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5 Strategies to Overcome Low Self-Esteem
It is quite difficult to overcome a negative self-image. It is much easier to spot your flaws and imperfections than to recognize what is good in yourself. You can be hard on yourself and it also does not help if you are given negative feedback by peers. Nonetheless, there are ways to overcome this negative perception of self and build self-esteem. If you’re willing to try the strategies set down in this article, you could develop a healthier self-image in the long run.
- Discover and highlight your strengths. Every person is good at something. It could be a mental attribute, a physical trait, a problem-solving characteristic. Maybe it comes so naturally to you, and you’ve been doing it for so long, that you’ve taken it for granted. Maybe you haven’t noticed that you’re good at something, but someone else may have pointed it out – pay attention to compliments. List down all these things that you are good at and remind yourself that you may not be good at everything, but you are certainly good at some things. This will boost your self-esteem.
- Turn negative feedback into constructive criticism. Rather than accepting criticism as truth and allowing it to get you down, why not accept it as a challenge to improve yourself? If you’re not good at this one thing, take it as an opportunity to learn a new skill. Having a stray negative thought can encourage you to work harder, change for the better, grow. So you have low self-esteem? Challenge yourself to eschew negativity and develop a better perception of self. You could also try complimenting yourself and others, or giving positive feedback when warranted. You could even temper criticism by saying “You didn’t win but you put up a hell of a fight and made them work for their victory. It was a good game!”
- Project a better self-image. How you feel about yourself may not necessarily be how others perceive you, and vice versa. But remember: you have a say in what to believe about yourself. You also have control over how much you allow others to affect your self-esteem. You definitely have a say in what kind of image you present to the world. Act confident – but not overbearingly so – and others may start responding in kind.
- Break the notion of perfection. While it’s good to seek self-improvement, you have to make adjustments for what is realistic and what is accessible and right for you. Don’t give yourself a hard time by aiming for some ideal that doesn’t really fit you. Accept that what is right for others is not necessarily suited to your personality and lifestyle. Make the choice not to bother, or be bothered. And remind yourself that nobody is perfect, no matter how beautiful, wealthy or successful.
- Try a spot of meditation. When you’ve spent most of your life thinking a certain way, it takes time and practice to change your way of thinking. There is a buildup of trauma inside us – memories of failure, past mistakes, present apprehensions. Meditation can train you to control your thoughts, block the negative noise in your head. The practice of meditation will allow you to empty yourself and be mindful of the here and now. At the very least, it will calm and relax you. At best, it will transform your way of thinking and help you overcome your lowered sense of self.