What can I do if I have low self-esteem?

If you have read ‘Identifying low self-esteem’ and concluded that you are indeed suffering from this, what can you do next, as in right now? There are many activities you can do, and I’ll make sure to write another article listing helpful websites and resources, but for now, these are my top tips to get you started.

July 6 boostTaking action is challenging. It can feel easier to remain in your ‘safe’ place – if you don’t try, you can’t fail right? Wrong! Living with low self-esteem is debilitating and stops you from living your life to the full. We only get one life, and it is short, so it is time to take control and improve how you feel about yourself.

The most effective way to deal with low self-esteem (in my opinion) is to talk about it. I found it hard to talk to people who knew me, as you really need to delve quite deep into your soul to figure out why you have these feelings. I would highly recommend speaking to a trained counsellor. They often will use CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) to help you understand yourself and challenge your negative beliefs. I found this very useful and still use the advice today. You might not be able to see anyone straight away (if you go through the NHS), but at least get the process started today.

overcoming

Another resource I would highly recommend is the book series Overcoming Low Self-Esteem. At £15.99, it is a steal for three books which might change your life! My counsellor used these books so they come highly commended by experts. They give you excellent step-by-step guidance on how to get to the bottom of the root of your self-esteem and then how to improve it. The book series is good if you can’t bring yourself to talk to anybody for now, so click that buy button now!

Within the book series, there is a practical exercise which I found so helpful. It is all about identifying your negative predictions and then challenging them and finding alternative perspectives. You can read my posts to get a head-start 🙂

Another big recommendation from me is to exercise. Even if you only manage a walk around the block at first (there are real benefits to power walking!), it is a step toward self-care, which you need right now. As Elle from Legally Blonde says, ‘exerciseI don't want another girl's body. I want my body, but leaner, stronger and healthier. gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy’! It is cliche but true…and if you sit on your bum all the time eating sugary food and putting on weight, your self-esteem will continue to suffer.

My final tip, which is something you can get started today, is to go through the 30 day self-esteem challenge. This is an activity I found on another blog, and it gave me something to do everyday to understand how I felt about myself and challenge some of my negative thoughts. Try and be honest but also positive throughout the challenge. It’s not a miracle worker, but it gets you on the right track to focus on giving yourself some attention and love, which I promise you fully deserve.

Please do explore the rest of the website for more tips on improving your self-esteem. My next article in this series will be focused on things to avoid when you have low self-esteem…

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Identifying low self-esteem

I remember when it hit me that I was suffering with low self-esteem. It was like someone switched the light on in my mind and everything finally made sense. I finally understood the main issue which was causing me to feel depressed and anxious. 

Once I knew I had low self-esteem, it became easier to take steps to address the issue and focus on improving how I felt about myself. Not easy…but easier! 

But it took ages for me to realise, which led to years going by feeling like I wasn’t pretty enough, like I wasn’t as interesting as my friends, believing that my skin was too ugly for anyone to admire me. 

That’s why I’m writing now. I want you to realise if you have low self-esteem, so you can begin a journey of improving your self-love (sorry, that’s cheesy I know!). 

I mainly realised that I had low self-esteem because someone (I think it was my mum) told me she thought I did. So, I went on trusty Google and looked at websites for symptoms. I was really shocked actually when I realised every single symptom was real for me. It was very emotional to finally accept that I had this problem. 

I would highly recommend using Mind’s website to understand more about self-esteem. They list the symptoms as feeling:

  • like you hate or dislike yourself
  • worthless or not good enough
  • unable to make decisions or assert yourself
  • like no one likes you
  • you blame yourself for things that aren’t your fault
  • guilt for spending time or money on yourself
  • unable to recognise your strengths
  • undeserving of happiness
  • low in confidence.

