At the start of the week I had someone ask me the question about how they can increase their self-esteem. So here are 5 ways that I know for increasing your self-esteem.
Tip 1: 1 Inside = 10 Outsides
You get a huge gold star if you figure out what the heck I am going to say after reading the sub-title.
My point is when it comes to self-esteem there was a mistaken belief, that was perpetuated a couple of decades ago and still holds some sway today, that by telling someone they are great it will increase their self-esteem. Nup – not really. Though too much is likely to increase someones level of narcissism. 😉
There is a massive gap between someone being told they are great, and someone feeling deep within themselves that they have done something great. Which do you think is more powerful?
1. A person does something great and someone says: “You are so great and smart and funny and brilliant.”
2. A person does something great and says to themselves: “I am really proud of what I achieved, and I feel pretty awesome.”
Which one is going to last a lot longer? Which one is going to increase someone’s self-esteem the most? Self-esteem is predominantly an INSIDE game. So work on the internal dialogue.
Tip 2: Move and Groove
Ok. It is more about moving and then getting into the groove. Our physiology impacts our psychology. In other words, our movement has an impact on our mental and emotional experience.
So the first part of this tip is moving your body actually creates a lot of powerful brain chemistry that makes you feel better about yourself. Physical activity increases self-esteem. So get active.
The second part is about the subtle physiology you maintain. The stuff that you practice many times through the day. The way you hold yourself and align your body. Do you have a CONFIDENT posture or a FEARFUL posture? Do you stand tall or slump? Do you breathe deeply or shallowly?
One of the most important basic postural alignments is where you look. When you are walking do you look high or low? Looking low generally creates a different emotional response then having your chin up and looking higher.
So Tip 2 is about creating self-esteem through body alignment and movement.
Tip 3: Challenge = growth
One of the biggest boosters for self-esteem is completing a challenging task. Each time you achieve something that you thought ‘might’ be beyond you, you increase your self-esteem.
So don’t shy away from challenge. Seek out challenges. They don’t have to be huge challenges. They just need to STRETCH you. Even by as little as 4%.
This not only increases you psychologically, but neuroscience tells us that it makes our brains grow.
Therefore to improve your self-esteem, you want to see it like a muscle that needs working out. Start off small and build on it. Set yourself a challenge and then start taking daily, consistent and persistent steps towards it. Appropriate challenge is rocket fuel for self-esteem.
Tip 4: Deposit into your knowledge account
This Tip follows on from the last. It is about continuing to increase your knowledge. Which by the way, does not include watching the Daily ‘News’. For me that is a backward step – and a whole other topic!
Keep learning. Read for at least 15 mins each day. Listen to inspiring teachers. Watch informative videos. Go see great teachers. Ask questions – of yourself and others. Don’t follow the herd mentality as it is usually wrong and not serving your best interests. Best interests like growing into the fullest, authentic expression of yourself.
The more you learn, the better decisions you can make. Better decisions means better results, which will DEFINITELY increase your self-esteem and confidence.
Tip 5: The comparing thing
I have mentioned this a few times before but apparently ‘repetition is the mother of learning’.
There are times when it is ok and maybe even good to compare yourself with others to bring out the best in yourself. To raise you to the challenge. And maybe to have a standard to aim for.
The main issue I have observed in my clients is when they compare themselves with someone much better (at whatever the measure is) and instead of saying something like, “what can I do to achieve something like that?”, their internal dialogue is more like, “I will never achieve what they have because I am not good enough (or smart enough, or worthy enough, etc.).”
Here is the rule of thumb. If comparing makes you feel better or perform better; your internal dialogue is good. But if your internal dialogue makes you feel like sh*t, then it is time to review and revise the internal dialogue. Just ask a better ‘question’, rather than making a closed negative ‘statement’.
So what to do?
Choose 1 or more of the Tips from the list and give it a shot. Maybe you pay more attention to your posture and the direction of your eyes. Maybe you get more diligent with what thoughts take up residence in your head. Maybe you need a small challenge to build your esteem muscles.
I know you have got this.
But if you need a hand, let me know. 😉
As always, please ask any questions you have. Plus I love hearing feedback from you on what resonated for you. Also do me and others a huge favour and pass them on. Knowledge used in the right way is definitely a way to access our incredible power. All the very best and take care.