“I’m not good enough. I’m not smart enough. I look terrible today.” Often, we catch ourselves being too self-critical. When we do it constantly and fail to see our positive traits, this is likely to be a self-esteem issue. High self-esteem is an important component of success and happiness. By navigating life’s ups and downs with optimism and a strong sense of self-worth, you gain the motivation needed to achieve your greatest goals. Building high self-esteem should be on everyone’s priority list and this is how you can do it.
You already have an idea of what self-esteem means, the word is pretty much self-explanatory. But, let’s start from the very beginning by answering the puzzling question: what is self-esteem exactly? Psychology defines it as a person’s overall sense of their value of worth. It is, in simple words, our attitudes towards ourselves, which can be either positive or negative.
Several factors can lead a person to develop high or low self-esteem. It’s believed that genetics plays a vital role. Yet, other factors such as age, health, social circumstances, and life experiences are equally important. In the 21st century, maintaining a sense of self-worth has become a huge challenge. Low self-esteem has become a billionaire business. Ads tell us we can be richer, prettier, happier, and basically much better than we are.
Poor self-esteem is one of the biggest challenges we face nowadays. Unfortunately, a low sense of self-worth can manifest in many ways, impacting our emotional and mental well-being. Learning how to improve self-esteem it’s crucial. But first, let’s discuss why this is important and how it can influence our lives.
The Importance of High Self Esteem
When a person presents signs of low self-esteem, they tend to avoid anxiety-provoking situations. These are situations they believe will be a source of embarrassment or failure. Naturally, these situations can involve school, work, building personal relations, which are important in a person’s life.
Nowadays, millions of people across the world struggle with their self-esteem. Young adults and teenagers are the most vulnerable demographic. According to a report, in the UK, 61% of girls aged 10 to 17 suffer from poor self-esteem. They avoid regular activities such as attending school or family gatherings when they feel bad about their looks. In the U.S. a shocking 96% of young girls and boys feel insecure about their appearance.
High self-esteem in children, teenagers, and adults is important for a significant number of reasons. When a person feels they are valuable, they believe they can be successful in life. As a result, they are motivated to set goals and work consistently to achieve them. Equally, people who understand their self-worth are better at handling disappointments and negative experiences.
What Are The Benefits of High Self-esteem?
A self-esteem boost can make a positive difference in your life. Be it delivering a presentation, performing on stage, exceeding expectations at a job interview, or having the courage to pursue a loving and strong relationship. To better understand the importance of good self-esteem, here are seven benefits.
1. A strong sense of purpose
When you believe in yourself, you can identify your strengths and skills. This way, it’s easy to discover your passion and purpose. Ultimately, this will be crucial for your career.
2. Understanding your value
You are worthy — you deserve a fantastic life! For many people, this is not so obvious. If you’ve spent the majority of your life feeling like a failure and like there’s nothing special about your existence, you won’t be able to love yourself. Good self-esteem will help you understand your actual value and see life from a positive perspective.
3. Clear decision-making
A person with high self-esteem is good at sticking to and trusting their own ideas. Self-judgement is not a big obstacle to achieving what they want and taking the right steps to do so.
4. Drive to succeed
With everything mentioned above, it comes as no surprise that people with high self-esteem are driven to succeed in everything they do. Clear decision-making, a good understanding of their personal value, and a strong sense of purpose will help them overcome challenges and limitations to succeed.
5. Unafraid of the unknown
Change can be scary, especially for those who don’t trust themselves or their ability to adapt to whatever the future has in store. Self-esteem can help a person believe that no matter the upcoming challenges, their skills, and intelligence will help them thrive.
6. Willingness to help others
According to psychology, teenagers and young people with poor self-esteem tend to mistreat their peers and have a hard time building meaningful relationships. On the other hand, people who are in tune with themselves are the first ones to offer a helping hand to those in need. They volunteer, play active roles in their communities, and so on. If you are happy with who you are, chances are you will be spreading that feeling.
7. Balanced mental health
There’s a strong connection between the way we feel about ourselves and our mental well-being. According to the WHO, mental health is “is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively, and can make a contribution to his or her community.” Research has proven that low self-esteem may lead to anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. To cultivate good mental health, changing the deep-rooted feelings you have about yourself it’s necessary.
Achieving High Self-Esteem With Mindfulness
Self-esteem is not fixed — it’s constantly changing and developing with time. For somebody struggling and in need of support, mindfulness can be an excellent way to improve self-esteem. Mindfulness is a state in which your mind is focused on the present moment without any judgment. It is a state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, and experiences. For thousands of years, human beings have cultivated mindfulness through practices such as meditation. It is believed that mindfulness increases positive emotions, compassion, acceptance, and general well-being.
The majority of negative feelings are the product of memories or thoughts about a distressful future. If you feel down, perhaps you are thinking about past failures, negative remarks somebody made about you, or you may be imagining worst-case-scenarios. When you are having these thoughts, take a break. Rather than indulging in pessimistic mind chatter, simply acknowledge it for what it is: mind chatter or simple thoughts. This is called being mindful.
Russ Harriss proposes the following method. Whenever you are having negative thoughts such as “I’m not smart enough” or “I’m ugly”, look at them from another perspective. Replay that same thought by adding the following phrase in front of it “I am having the thought that…” Replay the same thought once more. This time add, “I noticed”. For example, ‘I noticed I am having the thought that I am not smart enough’. This will make a significant difference.
We all struggle with our self-worth from time to time. Luckily, we can improve self-esteem by working consistently on it every day. This is incredibly useful as self-esteem plays a vital role in our relationships, career choices, and overall happiness. If you would like to work on your self-esteem, mindfulness is an excellent way to start.
Synctuition is an Estonian born start-up offering a unique relaxation experience technology. By using the amazing power of 3D sound, Synctuition goes far beyond meditative relaxation providing an immersive mind-travel experience that cannot be compared to any other audio mediation in the world. In its first year, it has become one of the world’s leading mindfulness apps with over four million users in Europe, the U.S., and Asia. In 2019 Synctuition was also selected by Google as one of the Top 10 fastest-growing startups in Europe.