A reality check for your self-esteem

I am sure you can say that you are proud of yourself, on some level, or in some aspect of your life. I sure you can also come up with things that you like about yourself, too. But for many women, it is more acceptable to talk about what they don’t like about themselves and to feel like they cannot promote or take pride in themselves and their strengths.

Self-esteem is an inner confidence, when a woman feels good about herself (because she already knows she’s fine just the way she is), she is confident and aware of her strengths and abilities. She is also aware of areas needing work and growth. But that’s okay because she knows she’s not perfect (no one is), and she doesn’t dwell on her weaknesses.

Lack of confidence and self-esteem is the biggest reason that we live in dissatisfaction and mediocrity.

Self-esteem is essential for a healthy core identity and an ability to experience joy. Once achieved, it comes from the inside out. But it can be assaulted or stunted from the outside world. A woman with low self-esteem does not feel good about herself because she has absorbed negative messages about women from the culture and/or her relationships with family or loved ones. When a woman has low self-esteem, she loses control over her life and can become trapped.

Our self-esteem has a profound effect on our confidence and on the quality of our lives. If a woman believes that she lacks basic skills to solve problems then she may lose heart and give up. In contrast, a woman who has less abilities but who believes in herself stands a much better chance of being successful. This is because her self-esteem gives her the confidence to try.

Your home should be a place of peace and refuge where you can find rest and solace in order to recharge from the events of the day.  This refuge is especially important when it comes to reinforcing your self esteem. 

Each day, our self esteem can suffer from drastic blows from friends, family members, coworkers, spouses, children, school mates, or even perfect strangers.  Instead of allowing yourself to become entrenched in feelings of self loathing or self doubt, take time to reinforce your self esteem in the comfort and privacy of your own home.  Know that your home is a refuge for your body, mind, and spirit so that you can devote the necessary attention to yourself.

Self-esteem gives an individual the confidence to aim for the moon. It overwhelms negative thoughts, and drives away the fear of failure. It is the best antidote against self-flagellation, which turns several talented persons into under-achievers. Self-belief gives us the confidence to accept failure. It teaches us the importance of positive thinking. Those who have self-esteem don’t talk about failures; instead, they try to find out why they did not succeed. They look for lessons that can be learnt from their experience. This is not a simple issue of semantics. It is the power of positive thinking, and it is available to only those who have self-esteem.

The truth about poor self-esteem is that the same doubt you are feeling might live behind the aloofness or arrogance, busyness or defensiveness, impatience or overbearance, that you notice in others. When you remember that other people feel the same kind of insecurity that you do, the same lack of confidence, then it’s not like you’re bad anymore – you’re just human.

Your self-esteem and confidence can be changed.

If you are having one of those days where your self esteem seems to be dragging you down, instead of wallowing in self pity, take steps to boost yourself up!  Maybe you just woke up not quite feeling your best, or you made a significant mistake in front of someone important.  Perhaps you did not do as well as you thought on your test, or did not excel at your interview.  Everyone has had a day where the world just did not seem to be on their side and that black cloud was persistently over their head.  Whatever the reason, learning a few tricks to quickly boost your self esteem will have a bounce in your step in no time!

First, remember that you are not your job. That is, if you make a mistake at work, this does not mean that you are stupid, worthless, or that you’re in the wrong position. It’s all too easy to take mistakes personally, seeing them as a reflection of your true person rather than for what it is: a mistake. Even though it may not always appear so, everyone makes mistakes from time to time. The best way to deal with a mistake is to own up to it right away and present a solution. This shows that you are honest, and by presenting ways to fix the problem, your boss can send you on your way to deal with the issue.

Even though it may not always appear so, everyone makes mistakes from time to time. The best way to deal with a mistake is to own up to it right away and present a solution. This shows that you are honest, and by presenting ways to fix the problem, your boss can send you on your way to deal with the issue.

When dealing with conflict resolution, learning some proven communication techniques may be necessary. Consider attending a course on conflict resolution and dealing with difficult people. In the meantime, remember that the overbearing person likely has a lot of insecurities as well, and these are what cause the behavior. In the midst of conflict, do your best to avoid being pulled into argumentative situations. Don’t reward the other person’s behavior by getting upset or immediately backing down. If necessary, say you’ll continue the conversation when everyone has had a chance to cool down. Dealing with negative coworkers is never fun. Try and remember that your self worth is not dependent on the coworker’s approval, even if that person is your boss.

An excellent way to reinforce your self esteem is to praise yourself for goals accomplished.  Even something as simple as losing a couple of kilos should be celebrated in order for the accomplishment of the goal to become a reality.  When you accomplish a large goal that you worked very diligently to work towards, plan a party.  This is an excellent idea to plan a festive event in order to celebrate with your friends and family members.  Your self esteem is sure to be boosted after a fabulous party thrown in your honour! 

Allow yourself a luxury.  Remind yourself you are important and worthy of the world on a silver platter.  When things are not going your way and you begin to question yourself, take time to reward yourself.  Whether it is a chocolate kiss or a pat on the back, your spirits—and self esteem—will be lifted. 

Write down your goals that you have achieved and look back at them when you are feeling low.  Maybe you were the first person to graduate from college in your family.  Perhaps you just settled on buying a fantastic house.  Maybe you made president of your organisation.  Whatever your accomplishment, allow yourself a minute to remind yourself of your worth.   Make yourself notes that congratulate yourself on handling a situation or completing a goal.

Keep a list of affirmations in the back of your diary, and repeat them to yourself out loud if you need a boost. Some of my favourites are:

  • my business is growing, expanding and thriving,
  • happiness is a choice,
  • I possess the qualities needed to be extremely successful,
  • my body is strong, my mind is brilliant, and
  • my marriage is growing strong, deeper and more stable every day

However you choose to boost your self esteem, know that by doing so you approve of yourself as a person.  Allowing issues to get you down will only lower your self esteem further.  By keeping a positive attitude, you will have the ability to turn around unsavory situations and make them positive ones.  Keep in mind you are a worthy person who has a bright future.

About Your Guest Blogger:  Jacqui Brauman is the principal solicitor at TBA Law and an Accredited Specialist in Wills and Estate. After beginning in rural public education, Jacqui has achieved a Bachelor of Laws, Bachelor of Accounting, Graduate Diploma in Tax Law, and Masters of Applied Law in Wills and Estates. Her career of over 10 years in the legal industry has taken her from Central Victoria to rural New South Wales, to Sydney, and back to the outskirts of Melbourne. She has written and published two legal books; ‘In Case of Emergency’, and ‘Death and Social Media’, as well as three ebooks for empowering women: ‘Steps to Success for Women’, ‘Acres of Diamonds’ and ‘Graduate the School of Hard Knocks’. She speaks and writes regularly on women’s empowerment throughout Australia. Her blog is at www.haveitall.net.au