Okay, this post is a bit of a rant – but I’m getting really fed up of people constantly comparing themselves to other people, or other bloggers. An alarming amount of people have problems with self-esteem, but quite frankly, it just isn’t necessary. Social media and blogging (as much as I love it all) is slowly killing our confidence and impacting on our happiness, but we can’t blame the technology – we have to take responsibility for how we use it.
But what exactly is a self-esteem problem, and how do you tackle it? Someone who has problems with self-esteem is someone who finds it difficult to appreciate themselves, as well as their achievements. It can lead to several further problems. I mean, sometimes the grass is greener, but that’s not the end of the world right? We need to stop over-thinking things! With low self-esteem, life’s problems often seem a lot bigger. If you suffer any kind of failure, it takes longer to pick yourself back up and try again.
Who exactly suffers from low self-esteem may surprise you. At a previous job of mine, I had a colleague who was far and away the most popular person in the office. He was extremely funny and kind, and really easy to talk to. He had a great job, a great relationship, and loved the home he’d recently moved into with his best friend. But one day he confessed to me that he had frequent anxiety attacks, all relating to his low self-esteem around others. We need to remember to support each other, you have no idea what other people may be going through.
How can I tackle low self-esteem?
There’s no magic trick here. What helps one person may not help another. But some advice is better than no advice. Hopefully, these tips will help you out. Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses. Having trouble coming up with ten strengths? Think back. Surely over the years people have thanked you for something? “Thanks for listening to me the other night.” Then you’re a good listener. “Thanks for helping me with this.” You’re considerate. Every “thank you” is a response to a positive trait, even if it was a stranger thanking you for holding a door open. Work with that!
What about negatives? Writing down negatives about yourself doesn’t seem very useful. But if you’re going to be self-critical, you need to get specific. If you’re generalizing with simple thoughts such as “I’m a bad person” or “I can’t do anything”, then this isn’t helpful. What exactly do you feel you’re bad at?
Separate what you can change from what you can’t change
So you’ve got a list of negatives. Now it’s time to sort through them. Are there things in there that you can change? Some people will list things like “unfit” or “overweight” or “lazy”. If you’re concerned about these things, see a doctor. If they say you’re fine, put it out of your mind. These things should be judged by their effect on your health, not on And what do you mean by “lazy”? Does that mean you think you’re not active enough? Then join a local gym.
Exercise will get you active and help your mood. Does it mean you’re not outgoing or productive enough? You should consider taking up creative endeavors like writing or painting. If you already do these things, then put more focus into them. Put more effort into doing the thing you love doing. If there are things you can’t change, scratch them from your thought process. These things should not be considered in a critical estimation of yourself. Through concentrated self-acceptance, you can help keep those thoughts at bay.
Hang out with your friends more often. Your friends are attracted to the positive things about you. If you’re unable to see these for yourself, you may not be hanging out with them enough! It may be worth telling them about your problems, too. That doesn’t mean “fish for compliments”! Let your friends know how you’re feeling. This will, at the very least, add another item to your list of positives: honesty.
Take it from me: you are not always the most reliable critic of yourself.