Dotun Roy

Have you ever felt so awkward about yourself to the extent that your supposed high self esteem suddenly dropped down on the floor at your feet? or simply put you just didn’t feel you deserve anything better in life because of your past mistakes, thereby your self worth becomes an illusion overnight. And when you got to your closet you felt as though someone had just committed a crime and no person other than yourself should be convicted for the crime. If you have been in such situation before then you are inch close to low self esteem. That is when you just feel so low about everything around you!

Most people have at one time or the other had that encounter. Your overall self esteem does matter in reaching your goals in life. As a matter of fact, having low self esteem is one of the biggest crime anyone can ever commit against oneself. There has been so much misconception about boosting one’s self esteem for overbloated ego. Having self esteem does not mean pride. But rather it increases the level of your self-confidence in your abilities. Often times, high self esteem has been misconstrued for pride in successful people with ostentatious lifestyle. Which shouldn’t be. However, perpetual failures have been identified as one of the causes of low self esteem in humans.

People suffer low esteem everyday, everytime and everywhere. I want us to know that, you can boost and keep your self esteem in tact even when you seem unsuccessful in what you do. Failing in what you do does not make you an invalid and eternal failure. In fact if you have never failed at something before, your zeal for success may remain at the low ebb. In other words, failure should fuel your drive for success and excellence. Note: People will make you feel insignificant no doubt, but keeping your self esteem intact will help increase your self confidence which is essential to your pursuit of happiness and excellence in your endeavour.

Having Low self-esteem can negatively affect virtually every facet of your life, including your relationships, your job and your health. But you can take steps to boost your self-esteem by taking cues from types of mental health counseling.

Consider these steps, based on cognitive behavioral therapy:

  • Identify troubling conditions or situation

Think about the conditions or situations that seem to deflate your self-esteem. Common triggers might include:

A work or school presentation
A crisis at work or home
A challenge with a spouse, loved one, co-worker or other close contact
A change in roles or life circumstances, such as a job loss or a child leaving home

  • Become aware of thoughts and beliefs

Once you’ve identified troubling situations, pay attention to your thoughts about them. This includes your self-talk — what you tell yourself — and your interpretation of what the situation means. Your thoughts and beliefs might be positive, negative or neutral. They might be rational, based on reason or facts, or irrational, based on false ideas.

  • Challenge negative or inaccurate thinking

Your initial thoughts might not be the only possible way to view a situation — so test the accuracy of your thoughts. Ask yourself whether your view is consistent with facts and logic or whether other explanations for the situation might be plausible.

Be aware that it can be hard to recognize inaccuracies in thinking. Long-held thoughts and beliefs can feel normal and factual, even though many are just opinions or perceptions. Also pay attention to thought patterns that erode self-esteem:

All-or-nothing thinking: You see things as either all good or all bad. For example, “If I don’t succeed in this task, I’m a total failure.”

Mental filtering: You see only negatives and dwell on them, distorting your view of a person or situation. For example, “I made a mistake on that report and now everyone will realize I’m not up to this job.”

Converting positives into negatives: You reject your achievements and other positive experiences by insisting that they don’t count. For example, “I only did well on that test because it was so easy.”

Jumping to negative conclusions: You reach a negative conclusion when little or no evidence supports it. For example, “My friend hasn’t replied to my email, so I must have done something to make her angry.”

Mistaking feelings for facts: You confuse feelings or beliefs with facts. For example, “I feel like a failure, so I must be a failure.”

Negative self-talk: You undervalue yourself, put yourself down or use self-deprecating humor. This can result from overreacting to a situation, such as making a mistake. For example, “I don’t deserve anything better.”

  • Adjust your thoughts and beliefs.

Now replace negative or inaccurate thoughts with accurate, constructive thoughts. Try these strategies:

Use hopeful statements: Treat yourself with kindness and encouragement. Pessimism can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. For example, if you think your presentation isn’t going to go well, you might indeed stumble through it. Try telling yourself things such as, “Even though it’s tough, I can handle this situation.”

Forgive yourself: Everyone makes mistakes — and mistakes aren’t permanent reflections on you as a person. They’re isolated moments in time. Tell yourself, “I made a mistake, but that doesn’t make me a bad person.”

Avoid ‘should’ and ‘must’ statements: If you find that your thoughts are full of these words, you might be putting unreasonable demands on yourself — or on others. Removing these words from your thoughts can lead to more realistic expectations.

Focus on the positive: Think about the good parts of your life. Remind yourself of things that have gone well recently. Consider the skills you’ve used to cope with challenging situations.

Relabel upsetting thoughts: You don’t need to react negatively to negative thoughts. Instead, think of negative thoughts as signals to try new, healthy patterns. Ask yourself, “What can I think and do to make this less stressful?”

Encourage yourself: Give yourself credit for making positive changes. For example, “My presentation might not have been perfect, but my colleagues asked questions and remained engaged — which means that I accomplished my goal.”

By Dotun Roy is a development driven news website with the overall goal of amplifying, promoting and advocating for positive societal change through Sustainable Development advocacy in line with UN SDGs components such as education, environmental sustainability and Climate Change, Human Rights, health, finance, housing, good governance as well as security in Nigeria and across the world.

5 thought on “Your Overall Self-esteem Matters!”
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