The level of self-esteem we have is extremely influential on our lives. When we have high levels of self-esteem, we can take our lives to new limits and create a life that we never before thought would be possible. On the other hand, low self-esteem causes us to limit our own lives and live in the shadows of what could have been.
Building self-esteem can be a bit tricky for some people, especially when it has been severely beat down. However, with the right tools and helpful advice, low high self-esteem is possible for anyone.
Check out this helpful article on the importance of self-esteem from Psych Central.
The way we feel about ourselves greatly influences how we live.
For instance, if you’re self-confident, you probably spend time with and connect with others. If you’re drowning in self-doubt, you might withdraw and isolate yourself.
You also might hyper-focus on your flaws and avoid going after a promotion. You convince yourself you’re simply not qualified or good enough.
If you’re self-confident, however, instead of dwelling on your supposed deficiencies, you might use that energy to pursue the higher-level position, prepare for it and possibly get it. If you don’t, you simply move on to the next opportunity.
It also helps us realize that “we will be OK regardless of the ups and downs we have in life.”
One powerful way to build confidence is by practicing self-compassion.
“Self-compassion means we have our own best interests at heart,” Welford said. “We learn to support ourselves in the same way that we would support a friend or relative.”
But this might sound utterly impossible to you, especially if you’re more used to beating yourself up. Many of us treat ourselves like the enemy. We regularly judge, criticize and condemn ourselves.
Fortunately, self-compassion can be learned. Here’s how.
There are many exercises for practicing self-compassion. “We are all different and what is important is to find something that works for you,” Welford said. Here are several techniques to try.
1. Write a compassionate letter to yourself.
When doing this exercise, Welford shares several guidelines in her book, including: Validate your feelings and the reasons you’re struggling; remember that millions of people struggle with their self-confidence; remember that everyone struggles, in general (it simply means being human); and try to be understanding, accepting and nonjudgmental.
Write a supportive letter to yourself from the perspective of a compassionate person (someone who has your best interests and well-being at heart). You can start the letter with this sentence: “I am sorry that you are having a difficult time at the moment and are struggling to build your self-confidence.”
Another option is to “write a letter to yourself from an older, wiser, compassionate you. What would you say to yourself now, and what would a compassionate future look like?” Welford writes.
2. Focus on your well-being.
For Welford this exercise is most helpful. First, she engages in “soothing breathing,” an exercise that “aims to bring calmness and a sense of inner warmth and well-being to the mind and body.”
Image Credit: thestonefoundation
To see the rest of this article, Psych Central