December 19, 2023

Boosting Self-Esteem: Building Confidence And Self-Worth

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Self-esteem is all about how you value and perceive yourself. It impacts your relationships, decisions, and emotional and mental health. We all go through ups and downs when we feel low and find it difficult to believe in ourselves. That’s normal. However, a lack of self-belief means you often think about yourself negatively, which can negatively trickle down into all parts of your life. 

In this article, we look at how low self-esteem affects you and healthy ways you can build self-confidence and self-worth. 

Self-Esteem Vs. Confidence 

Self-confidence and self-esteem are part of a happy and fulfilling life. The two are similar but have key differences. 

Self-confidence is your attitude toward your skills and capabilities. So, confidence is what other people see. It can come from mastering skills, accomplishments, and practice. A self-confident person often feels like they have control over their lives. 

On the other hand, self-esteem is how you perceive yourself; that’s your value and self-worth. Self-esteem is inside and not visible to other people. It’s more about who you are and how you view yourself. A person’s self-esteem develops throughout their life based on experiences, relationships, school, friendships, and more. Over time, you form an image of yourself.

How Does Low Self-Esteem Affect You? 

For many, low self-esteem can be restrictive and debilitating. When someone has low self-esteem, it means that in the long term, they think negatively of themselves. They believe that they are undeserving of the good things in life, and it can truly get in the way of living a happy life. You assume that other people don’t like you; maybe you think you’re damaged or unlovable. Everyone feels a level of doubt at times about themselves, but when you think like this long-term, negative feelings and thoughts can be loud and persistent. 

Low self-esteem often results in communication difficulties, lack of assertiveness, shyness, and social anxiety. It can also cause you to develop a stronger critical inner voice that is the loudest when you feel overwhelmed, distressed, or judged. This inner critic can lead to significant distress.  

Eventually, allowing the inner critic to win may leave you with negative thoughts about yourself, a belief that the negative thoughts are true. This can take a toll on your life, resulting in low performance due to negativity and fear, and can interfere with your relationships

Research shows that low self-esteem is associated with anxiety, depression, and academic stress. Higher self-esteem in adolescents predicted fewer symptoms of anxiety, depression, and attention problems in a three-year study. 

The Impact Of Social Media On Self-Esteem: Navigating Comparison Culture

In today’s tech-focused world, social media is everywhere, shaping how we communicate, connect, and share with others. While offering numerous benefits, social media can affect self-esteem due to its power to allow us to compare ourselves with others, mostly strangers, whom we perceive to be better than us. 

Humans compare themselves to others; it’s normal. This can be a powerful motivator to help improve yourself. However, the same can have adverse effects when you start believing you can’t measure up to those around you. 

The social comparison trap is what makes social media a double-edged sword. Research shows that the use of social media can result in social comparison and feelings of inadequacy. 

Problematic Facebook use is associated with low self-esteem due to the growing negative comparison culture and an increase in depressive symptoms and loneliness. Social comparisons among Instagram users can result in some people feeling unfulfilled in their own lives. 

While social media can help you nurture friendships and keep up with family when you’re busy, evidence does suggest it has a darker side. Excessive use can negatively affect self-esteem and life satisfaction. 

It’s important to mention that social media isn’t the sole cause of self-esteem. Self-worth and self-esteem are complex. By being aware of how different aspects of your life impact how you feel, you can start to make adjustments for a happier, healthier outlook. 

5 Tips For Building Self-Worth And Increasing Self-Esteem

Low self-esteem can affect your relationships, career opportunities, and mental and physical health. Let’s dive into five ways you can start to increase self-esteem that you can introduce to your routine. 

1. Celebrate Your Achievements 

Victories come in all sizes, and they are all worth celebrating. You got up on time in the morning. That’s worth celebrating. You practiced some positive self-talk today. Good. You went for your first run after promising to start running. That’s incredible. 

Recognizing and acknowledging your achievements, no matter how small, is one of the easiest ways of building self-esteem. Be your own cheerleader. One way to practice this is by writing down a few things you did well or accomplished at the end of the day. It will give you something to look forward to, believing that even tomorrow will be better. 

2. Practice Self-Care 

Regular exercise, sleep, and a healthy diet contribute to good physical and mental health. Go to that yoga class if that’s what you need. Go for that hike or dinner with a friend if you need to unwind for your own mental health. Always try to create time to relax and do something you enjoy. These simple changes over time can significantly affect your overall outlook in life. Through self-care and compassion, you show yourself you are deserving, and you can learn that you are worth so much more than you think. 

3. Affirmations And Positive Thinking 

Sitting down and thinking about your admirable traits can be tricky – it may even feel awkward. However, acknowledging your skills and things you like about yourself can improve your self-talk. Keep a journal of things you admire about yourself or those you have done and enjoyed. Keeping a gratitude journal can work wonders in improving your life and helping you recognize what you’re most thankful for. 

4. Surround Yourself With Supportive People 

Think about the people you surround yourself with. Certain people bring out the best in you by making you feel good about yourself. These are the relationships you should try to cultivate more. Surround yourself with individuals who uplift you even in the most minor ways, and avoid those who do things that hurt your self-worth.  

5. Develop New Skills 

Self-confidence and self-esteem can result from your ability and expertise in doing something. Mastering specific skills or enhancing skills you already have is one way to boost your self-confidence and make you feel like you can handle anything the world throws at you. 

Embracing Your Worth And Building Lasting Confidence

It takes time to build confidence and self-esteem. Be kind to yourself and have patience. Making small daily improvements can help increase your self-love and acceptance. Focus on the big picture, and remember to embrace your individuality. 

Sometimes, it can feel like you don’t know where to start. You don’t have to figure it all out by yourself. Speaking to a therapist can help you work through how you feel in a safe space and help you develop or improve skills to build your self-confidence.

Talk with a therapist who specializes in self-esteem to help you recognize and reduce negative self-talk. Over time, work to improve self-acceptance. Book an appointment online today and start to shift your mindset and boost your confidence. 

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