Low self-esteem is undoubtedly the biggest obstacle that we create for ourselves, in our lives. We usually don’t feel loved/worthy/esteemed because we believe that we are missing something, that we are not enough. This can be as small as missing a gym workout. Or as big as being on bad terms with somebody, within a relationship that you place great significance on.
It’s a mental plague that effects every single person in the world. Therefore the challenge isn’t to avoid feelings of low self-esteem, it’s to learn how to deal with it. The challenge is to be proud of ourselves, in a world that is constantly asking us to do more and become more. Whether it’s somebody on social media advising you to quit your day job and make money their way, or your parents telling you to change your career; there is external, irrelevant noise coming at us from every angle.
So how can we be proud of ourselves, and maintain a healthy self-esteem? How can we live a life where other people’s successes and failure don’t affect us? How can we look ourselves in the mirror and pat ourselves on the back and say “I like the person you’re becoming. You have come a long way and you have so much further to go; how exciting!”.
Revel in your achievements
Revel in your achievements. This is absolutely crucial. Let us take our lives as far back as we can remember. Can you remember a time – a long time ago – where you faced what seemed an incredibly difficult challenge and overcame it. For myself, I remember growing up with an abusive father where I experienced a lack of love and a lot of pain, from him. I remember growing up with a very complex, difficult family life, just hoping to get away from my father and his family. I ended up dealing with it and healing from it. Now I currently live abroad, have a good relationship with my father and have built a life for myself, by myself; that is a huge achievement in itself which I sometimes forget.
Let it be known though, that I do not blame my father for anything and I hope you do not blame people for things in your life either. He also was suffering massively and as an highly empathetic person, I understand him. As Tony Robbins said: “if you’re going to blame people for the bad in your life, then you have to blame them for the good too”. Without my father I would not be the man I am today, he is a huge part of my great experience of life. Take the positives from everything, there is always a positive.
Write your achievements down; go as far back as you can remember and write them all down. It’s completely subjective so you can write down anything you consider to be an achievement in your life. You will be surprised by how much you can write. After this I want you to go back to the time just before these achievements. How difficult did the obstacle to overcome seem? Now look at yourself; you made it through that difficult time and you will continue to do so. Just remember, difficult times are inevitable, once you accept this truth you can move away from worrying about your problems and focus on finding the solutions.
Picture it, then become it
The other way – besides looking at our past achievements to feel proud of ourselves – is to look at our future and work towards building the future we desire. Having a vision of the future you, is integral to your long-term state of happiness and contentment because it gives you something to work towards. When the brain is working towards something and has a plan, it feels settled and relaxed. It is only when you have no clear direction or plan, that you feel down and suffer from low self-esteem. Nobody who’s working towards a plan that they fully believe in suffers from low self-esteem on a regular basis.
Therefore the other way to counter low self-esteem and to feel proud of ourselves is to have a vision of the person we wish to become. This isn’t just about our career, it’s about everything else too.
For example: for me the vision is to become a qualified life coach and speaker who empowers people to solve their life problems. However it is also to be a loving and understanding husband, father, brother, son, cousin, uncle, friend, human being. I see myself prioritising the relationships in my life and ensuring my children are provided with the mental tools to become who they wish to be. My vision of myself also includes being an excellent cook who often cooks for the entire family on a regular basis. These are all goals that I am currently working towards.
The point is, your vision for your life should be about the person you wish to become. This is much more important than the career you wish to have.
Thank you for reading, I hope this blog can make you appreciate yourself more. Either look at where you have come from, or where you are going. Either way, there are many reasons to be proud of yourself, take your pick.