Here in Australia, 26th January is Australia Day  – Australia’s National Day.
It is meant to symbolise national pride, and feeling positive about Australia.
Which leads me on to self-esteem – personal pride if you like.
Everyone has had the experience of being uncertain about their actions, or their abilities in a situation. Most of us at some point have also been unhappy with our actions – felt we should have acted differently in some situations. Self-esteem is related to the ‘value’ you put on yourself –  the labels you attach to yourself – “stupid”, “fat”, “unlovable”, etc.

This can be a reaction to difficult circumstances in your life, and in this case may pass once your circumstances change.It can also be due to past circumstances (e.g. being repeatedly criticised by someone close to you). In these cases, you may be able to overcome it by following the advice in this blog post.

Low self-esteem can also be part of various illnesses such as depression, and in this case you would be wise to consult medical professionals such as your GP to receive extra help.

Methods of building self-esteem involve physical and metal actions such as:-

  • Changing the way you think about yourself
    Treat yourself the way you would treat a close friend. Think encouraging thoughts, and acknowledge effort which you put into activities. Be forgiving to yourself! This includes stopping those critical thoughts, especially the ones which creep in when you are least expecting them.
  • Changing the way you talk about yourself – don’t reject compliments, e.g., when someone compliments you on your clothes or other possessions don’t say “Oh that old thing – I have had it for ten years! It’s so old!”. If someone says that you are clever, or an excellent cook, etc., don’t say “Oh no – I’m not really”. If you consider this for a moment you are actually criticising the other person’s judgement (as well as putting yourself down).
  • Acknowledge that you are unique – don’t compare yourself to others
  • Realise that your future doesn’t have to be like your past – you can change.
  • Take exercise –  if you are physically able, moderate exercise can help lift your mood.
  • Consider your own needs as much as you consider other peoples’ needs

You can also take steps to think more positively

  • Use positive affirmations– write down a list of your good points, and read the list every day. While you are reading it, really think about what each point means, and remember why you wrote it.
  • In the evening, write at least ten things that you did correctly that day, or that you can be proud of doing – e.g. cooked a new dish which you hadn’t cooked before, phoned a friend to cheer them up, bought a present for someone, completed some coursework for school.

I hope you find this brief blog post useful. Feel free to comment and add other ideas.

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