10 tips to improve your self-esteem and become a good professional. Without self-esteem, our fears lock us in the comfort zone, punish us and prevent us from fighting for what we really want. But all businesses usually end up being corrupted. That is why there is so much unchecked information and empty advice that adds nothing new, such as stopping punishing yourself or thinking positively.
Still, there is hope. Some methods created by great researchers have been shown to improve our self-esteem.
What is really self-esteem?
Self-esteem is the positive or negative assessment, perception, or judgment that a person makes of themselves based on the evaluation of their thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
It is a term of Psychology studied by various experts in the area, however; we use it in everyday speech to refer to the value that a person gives themselves.
Self-esteem relates to self-image, which is the concept that one has of one’s own; and with self-acceptance, which is about self-recognition of qualities and defects.
External agents or context often influence the way someone is valued, therefore, it can change over time. In this sense, self-esteem can increase or decrease from emotional, family, social, or work situations, even due to our positive or negative self-criticism.
Types of self-esteem
In a general way, one can speak of two types of self-esteem, although they are not exclusive ideas since they can refer to different aspects of the human being.
A person may have, for example, high self-esteem in terms of intellectual abilities – I am very clever in mathematics – but low self-esteem in other areas, such as, for example, “I am very clumsy in sports.”
1. High self-esteem
As our high self-esteem increases, we will feel better prepared, with greater capacity and disposition to carry out various activities; we will have greater enthusiasm and desire to share with others.
2. Low self-esteem
People with low self-esteem can feel insecure, dissatisfied, and sensitive to criticism. Another characteristic of people with low self-esteem can be the difficulty of being assertive, of claiming their rights adequately.
Low self-esteem can derive from various reasons, such as, for example, the appreciation we make of ourselves, the opinion we have of our personality, our beliefs, among others.
In the same way, they can sometimes try to please others to receive positive reinforcement and, in this way, increase their self-esteem.
Self-esteem and valuation
Self-esteem is based on the value that a person places on themselves, which can change over time and requires adequate knowledge and personal acceptance.
A positive motivation when facing a certain task, emphasizing one’s own qualities, increases the chances of success and therefore, self-esteem.
Low self-esteem: how does it affect you?
It’s like a prophecy: if you don’t feel valuable, eventually, you’re going to end up behaving the same way. Low self-esteem can depend on a multitude of factors, such as the person’s background, their family, work and social environment, age, or their physical and mental state, according to the president of the Madrid Psychiatric Society.
“Among the most frequent causes of low self-esteem we can highlight: negative messages, abuse, ridicule of physical appearance, bad family environment, academic difficulties, early negative experiences or lack of demonstration of affection and affection for the environment.”
One of the main factors that can reduce self-esteem is “the lack of self-care at different levels (physical and mental) and that can reflect in many ways, for example, in a negative dialogue with ourselves (the famous self-criticism or self-demand), not setting limits or allowing other people to abuse us, comparing ourselves with other people (friends, family, or even strangers…).
All this will not allow us to learn, or incorporate new skills, or advance in our growth. Of course, toxic love relationships can also be tremendously damaging to our self-esteem”.
The consequences of low self-esteem can be very diverse, and it can affect each person in different ways. However, some of the most common may relate to feeling low in your mood; high level of suffering as a result of constant social comparison; eating disorders (related to physical dissatisfaction); you can become a victim of abuse of various kinds; present low social skills and, therefore, an unsatisfactory social life, and even diseases such as hypertension as a consequence of emotional somatization. Suicidal ideation may be found in some of the more severe cases.
In the same way, low self-esteem leads the person to feel undervalued and to always compare themselves with others, underlining the virtues and abilities of others. This can lead to apathy, lack of goals, not seeing sense in anything, and convincing yourself that you are incapable of achieving anything you set your mind to.
That is why we will first break those false myths so that you never fall into past mistakes again. Then you will learn the scientific methods with which you can leave behind your fears and insecurities to improve your self-esteem once and for all.
How to increase your self-esteem: 10 scientific keys
Now that you know the pitfalls of self-esteem, it will probably be easier for you to understand how to improve it. Here are several methods you can use. With some, you will feel more comfortable than others, but there is no single way to achieve greater self-esteem. Although each of them acts on a different aspect of your personality, the results they have shown are the same: more self-esteem and self-confidence.
