Self-Esteem: Feeling Good about yourself

Dr Kanika Gupta

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”- Sharon Salzberg

A positive perception of yourself, known as self-esteem, can greatly improve your quality of life, help you succeed in your career and obtain success on your terms. Self-esteem is a valuable assessment to understand how you see yourself, how you value your worth to others and how to improve what you have to offer them. Self-esteem is how we value and perceive ourselves. It’s based on our opinions and beliefs about ourselves, which can feel difficult to change. Self-esteem is your appraisal of your own value. A sense of worth often comes from feeling you have good qualities, can achieve positive things and create solutions. If you have self-esteem, you tend to find more value in yourself, making you better able to cope with stress, anxiety and pressure at home or work.
Why self-esteem is important?
Having a positive self-esteem empowers you to have faith in your capacity to learn, succeed, and make valuable contributions to the world. It signifies that your thoughts, emotions, and viewpoints carry equal significance to those of others. Self-esteem is a mindset that enables you to acknowledge your strengths, confront your weaknesses, and experience satisfaction with both yourself and your life.
Benefits of self-esteem:
Here are the key advantages of possessing self-esteem:
* Positive Perspective: Maintaining a healthy self-concept and self-respect enables you to identify positive aspects in challenging situations.
* Adaptability: Individuals with self-esteem and supportive relationships can navigate changes effectively, such as embracing new job opportunities or relocating to different places.
* Open-Mindedness: Self-esteem fosters an open-minded approach, allowing you to appreciate others’ suggestions without compromising your own values. While receptive to learning from others, you make decisions that align with your best interests.
* Self-Acceptance: Embracing self-esteem empowers you to accept yourself as you are, providing the patience needed to achieve your goals. Recognizing mistakes and failures as opportunities for growth becomes part of your mindset.
* Coping Skills: With self-esteem, you can cope with setbacks, acknowledging that you did your best. You accept that disagreements are inevitable, yet maintain your self-esteem intact.
* Assertiveness: Possessing self-esteem enables you to express your opinions confidently without feeling threatened or flustered. Valuing your worth allows you to communicate without the fear of disapproval, even if your views may be proven wrong.
* Commitment: Confronting life’s challenges is inevitable, and self-esteem plays a crucial role in how you handle them. Believing in yourself fosters a commitment to overcoming challenges, even if it requires increased effort and dedication. Confidence in your abilities translates into commitment to your success.
Ways to improve self-esteem: Enhancing self-esteem is crucial for overall well-being and confidence. Here are various ways to improve self-esteem:
* Practice Self-Compassion: Develop a kind and understanding attitude towards oneself, especially in challenging situations. Treat yourself with the same empathy you would offer a friend.
* Set Realistic Goals: Establish achievable and realistic goals. Success in reaching these goals, even small ones, contributes to a sense of accomplishment and boosts self-esteem.
* Celebrate Achievements: Acknowledge and celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how minor. Take time to reflect on your successes and give yourself credit.
* Positive Affirmations: Use positive affirmations to challenge and overcome self-sabotaging thoughts. Repeat positive statements about yourself to reinforce a positive self-image.
* Focus on Strengths: Identify and focus on your strengths and talents. Cultivating and utilizing these strengths can enhance feelings of competence and self-worth.
* Accept Imperfections: Embrace your imperfections as part of what makes you unique. Accept that nobody is perfect, and mistakes are opportunities for learning and growth.
* Surround Yourself with Positivity: Spend time with positive and supportive people who uplift and encourage you. Avoid toxic relationships that undermine your self-esteem.
* Learn and Grow: Continuously seek opportunities for learning and personal development. Acquiring new skills and knowledge can boost confidence and self-esteem.
* Physical Activity: Engage in regular physical activity, as exercise has been linked to improved mood and self-esteem. Find activities you enjoy to make it a sustainable part of your routine.
* Maintain Healthy Relationships: Foster healthy connections with friends, family, and peers. Positive relationships provide a support system and contribute to a sense of belonging.
* Practice Gratitude: Reflect on the positive aspects of your life. Keeping a gratitude journal can help shift your focus to the things you appreciate, fostering a positive outlook.
* Learn to Say No: Set healthy boundaries by learning to say no when necessary. Respecting your own limits and priorities is key to maintaining self-esteem.
* Dress for Success: Take pride in your appearance by dressing in a way that makes you feel confident. When you feel good about how you look, it can positively impact your self-esteem.
* Seek Support: If you’re struggling with self-esteem, don’t hesitate to seek support from friends, family, or a mental health professional. Talking about your feelings can be a crucial step towards improvement.
” Mindfulness and Meditation: Practice mindfulness and meditation to stay present and cultivate a positive mindset. Mindful practices can help manage stress and enhance overall well-being.
Remember that improving self-esteem is a gradual process, and it’s okay to seek professional help if needed. Consistent efforts to incorporate these strategies into your daily life can contribute to long-term positive changes in self-esteem.
(The author is a Ph.D. in Human Development
from University of Jammu)