Once it’s gone, self-esteem can be hard to recover. However, by practicing positive change every day, your self-esteem will be replenished over time. Miranda Murray, Fertility and Life Coach, shares her top 5 secret ingredients for building self-esteem and holding onto it forever:
1. Delete the ‘Perfection’ from Social Media
It’s truly impossible to feel good about yourself and your reality if you are flooding your brain with ‘perfect’ looking instagram accounts. Instead, fill your newsfeed with positive images and inspiration. Find the things that bring you joy to look at, whether that’s beautiful travel destinations, messaging from your favourite personal development speakers and coaches, music downloads that make your heart sing, a gorgeous florist or simply some funny cat videos that make you chuckle. Stop torturing yourself with the vision of someone else’s happiness and create your own that aligns with your values and makes you feel good. If the temptation to scroll is too strong and you find yourself deflated and down on yourself, cut down the time you spend on social media and focus your attention on something else that brings you joy.
2. Refine Your Tribe
It might be time for an upgrade in the friendship department. Whether that means getting new friends or investing in the ones you have, there is no doubt to the power of uniting with like-minded individuals who can lift you up and remind you that you are not alone. The benefits of surrounding yourself with people who care far outweigh the fear of letting people in. Building a support network before you need them is also a great technique to remember, so you have a team of “buddies” in your “mental first aid kit” should you ever need it. Be brave, be vulnerable and be strong. And you just never know who else may be going through something themselves that starting a conversation could help. As one, we are courageous but as a collective, we are invincible.
3. Aim for a Positive Mindset
In order to achieve a positive mindset, you will have to outline a series of baby steps. You might not be able to jump from the idea of “I am unworthy” to “I am a rockstar” overnight. Instead, try starting with baby steps. You might decide that you can adopt a more neutral idea, such as, “today, I am ok” or a small positive reframe such as “today, I am one step closer to my goals than I was yesterday”. The aim here is to not stay immobile or stuck in a place of negative self talk, but instead, make gradual and steady progress towards building your self esteem up over time.
I encourage my clients to be mindful of the words they say to themselves in their quiet moments when no one else is around. Practice speaking to yourself as if you were speaking about a friend. If you find yourself shying away from the language that you are using because it would be too mean to use on a friend, then it’s a clear indication that you need to curb that language and be kinder to yourself. And remember – it’s a work in progress, over time the negative self talk will be gone and feeling good about yourself will come more naturally.
4. Start Your Day with The “I Am” Exercise
Write “I am…” in the centre of a blank A4 page of paper and then anywhere around that on the page write down all the things that you are, eg. it could be “a good listener”, “generous with my friends”, “grateful to have a roof over my head”… etc. There are no limits to what you can write, it’s really an exercise in creating positive affirmations, using your imagination and awareness. These affirmations become documented on the written page for you to refer back to, positive things that you might normally take for granted about yourself. Read these back to yourself every day to start your morning on the right foot. You can come back to your page and add statements to it as you think of them and if you’re anything like me, let your creativity run free and add some drawings. The beauty with this exercise is that there is no right or wrong, it’s uniquely yours.
5. Chat with an expert
Sometimes we are in a phase of life that makes sense to seek out extra support. It is such a relief to chat with someone who has been there before or someone who is skilled in empathising with what you are going through, and can even offer some strategies to move forward. Many life coaches offer a complimentary 20 minute phone call to see if you are a good fit. If you are struggling with self-esteem, speak your thoughts and fears out loud to someone who will listen without judgment, provide you a safe space to discuss your concerns and help you make a plan that is tailored specifically for you. It’s time to minimise your limited self-beliefs to build your happiness to a place where you step back into life with more confidence and self acceptance. Never be ashamed to ask for help.