Get Self Help also is helpful in clarifying how low self-esteem might affect you:

Emotions

  • depressed
  • hurt
  • angry
  • frustrated
  • anxious
  • ashamed
  • guilty
  • stressed

Thoughts

  • Negative, self-critical: I’m so stupid, I’m worthless, It’s my fault, I’m a failure, I’m not good enough, I’m incompetent. 
  • Unhelpful thinking habits might include Mental Filter, Mind Reading, Self Blame, Internal Critic, Compare & Despair, Shoulds and Musts, Black and White Thinking

Behaviours

  • try to please others
  • get defensive when we believe we’re being criticised
  • under-achieve or work harder to compensate and cover up our incompetence
  • shy and passive around others
  • avoid situations and people
  • neglect or abuse ourselves

I would be surprised if everybody doesn’t identify with at least a few of these, and I imagine everybody has moments of low self-esteem. However, if you identify with lots of these and feel them regularly, and they frequently affect your daily life, I would say you are suffering from low self-esteem and you should start to take actions to improve this. 

But what should you do if you have just realised you have low self-esteem?

In the next post, I’ll write about what you can do next. In the meantime, why not start this 30 day self-esteem challenge.

 

31 Days of Wellbeing: Day 25

Day 25 of 31 Days of Wellbeing

I am going to completely contradict my previous post about donating now, and tell you to do the opposite! I think both have their place in supporting your wellbeing.

You have to treat yourself every once in a while, get to the fun stuff!Heidi Klum

Don’t rely on others to buy you flowers, chocolates or other treats. Take control and show yourself some love independently today. I’m not advising anyone to spend hundreds of pounds on the latest gadget (unless you have the spare money rocking around!), but treat yourself to something which brings you happiness.

Personally I am probably going to buy either a plant or some flowers, as I always rely on others to buy these for me. Why wait?! 🙂

 

31 Days of Wellbeing: Day 2

Day 2 of 31 Days of Wellbeing is here…let’s continue to focus on feeling good about ourselves for at least one moment today.

I feel this is an appropriate time to suggest this activity because in the UK we are facing SNOWMAGGEDON! Therefore any of our UK readers may not be feeling like getting out and about. Even if it’s nice weather outside, sometimes you don’t feel like facing the world, but it is important that you do something just to get you off the couch. Otherwise, your physical and mental wellbeing will suffer.

“The very heart of yoga practice is ‘abyhasa_ – steady effort in the direction you want to go.”

Yes…yoga…I know it’s such a cliché to mention yoga when talking about wellbeing. But it works! I decided to do yoga every day in January to see if it made a difference. I had been to yoga classes before but never more than once per week, and the focus was always to make it a workout, rather than an activity to nurture the mind and body.

I followed the True series by Adriene on YouTube (all you need is a laptop, cable, TV and a yoga mat!) which that focused on getting to know your true self and finding what feels good for you. Knowing that every day I would carve out that time for myself made a massive difference – I noticed the way I handled stress and anxiety changed for the better.

All I ask is that you give it a go…and ideally give it a fews gos 🙂

Definitely check out Yoga with Adriene – she has lots of sessions specially for when you feel stressed, anxious, depressed, in a bad mood etc!

 

 

31 Days of Wellbeing: Day 1

Here we go…let’s dedicate this month to our own good mental health and happiness through 31 Days of Wellbeing.

Your activity for Day 1 is very simple…yet also could be a challenge, particularly if you are in the midst of a snowstorm like we are in the UK at the moment.

Day 1: Get outside and walk

All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking

The fact it is miserable weather must not stop you from doing this! Even if you have to get your thick coat one, hood up, gloves on and brolly up…I promise you will feel better for getting your body moving and breathing in fresh air.

If you are lucky, you might naturally be walking around outside as part of your job. For most of us, we are sat in an overheated or over air-conditioned, stuffy office! It is easy to end up staying in an environment like that all day, getting straight into a car and then into our house. That lack of fresh air is not good for us. Breathing in fresh air is feeding our mind, body, spirit and soul. You can tell I am really into this…

Even if it is just a 5 minute walk during your lunch break, please take some time to do this one simple thing which could make a massive difference to your wellbeing. If this goes well, start to think of ways you could increase the time you are walking. Perhaps you could choose a spot in the car park further away, or suggest a ‘walking meeting’ with your colleague for a change.

