Working Through Low Self-Esteem
Have you been feeling down lately or lack self-confidence? Well, it’s normal to get the blues every now and then, but you do have the power to boost your self-esteem. You don’t have to wait on someone else to tell you that you’re special. Check out these tips to improve your confidence.
Why is Self-Esteem So Important?
Self-esteem is the opinion that you have about yourself. When you consistently have a low regard for yourself, it can become a long-term mental health issue and affect nearly every other aspect of your life.
When you have positive self-esteem, you tend to have a positive outlook on life. You’re better able to cope with the ups and downs of life. You value your own self worth no matter what is happening in your life.
When you have negative self-esteem, your world view becomes dismal. You develop a defeatist mentality and the challenges of life become more like plagues. Low self-esteem wears down your resilience and eventually your health.
The Most Important Step to Better Self-Esteem
Sometimes, men get caught up in playing the blame game when it comes to a crisis of confidence. My Dad…my lover…my brother…my teachers…they didn’t believe in me. They told me that I’d never amount to anything. They said I was worthless.
The thing about self-esteem is that it belongs to you. That’s why they call it self-esteem. So, if you want to improve your confidence, take control of your emotions, and live a happier, more well-balanced life, then you are the one who must take action.
That’s right. The most important step that you can take to improve your self-esteem is to take action.
Now, that can either frighten you or empower you. It can be a scary prospect to know that you are the only one who can improve your self-esteem, especially when you’re already suffering from confidence issues.
Yet, that is precisely the best way to handle it. First, take action. By taking action you are taking all the power away from the doubters, naysayers, and even the dark voices in your own head who say that you can’t be a more confident man. You’re putting the power in your hands and that action alone should plant the seeds of self-esteem within you.
Now, it’s time to water those seeds. Here are some more things that you can do when you have low self-esteem. Some work right away. Some provide only temporary boosts in certain situations, but we’ll identify and explain each one in greater detail.
- Identify Triggers for Low Self-Esteem
- Try Hypnotherapy and Autogenic Suggestions
- Make a list of your accomplishments
- Learn a new skill or ability
- Work with a counselor or therapist to heal any past traumas
More Details on How to Deal with Low Self-Esteem
Now, let’s break down these self-esteem boosters so that you can come up with your own customized way to regain your confidence.
Identify Triggers for Low Self-Esteem
Low self-esteem grows from the seeds of self-doubt. It doesn’t come out of nowhere. These seeds of self-doubt are watered by certain triggers and once self-doubt grows inside of you it begins to rob your life of joy and productivity.
This is when it might be helpful to keep a journal. Try to write down every instance you can think of when you felt negative about your own self-image. Write down what triggered your negative feelings and write down what thoughts you had in that moment.
After about a week you should have some good ideas about the nature of what triggers your lack of self-confidence. For some men, it’s social media. When you look at influencers, friends and colleagues through the prism of social media accounts, it can seem like everyone else is living a fantastic life…and you’re not.
Social media can be a big trigger for low self-esteem. Social media gives you only a carefully curated snapshot of someone’s life. You’ve got to be careful because these snapshots are connected to products and services now. You can’t judge yourself against them.
Did you know that in North America, people spend nearly 2 hours a day on social media, and most users check their social media accounts all throughout the day. (Statista) That level of intense interaction can leave you with a case of social media envy and it can rob you of your self-esteem.
So, if you think that social media is one of your triggers, then it might be time to plan a small window of time for a social media detox. You can turn off post notifications or just mute your account for a few days and see how you feel afterwards.
Try Hypnotherapy and Autogenic Suggestions
Sometimes, when you have low self-esteem, you lose the language to describe yourself in a positive light. You might have been in a toxic relationship or never felt the appreciation of someone close to you. When was the last time that you told yourself – “I am valuable simply because I exist?”
If that statement sounds strange to you, then you probably are suffering from low self-esteem. It could be helpful to listen to affirmation recordings and videos. Here’s one that is especially helpful for people who have lost the language of positive self-image.
In these circumstances, you might benefit from a hypnotherapy technique called the Circle of Confidence. The whole experience takes less than 15 minutes, but the effects stay with you permanently.
Hypnotherapy can be so beneficial in combating low self-esteem. You can access a part of your sub-conscious mind that is non-judgmental and full of creative potential. Using hypnotherapy to learn techniques that minimize anxiety, really helps you discover your inner power and boost your confidence.
