The human being tends to avoid and not face what he fears and causes fear; this is the simplest, quickest, and most accessible way out in the short term since it eliminates the anxiety that the situation causes.
Well, now it is known that the main enemy of our low self-esteem is simply doing nothing. And it has been proven that self-esteem does not depend on the result of your actions. It simply depends on your action. In this way, self-esteem increases when you face circumstances and decreases when you avoid them. As simple as that.
Replace your goals with values
Sometimes not achieving very set and desired objectives can lead to frustrations and feeling worthless; this does not happen when values and not objectives are what mark our direction in life.
Let’s see it with a concrete example: imagine that you are preparing for an opposition, you have been studying for months and months and making fewer leisure plans; In this case, your values are effort, perseverance, personal improvement, the capacity for sacrifice, willpower and responsibility, among others.
If you finally do not pass the exam and you do not get the place, the values you have maintained during this stage of your life will always be there to feel very proud of it. So as the saying goes: “the important thing is not to win, but to participate.”
Identify your strengths
Today we know that every one of us is born with a series of qualities, innate characteristics or strengths that are our strengths, they are those skills that are especially good for you, the problem comes when the person with low self-esteem does not believe that he has them and it is also complicated for him to identify them.
Here we launch this activity to find your strengths:
Think of 5 achievements that you have achieved throughout your life: Finish your career, work in the sector you want, learn a third language, play a musical instrument, learn to cook alone, seduce your partner … If it is difficult for you to find them It is because you are not generous with yourself, so imagine that a friend had achieved this success, what would you say? How would you recognize it?
Then think about what positive personal characteristics are necessary to achieve these achievements: curiosity, initiative …
You already have it; these are your strengths!
Gratitude is a strength closely related to self-esteem; try this technique to practice them.
Letter to a very dear person: The activity consists of writing yourself a letter describing yourself in the third person. They allow 20 minutes to complete it. After that space, the person is asked how they have felt and what they have learned about themselves.
“I am looking forward to Friday because I am going to introduce you to a person I love very much. It’s called (write your name here) ……… and it’s (describe your positive physical, psychological and social characteristics that you like).
Then continue to describe yourself in the third person as if the letter was written by a person who loves you very much.
What I like the most about them is that ………………………
Some of the people who love you the most are ………………
What he’s most proud of is …………………………
What I would need to feel more comfortable with myself and with more self-esteem is to stop …………
He ends by writing the following paragraph verbatim: “I think you would be surprised if you knew how important and special he is to me because the truth is that he is the person with whom I have the most stimulating, passionate, and lasting relationship of my life.”
Turn your negative thoughts into rational responses.
Our internal dialogue is essential when it comes to building our self-esteem.
In people with healthy self-esteem, this dialogue is usually friendly, positive, and comforting. But it becomes the opposite; a voice appears that constantly criticizes, punishes, and despises achievements.
This inner voice is irrational and usually interprets any situation in the worst possible way, even when there is no objective evidence to reach that conclusion.
What do we have to do? Detect those irrational, negative thoughts about yourself and question their objectivity, changing them for more realistic and objective ones. It will be time to put them to the test so that your reason will defeat them. Is it a real threat, or is it unfounded?
Identify in which situations they appear and what exactly they tell you. Your negative thoughts are usually always the same, so how do they make you interpret situations? What emotions do they provoke in you?
The better you understand the emotions they cause you, the less power they will have over you, and acknowledging your feelings reduces its impact.
Self-esteem can also be low or negative. In these cases, we are talking about people with a lot of personal insecurity, to whom criticism or rejection can make them “wobble” that little security they have left.
On the other hand, their low self-esteem is stable over time, so they have a hard time trusting themselves, committing to others, trying new things, taking risks, etc. In other words, their low self-esteem almost always stays that way.
It is a prevalent type of self-esteem in people with a tendency to depression. In addition, people tend to have a defeatist mentality and who do not usually perceive their achievements as such (as is the case with the so-called “impostor syndrome”).
– Low and unstable self-esteem
It is perhaps the most “chaotic” self-esteem of all because the person is insecure with himself, he does not believe in it, but sometimes he has “highs” of self-esteem (which do not usually last long). They are usually susceptible people who are pretty influenced by external events.
For example, in the face of success, your self-esteem rises, but the euphoria ends quickly, and then the low levels of self-esteem return.
In this sense, the instability they present can also appear in other facets of their life, and above all, in their emotional well-being. This type of self-esteem is typical of people with borderline personality disorder (BPD), for example. Also, in selfish people, although they seem to have high self-esteem, the reality is that their narcissistic traits are often a “mask” to cover their extraordinary lack of self-esteem.
– Inflated self-esteem
Some authors speak of one more type of self-esteem within this classification range. It receives the denomination of ‘inflated self-esteem’ and is one that people have who believe themselves better than the rest, who are incapable of listening to others and much less accepting or acknowledging a mistake (they have no capacity for self-criticism). Their self-esteem is so extraordinarily high and exaggerated that they believe they have the right to look down on those around them. This type of self-esteem generates very negative and hostile behaviors.
+ According to their facets or areas
On the other hand, we can also talk about different types of self-esteem according to the facet of life they have to do with. Thus, we can break down self-esteem into personal, social, and work or academic self-esteem.
In general, if a person has stable self-esteem, their different types of self-esteem are high. However, it is also true that we can have excellent work self-esteem and awful social self-esteem, for example. They are pretty independent concepts, although, on some occasions, they can influence each other.
– Personal self-esteem
Personal self-esteem has to do with our well-being; it would be “general” self-esteem related to how we treat ourselves and the love we dedicate to ourselves.
– Social self-esteem
Social self-esteem refers to how secure we feel in our relationships, relating to others, making friends, etc. It is self-esteem that becomes relevant in adolescence, for example, when being part of a group becomes an essential aspect of the person’s identity.