1. Find the source of your low self-esteem, improve your self-esteem
It never ceases to amaze the number of authors who start directly by giving advice. Self-esteem problems usually develop during childhood, and their causes can be very different. But if you don’t know them, you can never work on the origin of your fears!
Having formed in childhood, a lack of self-esteem has been created by a child’s perspective and is surely skewed. Since you could not understand what was really happening, it is very useful to go back to looking for its origin and rethink your beliefs.
2. Try it even if you know you’re going to fail, improve your self-esteem
Now that you know the origin of your low self-esteem, we will show you the psychological keys that will increase your self-confidence. But do you know what? Even if everything you read below was false and had not proven effective, putting it into practice would still make you feel better. The reason is that it has been empirically shown that the main enemy of our self-esteem is simply doing nothing.
3. Replace your goals with values, improve your self-esteem
Do you remember that setting big goals is usually synonymous with frustrations and loss of contact with reality? Okay, but then what do you do without goals in your life? How are you going to make decisions? And how will you find the motivation to face your challenges?
You need something solid. Something that allows you to move on when you feel tired, anxious, depressed, or discouraged. Something so powerful that it motivates you to get out of your comfort zone to expose yourself to what you fear.
4. Identify your true strengths, improve your self-esteem
In addition to your values, to improve your self-esteem, you need to convince yourself that there is something good in you.
5. Turn your negative thoughts into rational responses, improve your self-esteem
Now you have your set of values and strengths to believe in yourself. But our past experiences, even those we no longer remember, continue to affect our lives as our “inner voice.”
6. Separate yourself from your fears with acceptance and commitment, improve your self-esteem
You may still have some fears so deep that they keep blocking you. Don’t worry because we have the acceptance and commitment strategy. This method has been shown in studies to be enormously scientifically effective in overcoming them.
Most people try not to think about bad feelings. But not only has it been proven that it does not work, but it also causes your fears to return with more force.
7. Forgive yourself with self-pity, improve your self-esteem
Leaning on your values, identifying your strengths, and rationalizing and detaching yourself from your negative thoughts is necessary. Still, to achieve healthy self-esteem, you lack something essential.
In psychological jargon, this is called self-compassion. It is a strategy that is revolutionizing the scientific community thanks to its spectacular results.
8. Increase your confidence with power poses, improve your self-esteem
Although almost everyone believes that self-esteem is born in our minds, the most recent studies by researchers such as Dr. Amy Cuddy suggest that it also originates in the body.
Until recently, it was believed that the communication path between mind and body only had one meaning. But the reality is that your non-verbal language also influences your mood. A fish bites its tail: when you feel defeated, you express it by shrinking your body, making you feel even more depressed.
9. Multiply your self-esteem with exercise, improve your self-esteem
Your body has something else to say about your confidence, and that is perhaps the fastest way to increase it. The largest study conducted on exercise and self-esteem showed that as long as it is of medium intensity, doing sports increases self-esteem in the short term. Besides the fact that exercise will help you feel better about your body, it can also increase mental capacity.
10. Think less of yourself and more of others
The spiral of low self-esteem is a vicious cycle. In our eagerness to feel better, we begin to constantly check our state of mind. How do I feel today? Does this tightness in my stomach mean I’m going to sink again? That only creates more anxiety.
To feel better, do the opposite: stop thinking so much about yourself and focus your attention outward.
As a study by Yale and California universities proved, thinking only about your problems does you no favors. The participants who carried out charitable actions maintained a much more positive state of mind than those who remained focused on themselves.
Enjoying healthy self-esteem requires effort and perseverance. Although there is a wealth of information on improving self-confidence, only a few methods are effective.
Nor should you be alarmist. The problem is when our mood becomes a permanent curse that makes us suffer. To overcome it, it is essential to know yourself in depth, but above all, to remove the pressure, be guided by values, accept yourself and learn to forgive yourself.
You will be able to improve your self-esteem in the best way. Allow one last thought. Because no one knows what wonderful work it might end up becoming, don’t deny your gifts by getting trapped in your low self-esteem.