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Debamita Banerjee

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Boost your Self Esteem

We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are. Our opinion of ourselves doesn't just dictate how we treat ourselves, it also determines how we treat and approach the world around us. Sometimes when the going gets tough it's organic to doubt your capabilities, but if your low self-esteem is chronic, it could probably lead to mental health issues down the line. 

Some people with low self-esteem often cannot acknowledge life's endless possibilities and find themselves incapable of real achievement or joy. Thus, to build a life that you're proud of, you need to have high self-esteem. It sets standards for others to abide by when dealing with you. It gives you ample self-belief to chase your goals and dreams despite failures.    

Causes For Low Self-esteem  

There can be numerous causes for low self-esteem in an individual but it usually begins with a feeling of inadequacy. Your triggers might have happened as early as childhood. You need to identify the reasons behind your tainted self-image to successfully get over it.    

Here are some factors that might be causing your low self-esteem.  

Performance Pressure In Childhood

Childhood is one of the most joyful phases in people's lives, but as a result of how our education system is designed, it can also be highly competitive. If you had parents who were extremely critical of your grades and achievements in school, then it could be a trigger for your low self-esteem.

As children are very moldable, any experience at such a tender age leaves a lasting impact. People often start placing all their self-worth in the work they do and the things they achieve. Due to this, any failure might be taken as a sign of worthlessness.  

Ongoing Stressful Life Event

Being in persistent problems surrounding important parts of one's life can induce low self-esteem. Relationship problems, severed familial connections, and financial shortcomings can take a toll on one's self-worth. One might start feeling like they're incapable of standing up to the expectations of the people around them. They might also hesitate when asked to tackle a significant issue.  

Medical Shortfalls  

People with physical disabilities or chronic illnesses often start feeling inferior and develop self-esteem issues. By the virtue of their medical condition, they might not be able to perform every activity that a physically fit person can and this causes self-hatred and feelings of resentment towards oneself and one's body.  

Poor Treatment from a Loved One/ Abusive Relationship 

We see ourselves through the eyes of the people we love and care about. Being mistreated by a partner or a caregiver can initially anger an individual and they might fight for their self-respect. But eventually, a lot of people just accept this behavior. They're led to believe that this is what they deserve and this gives rise to low self-esteem. The abuse can be direct or subliminal, although the impact it leaves on a person is more or less the same.  

Mental Illnesses  

A person suffering from mental disorders such as depression or anxiety disorder tends to succumb to negative thoughts and self-doubt. They have a deep fear of the future and are often hopeless about it. As they see no good things happening for themselves, their self-esteem plunges and they have difficulty in accomplishing their necessary daily tasks.  

Methods to Boost Your Self Esteem  

What's important to remember while dealing with this issue is that self-esteem is your opinion of yourself. This means that although outside factors can affect how you perceive yourself, it's within your control to direct it positively at the end of the day.  

Here are some ways you can boost your self-esteem.  

Positive Self Talk and Affirmations  

The words you utter hold a lot of power. Give yourself pep talks whenever you feel low and treat yourself like you would treat your best friend. Don't be too harsh on yourself when you cannot attain a goal immediately. You deserve patience and compassion.    

Another thing you could do is practice positive affirmations each day. Write or say out loud 5 things about yourself that make you proud.  

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others 

People with low self-esteem often compare themselves to others and lament over personal shortcomings. Social media can be a huge catalyst to such negative reactions. You need to remember that people put out the best version of themselves on social media and during any interaction with people they're not emotionally open to.    

Focus on being the best version of yourself instead of trying to catch up with people with different goals and lifestyles. Surround yourself with media that doesn't make you feel inadequate but rather, motivates you to do better and stay happy.  

Cut out People Who Mistreat You  

To stay positive, you need to surround yourself with positivity. If you have low self-esteem, you may often let people walk over you and do not protest even when they disrespect you. You must convey your discomfort whenever such a situation arises because it negatively impacts how you view yourself and how others view you. Whether it's a stranger or a loved one, you should firmly let people know that they do not get to treat you badly. No one deserves mental or physical abuse in any form.  

Challenge Negative Self-talk  

To grow and become better, one needs to actively criticize and spot their mistakes, but doing so relentlessly can bring your morale down.  

Next time, when you catch yourself being critical of your actions or characteristics, take a moment to think if this notion is backed by any true evidence. If not, then stop yourself right there and then.     

If your low self-esteem has anything to do with how you look, then you need to be kinder towards yourself. Body dysmorphia is hard to look past, but only by accepting yourself one day at a time can you get over it. If something about yourself upsets you too much then try to improve it, but remember that it's not going to cure your confidence issues automatically for the long haul.  

Acknowledge the Positive  

If you have low self-esteem, you might have difficulty believing people when they give you a genuine compliment. Do not brush it off. As you begin to acknowledge the nice things other people say about you, you'll slowly start believing them yourself. Also, don't discredit your achievements and victories by calling them a result of dumb luck. You are worthy of praise and recognition for the good things you accomplish.

Focus on Self Development  

The best way to increase your confidence and self-esteem is by working on yourself. When you progress and become better each day, your self-belief strengthens over time. You can see yourself achieving things that you set your mind to and thus, it helps you assertively tackle the bigger issues in your life.  

Some things you can do for self-development are picking up a new hobby, learning a new language, building a new skill, widening your social circle with positive people, and any other activity that makes you feel better about yourself.  

Exercise  

Research shows that regular exercise and physical activity can drastically boost one's self-esteem. Exercise keeps people fit and looking healthy which augments their self-image. When you look good on the outside, you feel good on the inside.    

But this isn't the only reason why exercise makes people feel better about themselves. People who exercise often know that it's like crossing an unseen barrier each day. When you challenge yourself and you stand up to it, it drives you to work harder and achieve more.  

Try Therapy  

It's a common misconception that only people suffering from serious mental health conditions seek therapy. Contrary to this, therapists use scientifically proven methods to help people going through any life issues cope with their conditions in the best way possible and surface out of it with a better understanding of themselves. In fact, they can quickly help you determine if your low self-esteem is a lone problem or a by-product of more serious mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. 

  

If even after practicing numerous self-help methods you cannot shake off the feeling of incompetence and inferiority, consider talking to a counselor or therapist regarding your issues. Through behavioral therapy, you can learn ways to keep your pessimistic thoughts about yourself minimal.   

It's a widely known but sparsely spoken fact that people who publicly address their weaknesses face societal backlash. At a time when you already have low self-worth, it can be daunting to be subjected to harsh judgment. Visit www.iamears.com to retain your privacy while discussing your issues with experts and medical professionals. You can book an online counseling session with skilled psychiatrists and therapists as per your requirement. The online forum at Iamears also allows you to write and vent out your feelings while reading other people's experiences who're going through the same issues as you are. A kind and supportive community will help you look past all the negativity and move towards a better future.  

Conclusion  

Nobody is perfect, so beating yourself over an unattainable standard of perfection is illogical. To achieve great things in life, you have to believe that you possess the capability to do so. High self-esteem wouldn't just help you stand up for yourself, but also support others around you in need. It might be a slow and eventual process, but you're bound to emerge as a stronger individual.

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