Self-esteem: it’s how we evaluate or appraise our own sense of worth.
When we are suffering with low self-esteem, we are more likely to:
>> Give up our personal power and the ability to influence others.
>> Feel insignificant to others, constantly seeking affection, attention, and acceptance.
>> Lack a sense of virtue or feel plagued with an inherent nagging sense of not being a good person, morally or ethically.
>> Often feel unloved, unappreciated, and unwanted, or that we aren’t good enough or worthy of love.
>> Be easily dominated by others who we perceive as being more powerful and capable than we are.
If we can relate to any of these feelings, then we’re often more likely to resort to certain behaviours in an effort to numb out the pain and escape to a world that allows us a temporary release of our suffering and problems.
One of the ways in which people escape is by dating or staying in relationships with partners who might not serve them. They could be unhealthy, toxic, controlling, or emotionally distressful, however we stay because we feel a false sense of security, validation, and feeling “wanted,” which gives us an artificial boost of self-esteem.
If we feel that we aren’t good enough, we will stay in relationships that aren’t good enough for us. If we feel we don’t deserve better, then we will settle with what we have, rather than fighting for better. If we feel that we aren’t entitled to be happy, then we will stay with people who don’t make us feel happy.
If we want to attract a healthier relationship, we have to change our relationship with ourselves by improving our self-esteem. Here are six ways to flip our mindset and begin restoring our self-esteem.
1. Create an attitude of gratitude.
We live in a society where it is easier for us to find faults and flaws within ourselves, but when asked what we like about ourselves or what we do well, we are often met with silence. At the end of each day, list three things you did that you feel good about. By focusing on what we have done, rather than what we haven’t done, we are creating positive momentum and training our mind to look for goodness rather than identifying what we think is lacking.
2. Don’t compare yourself to others.
We are all individual—unique and special in our own way. There is no such thing as being 100 percent perfect, but we are all perfect in our own way and that is what we should celebrate. Instead of focusing on what others are doing and putting everyone else on a pedestal, feeling that they are better than us, we have to shift the focus away from them and onto us.
We must be mindful of bringing our attention back to how we are doing and what makes us unique. Consider what skills, qualities, or characteristics you have that make you different from others. How do others describe you when they first meet you? You might not be perfect, but we all have a je ne sais quoi that will be appealing, attractive, and fascinating to others!
3. Accept and cherish compliments.
Instead of deflecting, dismissing, or ignoring compliments, accept them with a big thank you and a genuine smile. Think of each compliment as a boxed gift with a big bow on it. If someone gave us a gift, we would consider it rude to ignore the gift, return it, or reject it instead of receiving it. Then why do we so regularly do the same with compliments? We might be worried that the person isn’t being genuine or truthful, but that is not our place to judge. Accept the compliment—without judgement.
4. Surround yourself with goodness.
Spend time with people who make you feel good. If you have a negative influence or person in your life, step back and be aware of how you might be letting them drag you down. When life feels like an uphill climb, we can’t afford to be pulled down by someone else’s negativity.
5. Stay active.
Regular exercise is a great way to get our endorphins flowing. If we feel healthy and are happy with how we look, we will begin to feel better about ourselves as a whole. Start with a short walk every day, and gradually increase the length or branch out and try other forms of exercise that help you feel accomplished.
6. Spread the love.
It amazes me to see how much we can boost our self-esteem just by being kind. Try giving one person a compliment each day or doing one nice thing for someone who needs it. Not only will we feel better about ourselves, but we will begin to feel the positive karma of our efforts.
Low self-esteem can often be the spark plug for self-destruction within relationships. By implementing these six tips into our lives, we can attract healthier connections into our lives and also create a healthier relationship with ourselves—which is the most important relationship of all.