1. What is self-esteem
Self-esteem is a word that is used often in everyday language, however; people don’t really know what it means exactly. Adler and Stewart (2004) refer to self-esteem as value or worth given by one to one’s self or how much they approve or appreciate themselves. In other words, self-esteem is how much you like yourself. It can be easy to say “I like myself” but if we dive a little deeper, we start to comprehend what it means to actually like yourself. Developing self-esteem can be a long and difficult journey since it’s about learning to accept you.
It’s important to understand that self-esteem and self-confidence are NOT the same concept. Self-confidence is about trusting yourself while self-esteem is about valuing yourself.
2. Be mindful
The first step to solving any problem is realizing that there is a problem to solve in the first place. Now, if you’re reading this it means you’re on the right track! Congratulations! If you want to add value to your self-worth, you need to understand what exactly is making you feel undervalued. It can be your job, your education, your weight, even something as small as the way your teeth look can really affect your self-esteem. So be frank with yourself. Notice the instances that make you feel a strong dislike towards yourself and do something about them.
3. Don’t compare yourself to others
I think one of the biggest lessons I learnt in 2019 is to stop comparing myself to other people. You have your own path, follow it. Whether you’re a university student falling a little behind on school or a professional wanting to switch careers, you have to do what is best for yourself. Even if other individuals might be doing the same general things as you are, no one’s life is exactly the same as yours. Your experiences are your own. To find your self-worth, you need to accept that you are different to other people, and that’s great!
4. Understand that it is a journey and it has its ups and downs
Like any process, the journey of gaining self-esteem will have its ups and downs. Some days you might be feeling a little low and other days you might feel as if you’re on top of the world. The important part is to remember that it’s a process which means you have to keep pushing. Remember that with every mountain you have to climb there will be euphoria when you reach the top!
4. Read books and develop your soft skills
One of my favorite books “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie is one such example of how education can help you develop new skills to deal with sensitive topics like self-esteem. For example, one important lesson I learnt from this book is to realize that sometimes it’s not you, it’s them. If someone yells at you for bumping into them or loses their temper when ordering food, you shouldn’t always blame yourself because people have their own wars that they’re dealing with. It took me a while to come to terms with this, but when I did I became a lot more content with my interactions with people and took things on a less personal level.