|Crises of self-esteem are a part of the
human experience. When you feel troubled by low self- esteem, review the
suggestions below and choose those that are relevant to your situation
and work on them. Be patient with yourself: change takes time and steadfast
Free yourself from
"should's". Live your life on the basis of what is possible
for you and what feels right to you instead of what you or others think
you "should" do. "Shoulds" distract us from identifying and fulfilling
our own needs, abilities, interests and personal goals. Find out what you
want and what you are good at, value those, and take actions designed to
fulfill your potential.
Respect your own needs.
Recognize and take care of your own needs and wants first. Identify what
really fulfills you-- not just immediate gratification. Respecting your
deeper needs will increase your sense of worth and well-being.
Set achievable goals.
Establish goals on the basis of what you can realistically achieve,
and then work step-by-step to develop your potential. To strive always
for perfectionist absolute goals-- for example, "Anything less than an
A in school is always unacceptable"-- invites stress and failure.
Talk to yourself positively.
Stop listening to your "cruel inner critic." When you notice that you are
doubting or judging yourself, replace such thoughts with self- accepting
thoughts, balanced self assessment and self supportive direction.
Test your reality.
Separate your emotional reactions-- your fears and bad feelings-- from
the reality of your current situation. For example, you may feel stupid,
anxious and hopeless about a project, but if you think about it, you may
still have the ability and opportunity to accomplish something in it.
Seek out and put yourself in situations in which the probability of success
is high. Look for projects which stretch-- but don't overwhelm-- your abilities.
"Image" yourself succeeding. Whatever you accomplish, let yourself acknowledge
and experience success and good feelings about it.
New experiences are learning experiences which can build self- confidence.
Expect to make mistakes as part of the process; don't be disappointed if
you don't do it perfectly. Feel good about trying something new, making
progress and increasing your competence.
Don't avoid problems. Face them, and identify ways to solve them or cope
with them. If you run away from problems you can solve, you threaten your
Practice making and implementing positive decisions flexibly but firmly,
and trust yourself to deal with the consequences. When you assert yourself,
you enhance your sense of yourself, learn more, and increase your self-confidence.
Develop your skills.
Know what you can and can't do. Assess the skills you need; learn and practice
Emphasize your strengths.
Focus on what you can do rather than what you cannot. Accept current limitations
and live comfortably within them, even as you consider what strengths you
might want or need to develop next.
Rely on your own
opinion of yourself. Entertain feedback from others, but don't
rely on their opinions. Depend on your own values in making decisions and
deciding how you feel about yourself and what is right for you to do.