We’ve all been there. Moments in which we begin to criticize every inch of our body, our mind, our worth, our relationships, etc., draining us of any positivity or ounce of confidence we had left in us. Self-esteem is simply one of those things that needs tending to and a lot of love. Left unattended, we often find ourselves in an situation where we continue to self-sabotage our progress to change how we value and perceive ourselves, despite knowing the detrimental effect is has on our mental well-being.
While low self-esteem itself isn’t considered a mental health problem, it can easily move in that direction if you begin to experience high levels of anxiety or constant depression as a result. When you begin to blame yourself, only view yourself negatively, feel hopeless and worry about your inability to get anywhere or do anything, you find that it’s increasingly difficult to build your self-esteem. And living in a world in which social media seems to occupy a lot of our time, we are faced with more instances where we can easily take criticism to heart, or misplace importance on things that truly don’t matter. Sometimes, we even begin to compare our lives to those we’ve never met, measure our success based on what we see on social media, and envy a life that’s been perfectly curated for one’s social account. Ultimately, we are allowing external and unrealistic factors to somehow, in some way, trigger our brains to think just us isn't good enough – even for just a moment.
So, before we allow ourselves to instantly go to a dark place of self-loathing and picking apart our very existence, let’s make a conscious effort to be kind to ourselves and to build up our self-esteem rather than break it down. Below are four things I’m conscious of and implementing in my life to work toward bettering my self-esteem:
1. Find The Source - understand what it is that's breaking you down and try to get to the root of it. More often than not there is an underlying reason that triggers much of your reactions and thoughts. By finding that reason you can slowly work on mending sensitive subjects and nurturing a more positive outlook. Break old habits that may be impacting how you view yourself and begin to rebuild a stronger foundation.
2. Positive Vibes Mostly - identify and challenge negative thoughts, especially in times of stress or doubt. Learn to love and accept yourself as you are. Don't allow others negative vibes to impact how you feel about yourself, instead, focus on training your brain to being kinder to yourself whenever you're not satisfied with a particular outcome or how you may view yourself. We all have our good and bad days, that's a fact. So, on those bad days, be sure to catch yourself and direct that brain to the positive lane and away from negative alley! A positive vibe will attract positive people. and positive people will build your confidence, and confidence will boost your self-esteem. *insert positive words of affirmation here to be repeated frequently*
3. Get Your Fit On - I'm a huge believer that exercising will improve your self-esteem. When you work out, you are taking time out for self-care. This allows your body to destress, sweats out the bad vibes, and releases those much needed endorphin's. You get to set goals, track progress, and feel good both inside and out. Your self-perception improves, you begin to see your hard work paying off and gain satisfaction by seeing things through. Your self-esteem naturally begins to increase - look good feel good!
4. Find Your Uniqueness - stop comparing yourself! I know this one is tough, but begin to realize that no one person is the same; body type, hair, intelligence, life experiences etc. Unfortunately, we all fall into the trap of wishing we had someone else’s life, someone else’s career, body type etc. We begin to compare ourselves and wish we had what they had. Rather than comparing, take a second to acknowledge what you bring to the table, what you've worked hard for, and what makes you different. Don't chase someone else's life. Blaze your own damn trail and love the sh*t out of yourself for being you - the good, the bad and the ugly.
Our self-esteem is the opinion of our self and what we think our worth is. It’s responsible for our attitude, our drive, and our happiness. So, if we can’t value ourselves, how do we expect to value others? I know that we all realize the importance of self-esteem and the impact it has on our lives, so let’s commit to being a little kinder to ourselves and to one another…okay? Start by embrace your uniqueness, boost those endorphins, spread positive vibes, and train your brain to think more positively on a regular basis.
….but please remember that seeking guidance when you feel life is just too much to handle isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength. Your mental health is very important and you don’t have to battle through it alone.
WEARING: American Eagle Mom Jeans, Belt by Peggy Sue, Top by Aritzia/Wilfred, Hair by Civello (Kelly @Rosedale), Necklace by Teonella.