This is a post by Ellie Jo on mental wellness.
Living with low self-esteem and anxiety can be debilitating. Everyone has days where they don’t like something about themselves or certain things about their lives. However, ongoing low self-esteem can be extremely damaging, and being able to improve your confidence can really help you change your outlook on life and help you feel better about who you are.
What are you good at? Chances are, not everything is as bad as you feel it is, and being able to identify and write down your best qualities and things you are good at can help you to see what you have going for yourself rather than focussing on what you don’t have.
Cutting the negativity from your life and removing people who reinforce negativity can go a long way to improving your self-esteem. You want to surround yourself with people who can see everything you have to offer and boost your confidence to give you the support you need.
This is where the phrase “fake it till you make it” comes into its own. Look around at those n your wife whose confidence you admire and make a note of how they behave and what they do.
Use this knowledge to help you improve your confidence and interactions with others. Pick something you feel most comfortable with at first and build your confidence slowly. It may be that way of standing, holding eye contact with others, or the word they use to assert themselves.
Don’t allow others to guilt you into doing things you do not feel comfortable doing. It is ok to say no if you do not want to do something or aren’t happy with a situation. Be it attending social events that increase your anxiety, allowing others to take advantage of your own self-esteem, or stopping someone’s opinions you do not agree with.
Challenge yourself to try new things or to make changes you have wanted to make. Wear something that makes you feel good, change up your makeup or hairstyle, or even make more permanent changes such as clear braces if your smile affects your confidence. Each small step can help you slowly build your confidence until you no longer worry about low self-esteem.
How often have you put up with something because you didn’t have the confidence to speak up? Practice being assertive by communicating your opinions and taking on board other people’s onions and feelings without letting them affect you.
Learn from those who effectively hold conversations and get their points and thoughts across without being overbearing. Then work on emulating this, not copying, into how you communicate.
Overcoming low self-esteem isn’t easy, and it can take some time to conquer fully. Be kind to yourself and support the changes you can make while accepting the things you need to put more work into to change. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and if you want to undo a lifetime of learned behavior and negative thoughts, it will take some time to change your thinking.