Warning: 85% of all people suffer from some form of diminished and low self-esteem. The world is in dire need of improving self-esteem. It is the low level of self-esteem, confidence and self-image that cause most negativity and failure in our lives on a daily basis.
The saddest part of it is that when we have a lack of self-worth, we try to cover it up with forced or artificial behavior. It also leads to strained relationships and unhealthy behaviors.
Watch TV, open the newspaper, listen to the radio, or visit news sites on the Internet and you will immediately notice that the amount of human failure and disaster one is exposed to. It is disheartening to say the least.
Not surprisingly, much of the negativity in the world is sourced from people having an unhealthy, low level of self esteem. Shockingly, extensive research shows that over 85% of the world population has some type of deficiency in their level of self-esteem.
Low self-esteem causes feelings of discomfort, unhappiness, anger, fear, procrastination, frustration, shyness and incapability to name just a handful. This array of negative thought processes and sensations causes people to look for artificial ways to cover up their lack of confidence by taking on forced or unnatural behaviors. Three of the most common ways people cover up a negative self-image, diminished self-esteem and low confidence levels are:
- Forced and unhealthy communication
- Issues with depression and anxiety
- Substance abuse and dependency
How you feel about yourself (your self-image, self-esteem, self-respect) plays an important role in your ability to live your best life. With a healthy self-esteem you can take chances and overcome obstacles faster and with greater ease. Healthy self-esteem gives you the ability to set yourSELF in motion which in turn sets the world around you in motion. It gives you the courage to go for what you want with courage ad a belief in yourself.
If you are one of the people in the bottom 85%, here are 5 tips for improving your self-esteem.
1. Speak well of yourself.
In The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz writes, “Through the word you express your creative power. It is through the word you manifest everything. Your intent manifests through your word. Depending on how it is used, the word can set you free, or it can enslave you even more than you know.”
The word is in the literal sense – OUR WORDS – what we say aloud and what we say to ourselves. We become what we think about most of the time. We become what we say about ourselves. If you continually tell yourself you “can’t” do something, or that you “don’t” have what it takes, you can be sure to create that reality for yourself because that is how you see yourself. On the other hand, if you repeatedly say and think to yourself something like, “I am capable of creating a life I love,” you will indeed create a life you love.
Speak well of yourself and you will begin believing you do have what it takes to create and live the life you most want.
2. Live in a positive environments.
Surround yourself with people who have integrity and self-respect. Sounds a bit obvious, but if you have friends that lack respect for themselves (in other words, lack self esteem) you probably either do or soon will too. This is because your environment, what and who you surround yourself with, plays a big role in how you see and treat yourself.
Negative environments are hard to break free from but if your environment is full of negativity or people who lack respect for themselves, consider what you must do for yourself (specifically, stay or go!). If you are surrounded by people who criticize others (and you) and speak poorly of themselves, then my strict advice is run, don’t walk! Remove yourself from their company. In fact, in my opinion, no company is better than toxic company.
3. Take action on what you say you are going to take action on or do not say it!
Don’t say you are going to do something unless you really intend to do it. We have all experienced the “big talker” – the person who talks about their big plans but never does anything to make them happen. The “big talker” loses face because no one believes they will do what they say they are going to do. Additionally, you can lose face with yourself, generating a lack of trust in yourself and eventually a lack of self esteem.
Be careful to ONLY take things on that you intend to take action on and if you do not intend to take action, do not talk about it. Walk your talk and remain true to your commitments. This is what Don Miguel Ruiz refers to as being “impeccable with your word” and it translates into integrity. People with integrity have healthy self esteem. Integrity breeds confidence. Confidence breeds self esteem.
4. Accept fear and obstacles as a natural part of life and growth.
Beating yourself up when you find yourself gripped by fear and other emotions is detrimental to say the least. We often judge ourselves when we have these feelings – we tell ourselves that we are scared because we are inadequate or don’t have what it takes. From time to time, everyone feels afraid, confused and out of sorts. Be aware when these feelings are present but tell them to take a back seat to your dreams and desires – don’t let them stop you. Keep moving forward by telling yourself you are much more than the obstacles you face and failures you have experienced.
5. Take time out to focus on all that you have done well.
Give yourself some “Yays!” Each day, take a moment throughout your activities to give yourself a “yay” for the things you do. You could even take some time at the end of the day to write down all that you have done well – include EVERYTHING you can think of!
- “I woke up!”
- “I ate breakfast!”
- “I brushed my teeth!”
Give yourself a “yay” for all of it. You will be shocked at how totally awesome this feels. Do it for everything and it is almost guaranteed that you will start feeling more confident and accepting of yourself. Of course, acknowledge the bigger things you do – your work, your strengths and accomplishments on a regular basis, as they occur. In doing so, you will begin seeing yourself as a person who does things right and gets things done. You will begin seeing and appreciating all the good you do.
We all deserve to live a life we feel great about! It begins with yourSELF!