I would love to hear if you do take the time to do this today…please comment below if so!

Boost of the Day

it-doesnt-matter-what-others-are-doing-it-matters-what-you-are-doing

Comparison is truly the bloody thief of joy! I, amongst many others, am terrible for this. Only yesterday, I was running further than I have gone in months (rather slowly mind!), and I was beating myself up because other people were overtaking me. Why wasn’t I praising myself for running further than usual instead?

It got me thinking again about how we compare ourselves to others and the negative effect on self-esteem and happiness this has. We need to force ourselves to focus on our own story and achievements, but how realistic is this? Can we stop comparing our looks, our personality, our achievements with others? Perhaps it is a case of reminding ourselves that yes, he has a great job and she has the perfect figure, but this does not necessarily make them better or happier people. Think of your own achievements, your own unique qualities which others do not have.

In my instance, will running faster than others make me a better person than them? NO. Will running faster than others make me happier than them? Again, it’s a no. Avoiding comparison completely seems near impossible, but we can take time to put it into perspective and manage our thoughts to create a more realistic picture of ourselves and others.

Boost of the Day #173: Show them how to love you

Perhaps we should love ourselves so fiercely,that when others see us they know exactly how it should be done.

Love yourself and you will teach others to do exactly the same. Teach others to treat you with respect and love by showering yourself with care and affection. If you do not learn to love yourself, how can you expect others to?

I created this website because I understand how important self love is to happiness! Explore this website for tips on how to increase your self-esteem!

Boost of the Day #172: Be someone’s priority

Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.

I have spent many years of dating (mostly) men who made me anxious and miserable, and now I am in a happy relationship I can see what my issue was. I chose partners who were not ready for commitment. The ones who would be charming when we spent time together, but who were not that interested in making me their priority.

Sports, their job, other women…there was always something more important. Now I cannot believe I put up with that, why I was interested in pursing someone who did not place a high value on me. The main reason was having low self-esteem, not believing I was worthy of real devotion…hence why I write this website!

If you do not love yourself, your chances of finding a healthy, successful relationship are slim. Please take the time to improve your self-esteem, it is at the root of creating a truly happy life. Start by looking at your current relationships, and kick into touch anyone who does not make you enough of a priority.

Addressing common self-esteem issues: Issue #11

Over the next few weeks, I am looking at common thoughts that people with low self-esteem have, found within this Buzzfeed article, and how we can possibly address them. For the full list, click here.

buzzfeed 11

It isn’t just women who suffer from low self-esteem issues. Men are expected to have high levels of confidence and ‘have everything together’ mentally, particularly when it comes to relationships. Most women would list ‘high self-confidence’ at the top of their list when it comes to what they are looking for in a partner. There is a lot of pressure on men to be self-confident, so it must be incredibly hard for men with low self-esteem.

So what can you do to increase your confidence talking to women you want to date?

  • Firstly, act interested and ask questions. There are so many men who are over confident (or at least appear that way) and come across as arrogant. This can be very off-putting for women. So just focus on acting interested. If you ask questions, you don’t have to worry so much about talking about yourself and thinking what to say next. When you get a response, then this should lead you nicely into opening up about yourself.
  • Make friends with women. Forget about relationships and dating for a while, and just concentrate on friendships. This means you can practise talking to women without any pressure. It becomes much easier to talk to the ones you are attracted to in this way. If you have no female friends, chat more to your mate’s girlfriend, female relatives or women at work.
  • Finally, going back to the quote we are looking at…this person apparently ‘knows’ girls won’t go for someone like him. Consider your thought patterns – are they logical? What alternate perspectives are there? Cheesy as it sounds, there is someone out there for everyone. Every person is good enough and deserves a loving relationship. You just need to believe in YOU and keep faith that you will find someone as wonderful as you…