I grew up being viciously bullied at school, and it desperately hindered my self-esteem. My older siblings made it worse with brutal name-calling aimed directly at my core fears. I hit peak insecurity at 16, which snowballed into a notable clinical depression. Eventually, I found the tools to build my self-worth back up brick by brick and survive my teens. Now, I am in love with myself, my perceived flaws (based on archaic societal norms) and my life. I LOL at criticism and speak without editing myself. It took me decades but I finally authentically love the person I’ve become. Here are my Top 10 tips for Self Esteem that I live by.
1. Make a list of all the positive traits about yourself. EVERYTHING from physical and emotional to achievements. (No one has to see it or agree).
2. Keep a photo album of your favorite photos on your phone and scroll through it whenever you get upset (pics of you laughing, looking great, achievements, your selfie with the most likes, puppies, badass quotes, sunsets – anything that brings you happiness) and reminds you of the highs during the lows. This will be your memory bank of self-awesomeness. Not every day out of 365 days a year has to be great. In fact, not even every year will be great. Allow yourself that humanity.
3. Say a Prayer of Gratitude everyday!!! This is so important to my happiness. List specifics and focus on the happiness you’ve been blessed with to pivot your thoughts away from what you “don’t” have. Example: “Thank you for my”:
- Health (physical, mental, emotional) (or a prayer of healing)
- Family (name your key players)
- Friends (name your key players)
- Adventures (name the ones that stick out)
- Opportunities (name the ones that stick out)
- Then say (to the Universe/God/Buddha/Allah etc) Please let me know how I can help
4. Create a Dreambook/Vision Board of images you want (job, travel, social, assets) and make it your desktop or print it out for you to see everyday. Today isn’t what it will be like forever, it will get better.
5. Job: Update your resume (Employment Services places usually do this for free- and you add volunteer work or remove dates if you have gaps). Then ask for “Character References” from your friends, colleagues, teachers, bosses and keep all those glowing references in a folder on your desktop to review when you’re down. Then, align yourself with a great recruiter (Mother Google can help you locate a couple in your area) so that you’re always hearing about new opportunities/career journeys. Hope does wonders for feeling good about yourself
6. Get a purpose and throw yourself into a community. This will help you find your tribe (likeminded folks). You can always volunteer with animals, shelters, churches, mental health, etc.) Try Meetup.com.
7. Read! Finding books on self-esteem and how others overcame their issues is inspiring and can help propel you out of your own negative talk funk.8. Take up an Energy Drainer – like running groups, swimming, recreational soccer, skateboarding/longboarding, etc. I LOVE boxing and yoga, it gets my adrenaline going.
9. Learn! Take an online course – you could learn any skill you’re interested in online (I use www.Udemy.com). You can take cooking courses, fitness, comedy courses, knitting- ANYTHING that will help you feel accomplished while distracting you from negative thoughts.
10. Focus on your self-talk. Try a mantra like: “I am here, I am powerful, I am likeable.” And build your list of what you have to offer (ex. facts, laughs, experiences, adventures) and focus on drilling down on your strengths. And on your bad days, use the Tibetan Monk’s mantra: “This too shall pass.”
You’re worthy of love and happiness. Learn to embrace yourself and the rest will fall into place. Now go conquer the World.
If you or a loved one you know is having any mental health struggles, please do get the help you need. If you need to talk to someone now, you can talk to one of the many fantastic therapists at Better Help by CLICKING HERE.
This post was created with the help of Grammarly.
Photo Credit: Jamie