Your self-esteem depends on how you see yourself. How you see yourself depends on the kind of knowledge or thoughts you have about yourself. Some people have a knowledge about themselves that they do not accept and would like to change. Some others have had negative experiences that affected their self-esteem or are surrounded by people who deplete their self-esteem. There are three major ways of building your self-esteem and if you apply them, you will become happier and more confident about yourself.
- Address negative thought patterns-negative thought patterns come primarily from bad upbringing, terrible life experiences, and the kind of expectations people have of us that we have failed to fulfill. All of these affect the way we see ourselves because we fail to analyze these factors properly. What I’m saying is, if you grew up with verbally abusive parents and you come to the understanding that the negative words they hurl at you is because of the kind of person they are, the insecurities they have which are being projected on you, and not because those abusive words are the truth about who you are, you will not associate their toxic behavior with yourself. In effect, their abusive words will not crush your self-esteem.
If you see negative life experiences as a part of life and as an opportunity to learn, they will not affect your self-esteem. Also, if you disregard wrong and unrealistic expectations people have of you, not fulfilling those expectations will not affect you.
- Identify the root causes of your failures and toxic traits and work on them effectively– Some people believe that repeating nice words to themselves will change how they see themselves. These words you are telling yourself won’t change anything if they aren’t true. If I keep telling myself I will never fail a course and that makes me feel better but I refuse to study properly for the course, I will still fail the course no matter what I tell myself and that will make me feel terrible all over again.
Everyone has toxic traits whether it be hidden or evident. Whether it affects you or affects others. People can get negatively influenced by terrible upbringing, unhealthy friendships, and social media. All these feed your mind with what is unwholesome and affects your character. You first have to know if something is not good for you before assessing how it can or might have influenced you. An impaired sense of judgement due to familiarity with a person or environment can blind you to the negative influence these have on you or might have on you. Assess the influence your upbringing and relationships has had on you. Don’t give a pass to anyone based on familiarity. You don’t have to believe every life advice on social media. Beware of what you feed your mind with. Bad influence makes you have toxic traits that can pollute your character, destroy your relationship and in effect, gives you a negative picture about yourself which depletes your self-esteem.
- Watch who you surround yourself with– When you avoid people who are abusive, cut off toxic relationships, distance yourself from people who don’t mind their words, you will become happier in life. Surround yourself with people who give constructive criticism but also acknowledge the good things you do. Be friends with emotionally and mentally mature people. Spend more time with people who share your values and interests. Association with the right people influence your thought patterns and builds your character. Also beware of comparing yourself with these individuals. Learn from them but understand that you are unique and you have something to offer to them. This will enable build your self-esteem and in effect, the right relationships.