You have two images of yourself: one that is reflected in the mirror, and one that lives in your mind. Which one do you think is the most powerful? The answer is the one that lives in your mind. As Lucille Ball once said “you really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world”.
The image in your mind reflects your personal opinion of you and enhances or damages your self-esteem. By improving your internal image of you it’s possible to change your world. Improving your self-esteem could help you change job, climb the career ladder, improve your health and wellbeing, or even increase your chances of finding your perfect partner.
I don’t know about you; I think these are powerful arguments for making improved self-esteem a goal for this year. With improved self-esteem what would you achieve? It’s worth noting that self-esteem and self-confidence are the foundations for permanent happiness and fulfilment.
So, what can you do about it? Well, here are nine tips to get you started on your journey to greater self-esteem.
1. Get to the root of your self-esteem issues
You can’t fix any problem until you know what it is. Tackling your self-esteem issues is no different to fixing any other problem. Did you grow up being praised or criticised? Many self-esteem issues start in childhood. If yours didn’t start in childhood – when did they start?
2. Consider what you like and don’t like about yourself
Think about your physical attributes, abilities, skills, body shape, and anything else that pops into your head
3. What are your self-limiting beliefs?
If we’re honest we all have self-limiting beliefs to some degree. A simple exercise you can practice (regularly) is – write your self-limiting beliefs on a piece of paper. Then write an affirmation that says you are doing the thing you think you can’t do
4. Make friends with your mirror
Challenge yourself to spend five minutes every day looking in the mirror. Learn to look in the mirror and appreciate what you’re seeing. Tell yourself that you have beautiful eyes, shiny hair etc. Note: At first it may feel far-fetched, but stick with it as your brain will soon accept what it’s hearing
5. Pay yourself daily compliments
Get into the habit of giving yourself a compliment (or more) every day. Your tone creates a positive vibration, which sends a signal to your brain that says you feel nurtured and valued. At first it feels odd doing this, but it soon becomes a game to see how creative you can be
6. Value yourself
Challenge yourself to come up with seven things you like or value about yourself. If you’re feeling brave you can ask family and friends for seven things they like about you too
7. Create an appearance you’re happy to look at
This may involve changing your hairstyle or updating your wardrobe. It’s important for your self-esteem for you to feel comfortable with your appearance
8. The right people
Periodically you need to do a personal audit and review the key influences in your life. If a one-time good friend suddenly turns toxic, then it’s time for them to go. If you’re trying to develop a healthy level of self-esteem then you need to surround yourself with people who make you feel good, or pleased to be with them. There’s no room for the people who want to pull you down
9. Personal development
There are two elements to this. Firstly, devote time to getting to know yourself at your very core. Learn to love and appreciate everything about yourself. The second element is continually learning new skills and gaining knowledge. This is good exercise for your brain, and good for your self-esteem
Today my final thought goes to Maxwell Maltz (author of Psycho-Cybernetics, Updated and Expanded). He famously said – “low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand-break on”. I hope you’ll release your personal handbrake and make room for greater self-esteem.
Until the next time…