healthy self-confidence. Therefore, it’s best to understand the difference between the three to achieve that goal of high self-esteem. Let’s consider the definition of these three terms and compare their attributes.

What Is Narcissism?

Discussions of narcissism have gained substantial popularity in the media as more information regarding this personality disorder is coming to light. Although the above description may seem narcissistic, it’s not. In fact, it’s far from it. Individuals on the spectrum for Narcissistic Personality Disorder are manipulative folks who are only out for personal gain.

They view themselves with grandiosity and have a difficult time showing real empathy for others, although they can put on a display of sympathy if they feel it will benefit themselves. Unfortunately, those with NPD are emotionally abusive to the people in their lives. So much so, researchers align their personality symptoms with those on the spectrum for psychopathy disorder. Therefore, it goes far beyond taking selfies and accruing likes.

What Is Arrogance?

Next, arrogance is defined as thinking you are better or more qualified than those around you. It’s a grandiose sense of self that goes far beyond self-confidence. Arrogant individuals have a hard time making and keeping friends because they often rub others the wrong way. Perversely, this arrogance very often stems from a lack of self-belief, and the behavior is expressed as a way to hide this from others.

What Is Self-Confidence?

Having a healthy self-confidence means believing that you can accomplish anything while remaining humble, or not feeling driven to display excessively how clever you are. Balancing the two is a big part of being an emotionally well-rounded individual.

Also, those with a healthy sense of self-confidence have no problem with uplifting others. They don’t view other people as competition. Instead, they applaud others when they see them succeed. They understand that someone else’s gains don’t take away from theirs. This is what differentiates self-confidence from the other personality traits discussed.

The underlying root of arrogance and narcissism is insecurity. People with these traits feel as if they have to make themselves appear more substantial to compensate for deeply ingrained insecurities. This is also why they tend to exhibit negative or cruel behavioral patterns.

How to Develop Self-Confidence

One of the best ways to develop a healthy sense of self-confidence is to focus on your positive qualities. Practice daily affirmations that highlight what you love about yourself. Doing so will make you see your worth in a healthy sense.

Next, don’t base your self-worth on the opinions of others. Doing so is detrimental to building your confidence. Instead of worrying about what others may think about your choices, focus on how you feel about them.

If you enjoy wearing certain clothes, engaging in certain activities or making individual choices, that’s all that matters.

Put these actions into practice, and you’ll begin to see your self-confidence rise. Understand that you are stronger than you think while maintaining a balanced sense of others. This will help you remain kind to others, while still loving yourself wholeheartedly.


Love Yourself and Watch Your Self-Esteem Grow

We live in a society where acceptance of loving yourself is growing more popular. People engage in “self-care Sunday’s” or relish in the fun of treating themselves to personal favorites.

There’s definitely something to gain from the art of self-love. It is compelling; as well as the immediate ‘feel-good’ benefits, it can even increase your confidence.

If you want to develop stronger self-esteem, consider these five tips that focus on self-love. In time, you’ll begin to see your confidence skyrocket!

Practice Self-Care

Individuals who love themselves make it a point to set aside time weekly or daily to cater to their needs. This could be in the form of personal grooming, napping or even engaging in a favorite hobby.

It’s easy to get burnt out, especially when you have many responsibilities on your plate. Often, thinking about all the things you have to accomplish can be a significant detriment to your self-esteem.

However, avoid these overwhelming feelings by doing the things that make you happy. This will help you continue growing in love with yourself and boosting your confidence.

Doing this will bolster your appreciation of your ‘why,’ and make your life feel more worthwhile. If, on the other hand, you don’t take time for yourself, it is easy to feel like you are living an empty life, and depression can creep in.

Eliminate Toxic People

When you love yourself, you won’t allow toxic people to be an enduring presence in your life. These could be friends, family members or even romantic partners.

Take pride in your time, energy and self-worth by only surrounding yourself with people who are going to uplift you.

Although it’s difficult cutting ties with those you’ve become so comfortable with, it’s beneficial to your overall confidence. Being exposed to constant negativity does nothing for your mental health.

Speak Kindly to Yourself

Could you imagine speaking harshly towards your beloved pet or an innocent child? If not, why would you talk negatively to yourself?

Practice speaking kind words to yourself daily. Doing this will help you to focus on your good qualities which subtly blocks your pondering on the negative. Every day repeat powerful affirmations that highlight what you like about yourself. A few examples of quality affirmations are:

  • I am strong. capable and resilient
  • I am kind towards others
  • I have excellent taste in music
  • I uplift and encourage my friends

When you do this, try and focus on more profound aspects of your personality. This extra effort will help you see beyond the physical and well into what makes you an excellent person.

Take Care of Your Body

Loving yourself involves taking care of your mind, body, and soul. Fulfilling self-love involves engaging in regular work-out routines, eating well and feeding yourself spiritually. When you holistically take care of your body and mind, you are less likely to allow outside influences to taint your hard work.

Also, taking care of your body releases serotonin and dopamine; this is especially so when working out. When you engage in regular physical activities, you will feel greater joy and happiness in simply ‘being.’

Your improved health, strength, and fitness will make you feel better about yourself and develop a healthy sense of confidence.

Challenge Yourself

Challenging yourself may seem counterintuitive to improving your self-esteem. However, over time, it actually increases it. Small, repetitive wins are the secret to growing self-confidence and increasing courage and resilience.

Once you prove to yourself that you’re able to accomplish something challenging, you’ll see your confidence grow. You’ll appreciate your own strength and tap into qualities of yourself you never knew were there.

If you’re looking for challenging activities that are bound to raise your self-confidence, check out these excellent ideas:

  • Switch your car out for a bike and cycle to work
  • Challenge yourself to tackle a complicated recipe
  • Take a solo road trip across the country
  • Train for a 5k race

You’ll soon find that with each victory, your confidence will skyrocket.

Implementing these tips into your daily routine will help you develop a healthy sense of self. Over time, you’ll see your confidence and esteem grow. You’ll no longer allow negative people or situations into your life that don’t nurture your confidence.


Conclusion

Self-esteem provides healthy self-empowerment, resilience and greatly improved feelings of personal ability. This in turn removes much of the fear that is a daily accompaniment to many people.

A person with a healthy self-esteem will be more inclined to display selflessness rather than selfishness. However, that does not mean that they totally disregard their own needs, or even wants.

It means that their emotional maturity is advanced enough for them to be confidant in their own moral compass, so their actions are most likely to be appropriate to whatever the situation or circumstance requires.

This helps them to formulate plans and take action that will benefit themselves, but not at the gratuitous expense of another.

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