Make a list of your accomplishments
When you have low self-esteem, it’s easy to forget about your triumphs and wins. Here’s another reason to pull out the journal, guys. You might be surprised at how many accomplishments you’ve racked up if you just took the time to write them all down.
When you write something down, when you document it, you solidify it and make that detail more real. So, think back over specific time frames like a year, a month, a week or day to day and write down a few things that you got right.
Did you pass an exam? Were you hired for a new job? Did you make somebody smile yesterday? These are the type of accomplishments that build confidence and self-esteem when you look back over them in your journal.
When you’re feeling down and depressed, your mind begins to develop blinders to the good qualities you possess and the good deeds that you’re doing in life. Everything just looks and feels bad, but that’s not necessarily true.
Keeping a journal and writing down your accomplishments is a great hedge against this self-esteem killer. It doesn’t have to be a big success. It could be something minor like cleaning out the garage. The point is to have a documented reminder that you can do great things. If you did it before, then you can do it again.
So, when you’re feeling down on yourself, pull out that list of accomplishments and remind yourself of how awesome you are.
Learn a new skill or ability
Do you want a surefire way to build high self-esteem? Then, start today on the path to learning a new skill or ability. The more challenging the skill, the higher your reward will be. Do something that scares you. Stretch yourself and face your fears. You’ll emerge with newfound confidence.
Many guys base their self-esteem on their physical attributes or their income. That type of self-esteem doesn’t last. It’s easy to fall into this trap when society reinforces this trend in nearly every aspect of pop culture.
Just look at all the archetypes. The boss. The baller. The fitness model. The athlete. The successful entrepreneur. The playboy. These male archetypes are based almost exclusively on the value of physical appearance or financial gain.
If you place too much value in these things, they’ll eventually rob you of your self-esteem. Why? Because nobody is handsome enough or rich enough. The goalpost slides back all the time.
Now, let’s get back to that new set of skills you’re going to learn. When you fill your quiver with arrows of skill, you gain self-esteem points that can be redeemed anywhere you go. When you learn new abilities, nobody can take them from you or validate you with their approval.
Try something that sharpens your mind or something fitness related. When you witness yourself going from novice to amateur in something new like chess, tennis or free-running, you’ll witness your self-esteem rise.
Here’s a tip – try to learn a new skill, ability, or sport that none of your friends know. Join a new community based on this new skill and people will start to take notice of you.
Heal past traumas through counseling
One of the most important things you can do when you have low self-esteem is to re-establish your worth and value. Society has this messed up toxic mentality about men that says we have to suck it up and carry on no matter what. As a result, so many men are walking around with a bag of hurt on their shoulders that nobody even knows about.
Sometimes, this is a bag of blame, a bag of shame, a bag of anger or something else that stems from past traumas. Some men don’t even recognize their past traumas but suffer from the effects of it every single day.
According to a study published in JAMA Psychiatry, 30.6% of men have suffered from a bout of depression in their lifetime. It’s true, women experience depression more than men, but more men succumb to fatal suicidality.
This might be the wake up call you were waiting for to seek help. You can speak with a counselor or therapist. There’s even helpers who focus specifically on mental health issues that affect men.
Related: 10 Steps to Better Self-Esteem
Self-Esteem Wrap Up
Low self-esteem can rob you of a well-balanced life. You might feel the need to hide yourself away from challenging situations or withdraw into your own bubble to shield yourself from anything that damages you even further.
You’re capable of a greater existence and the power is in your hands to change it. So, start by deciding to take action. Be less judgmental of yourself and don’t depend on the opinions of others. You’ve probably seen posts on social media where someone says “Tell me 3 things you like about me and pass it on.” Or something to that effect.
Those posts can be really harmful because you’re placing your self-worth in the hands of others. It’s called self-esteem because it belongs to you. So, don’t place so much value on the opinions of others or the images that you see on social media. Nobody’s perfect.
You have the power to boost your self-esteem. Start journaling and recording your accomplishments. Identify your negative triggers and explore them. Evaluate and challenge them to take away their power to rob you of confidence.
If necessary, speak to a professional or try some meditation techniques. Your difficulties with self-esteem could be deep-rooted and require learning new techniques to overcome them. It might sound like a daunting task, but you will improve your self-esteem simply by taking the first step.
Good luck and keep us posted with your journey.