According to Dictionary.com Self-Esteem is
a realistic respect for or favorable impression of oneself; self-respect
an inordinantely or exaggeratedly favorable impression of oneself
Self-Esteem is basically your opinion of yourself - how you feel about yourself, be it good or bad opinions.
Other words used in relation to self-esteem may include, but are not limited to:
The opposite of Self-Esteem is Self-Depreciation or Self-Doubt and Uncertainty.
There must be a healthy balance between self-esteem and boasting. It is one thing to know that you have worth, but it is another thing to be so caught up in yourself lthat you look down on other people and think you are better than they are.
A low self-esteem is also not a healthy way to live. You will be unhappy, have low confidence, and find it next to impossible to be who you want to be, and other people will not likely want to be around you because you drag them down.
What Creates Our Self-Esteem?
There are various factors which take a toll or make our Self-Esteem what it is. Mind you, your opoinion does not have to be based on anything but your own opinion, yet there are some typical features that many people seem to rely on when it comes to rating themselves. These may include, but are not limited to your job and its worth; the respect or lack thereof from other people; your belief as to whether or not you are a successful person and what you base success on; how you see yourself - aka self-image; how you feel about your strenghts and your weaknesses; how you feel or what you think of your social status; how well you relate to others; the ability to make your own decisions or lack thereof, etc.
So how can we create a healthy Self-Esteem?
om/self_esteem.htm suggests the following:
1. Face your fears - challenges seem scary but your fears are usually exagerated. Facing your fears increases your confidence and boosts your esteem.
2. Forget your failures - learn from them. Avoid making the same mistakes again but don't limit yourself by assuming you failed before so you can't succeed this time. Try again, you're wiser and stronger. Don't be trapped in the past!
3. Know what you want and ask for it. Learn about being assertive - you deserve your dreams to come true!
4. Reward yourself when you succeed. No-one else will! Isn't everything easier when you take time to help yourself? Make a list of your successes and focus on the positive.
5. Talk - We often make assumptions about a situation or person which are not true. Your attitude and behaviour can be negatively affected so if you have any doubt or question ask and don't assume you know why or how.
6. Don't be defeated! Try something else. You are not going to be defeated by one failed attempt are you? Doesn't everyone fail before they succeed? All you need is a different approach. Good luck! I wish you happiness and success!
Another Way That I Have Worked On My Healthy Self-Esteem:
Affirmations: When I was first told about the power of affirmations and what affirmations were, I laughed at the doctor, or at least laughed at the idea of it. Now, some 8 years since seeing that doctor, I know the value of them first hand and how, with time and patience, they CAN and WILL make a difference in your life if you really want them to.
What is an affirmation? According to www.dictionary.com an affirmation is:
-the act or an instance of affirming; state of being affirmed
-the assertion that something exists or is true
-something that is affirmed; a statement or proposition that is declared to be true
-confirmation or ratification of the truth or validity of a prior judgment, decision, etc
It is the 2nd and 3rd definition that is important where we are concerned.
Most of our self-talk, the things that run through our minds without us even thinking about them, are negative thoughts. Examples may include:
I can't do (fill in the blank); I am no good; I am not smart; I am not a good handsome/pretty, etc. Some of these thoughts we DO realize because we talk about them with other people or we even say them out loud, giving them power and voice.
The idea of an affirmation is to change the way we think over a period of time. Let's face it, we didn't start off in life thinking negatively. Most of us had loving guardians/parents who told us we were good boys and girls, smart, could make lots of friends, we were loved etc. But even if we didn't have that positive nurturing upbringing, our own thoughts come into play at a certain age.
What we do is take a negative thought, such as the ones above, and turn them around into a positive and focus on them for a period of time. The top thing to remember about affirmations is that they are not going to work overnight, they will feel uncomfortable when you first begin them, but that they CAN and DO work if you are willing to work with them.
How To Write An Affirmation
I've learned many things about affirmations over the years. These are the top things to remember:
1. Personalize your affirmations. Start with or use the words: “I,” “me,” and “my.” You are focusing on YOU and not other people so make it personal to YOU.
2. Write your affirmations in the PRESENT tense. In other words use the beginnings such as I CAN, I AM, I HAVE. To use the statement I WILL is future and you may not think of it very often so stick to the basics until you get more advanced in using affirmations.
3. Make your affirmations realistic. Don't be gradious in your thinking. For example, saying something like “I am in control of my life,” is not true. Nobody is ever in perfect control of their life all the time. Instead say something like, “I have control over my decisions, actions and words most of the time.”
4. Be positive! Remember, you are trying to turn the NEGATIVE into POSITIVE. One idea is to write down your negative thought and then write the complete opposite using the above guidelines as you do. Retraining your brain or your body is not easy, but keep it positive. It's not important if you dont' believe it right away. It's not likely you will, but over time it will begin to replace the negative tape that runs through your mind. Be positive.
