Self-esteem is essential to our ability to function in a healthy way. Without the foundation of a solid sense of self-worth, we are unable to take the risks and make the decisions necessary to lead a fulfilling, productive life. It is an ongoing relationship we establish with our internal self.
"It is the disposition to experience oneself as being competent to cope with the basic challenges of life and of being worthy of happiness" (Nathaniel Branden). The foundation is establishing a dialogue with our self that goes beyond day to day achievements and mistakes. It involves cultivating a friendship that includes living consciously, accepting our self, taking responsibility for our choices and actions, being authentic and assertive in our dealings with others, living purposefully and having integrity.
Self-esteem helps people to feel they can develop their own skills and contribute to their community. It enables them to try new things without too much fear of failing, to reach out and make friends, and to manage problems they are likely to meet along the way.
Things to build self-esteem
- Record how you feel and think. For example, a journal can help being in touch of what you feel and understand your behaviour and actions.
- Develop an optimistic attitude and use affirmations, positive statements to empower you.
- Avoid comparing with others.
- Know your strengths and weaknesses, and when it is time to ask for help.
- Look after your body
- Manage stress and negative emotions: if you find yourself angry, sad, and anxious, stop and take action.
- Nourish your relationships.Treat others the way you would like to be treated. Instead of saying something that you will regret, stop and come back to the conversation when your emotional turbulence is gone.
- Learn from your mistakes.
- Practice self-acceptance: Accept what you can’t change, and also what you can.
- Value your successes, whether they are big or small.