For the longest time, in the United States and elsewhere, educational policy makers bought into the idea of self-esteem. Please understand that self-esteem is a good thing. However, according to this educational policy philosophy, for students to perform well in life, they need to have their self-esteem built up and encouraged early on.
Unfortunately, for many people self-esteem is built by being respected for showing up. That’s it. That’s all you need to do. You just need to show up and you get a prize for participation. According to this school of thought, your feelings are paramount.
If only things worked that way. Sadly, a lot of people who base their self-esteem on the fact that they happened to show up know deep down inside that their confidence is hollow. They know that this is not the way real life works. They know that the world may have some rude surprises waiting for them. No wonder, many people with supreme self-esteem are very frustrated and confused.
What this created is self-esteem that produced a very hollow self-confidence. If you’re suffering from a lack of self-esteem, thankfully you can win the battle over low self-esteem with these 5 simple steps…
Affirmations are simply positive things that you say out loud to yourself every day. This can be very difficult at times because you may not actually believe what you are saying. SO why would you say something to yourself that you don’t believe?
Increased self-esteem must start with you. So, if you are shy and intimidated by people, start to say something like the following: I am NOT shy and I am NOT intimidated by people. I am VERY confident when I get around people.
Repeat this to yourself out loud at least 10 times before you leave your room. When you say this, don’t just mumble it either, say it as many times as necessary until you say it with passion and conviction.
2. Read to grow
Again, increased self-esteem starts with you. Read something every day for at least 30 minutes that will help you increase your self-esteem. This can be an article, a book, or even an audio series. The more you learn the more you will grow. The more you grow, the more your self-esteem will improve.
3. Take action everyday
Do something every day, starting with something small, that directly deals with your low self-esteem. For instance, if you can’t talk with people because you feel insecure and inferior, just start off by saying ‘Hi’. As you get more comfortable with this, then start to make small talk. You will begin to feel more confident and more confident until one day, you will find that you have overcome low self-esteem in that area.
4. Stop the negative thoughts
Negative thoughts are like landmines. As soon as you step out to face your fear, a negative thought comes and tells you that you can’t do it and BOOM; you believe it and lose that round. Instead, diffuse negative thoughts before they have a chance to do damage.
A great way to do this is with a rubber band! Put a rubber band around your wrist. Every time a thought comes into your head that tells you that you can’t, you will never succeed, you are a loser, or anything negative, SNAP the rubber band on your wrist.
You may be snapping that band until your wrist is red and sore. Before long though, you will stop the negative thoughts because you don’t want to hurt your wrist anymore.
5. Complete an unfinished goal
If you are going to be building your self-esteem based solely on affirmations and being made to feel good about who you are without any accomplishments or physical results produced by your efforts to back it up, then you will only experience a hollow confidence, as was referred to earlier.
You are building your house on sand. This is precisely what happened with generations of youth fed on the steady diet of self-esteem stimulation. That’s really what it is. You just stimulated the formation of self-esteem not through actual achievements, accomplishments, sacrifice, hard work and other traditional indicators of success.
People definitely can feel that they can do stuff, but they can only do it in theory. When they’re actually given challenges to produce and deliver results, most people, who focus primarily on self-esteem without the matching competence, fall apart like a house of cards.
Self-esteem without competence is a recipe for failure. If you’re having a tough time in any area of your life or you feel you’re frustrated or stuck in any area of your life, maybe it’s because of this. Sure, you feel good about yourself, and it seems like you have a high estimate of your ability to get things done.
Unfortunately, unless and until that high estimation is based on actual experience and results, you’re just wasting your time. It’s probably going to be very hard for you to overcome challenges. It’s probably very tempting for you to just quit the moment you’re confronted with actual difficulty.
These five steps will help you increase your self-esteem and become the person you really want to be. Just remember this: you are not going to change overnight. It will take time but as long as you are progressing, you are winning the war.
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