5. Make your affirmations short and easy. Long and winded ones will bore you and you are unlikely to remember them. Short and sweet as the old saying goes. You're not writing a poem, you're writing an affirmation. Keep it to one sentence.
6. When using your affirmations, here is how to use them:
-Write each affirmation out 10 times each day.
-Say each affirmation out loud 10 times eacy day. For a better effect, say it while looking in the mirror.
-Visualize each affirmation. Visualize you as the person you are affirming to be.
The more you do number 6, the more you will see and feel the results. And a good way to follow through on number 6 easily is to do the following:
Get some Blank Recipe Cards
Colourful Pens and Stickers
Your List of Personal Affirmations for Your Situation(s)
A - On one recipe card, write out one affirmation. Use bright colours and stickers to decorate it and make it look upbeat and positive.
B - Do A until all your affirmations are written out on a separate recipe card and you have a small pile of them or even put them in a decorated recipe box.
C - Everyday at the same time of your choice, get your Affirmation Cards out and read each one out loud 3 times. Some people even go so far as to keep an Affirmation Journal and WRITE each affirmation out 10 times each day. If you can do that, more power to you, but I personally couldn't do that without causing more stress in my life.
D - Place a copy of your affirmations all on one sheet of paper in places you visit often: the refridgerator door, the mirror in the bathroom, your office desk, etc. When you see them, you will be reminded of them and may even be able to recite a few from the top of your head, which is great because it is beginning to get into your soul and your mind from the positive energy you are putting into it.
E - Another way to use Positive Affirmations is to record your personal affirmations using your own voice and then listening to them the same way you would listen to a guided meditation or a Book on Cassette/CD.
Some simple examples of Positive Affirmations anybody can use would include the following:
I am a happy person.
I enjoy my life.
I have fun with friends.
I make friends easily.
I am a lilkeable person.
I have good qualities to offer people.
I am free to choose the life I want to live.
I deserve to be happy.
I like myself.
I love myself.
I accept myself unconditionally.
I respect myself.
Personalize your affirmations. Start with or use the words: “I,” “me,” and “my.” You are focusing on YOU and not other people so make it personal to YOU.
Write your affirmations in the PRESENT tense. In other words use the beginnings such as I CAN, I AM, I HAVE. To use the statement I WILL is future and you may not think of it very often so stick to the basics until you get more advanced in using affirmations.
Make your affirmations realistic. Don't be gradious in your thinking. For example, saying something like “I am in control of my life,” is not true. Nobody is ever in perfect control of their life all the time. Instead say something like, “I have control over my decisions, actions and words most of the time.”
Be positive! Remember, you are trying to turn the NEGATIVE into POSITIVE. One idea is to write down your negative thought and then write the complete opposite using the above guidelines as you do. Retraining your brain or your body is not easy, but keep it positive. It's not important if you dont' believe it right away. It's not likely you will, but over time it will begin to replace the negative tape that runs through your mind. Be positive.
Make your affirmations short and easy. Long and winded ones will bore you and you are unlikely to remember them. Short and sweet as the old saying goes. You're not writing a poem, you're writing an affirmation. Keep it to one sentence.
Everybody is going to have different affirmations because not everybody has the same issues to deal with. Some have not-so-pleasant pasts; some have issues with their appearance; others have issues with the amount of knowledge or lack thereof they have difficulty with. The key is to personalize YOUR affirmations for YOU and YOUR NEEDS. Don't ask people to write affirmations for you because they will see you totally different than you see yourself. Affirmations are something that you can do in a group or on your own, but either way, you have to make your affirmations fit your life.
I never thought I'd see a difference in myself simply by working on affirmations, but I am a living and walking testament to what some belief in a psychiatrist and some belief in myself and these ideas can result in. Very rarely do I have issues with my self-esteem. If people don't like me or something about me, that is not my problem to deal with or think about but their own. I still work on affirmations to this day because there are always going to be issues that challenge how we think about ourselves and how we feel about our worth in society. Our worth is not how we compare to another person but how we compare to what we think we should be and what we are.
Remembmer that your Self-Esteem is a crucial cornerstone of your life and that having a positive Self-Esteem makes lliving more pleasant, peaceful and playful. It affects how you think, act and relate to other people in everyday living.
So let's get working on increasing our self-esteem and see more smiles in life and more glasses half full rather than half empty. Skies may be grey, but behind every grey sky lies the beautiful blue canopy we long for. Working on your self-esteem using some of the ideas here is like watching the wind blow the grey clouds away and starting to see that blue canopy with its bright yellow sun smiling at you. Work at it and eventually, you WILL smile back. :)