I have read so many articles about women suffering from low self-esteem and lack of awareness. I have met women along the way who have yet to realise their worth, their true value. Parenting, working, being a wife and so many other roles often means women put themselves to the bottom of the pile. Our needs come last. Is that the way it should be?
As a single parent, I know that putting my son first was crucial for many of his formative years but on reflection, if I had given myself more of an overhaul I would have been able to do more for him, not less.
Self-Esteem – How valuable or worthwhile you see yourself
Self-Awareness – Knowing who you are, how you think, how you act
Self-Acceptance – Being happy with who you are in the now
I’ve added self-acceptance into the mix and there are many more of course; self-belief, self-confidence & self-image to name but a few.
Self-esteem is something felt when you achieve a positive outcome. If you go for a job and have a great interview there is every chance that in that moment your self-esteem is high. On the same day, you might go to meet a friend who dismisses your excitement at the prospect of the new job by saying you won’t last and that may well dent or lower your self-esteem (although personally, I think you should review the friendship). Suddenly you feel you might not have what it takes and self-doubt (yet another ‘self’!) steps in.
Self-esteem can be built up, not by pools of affirmations that you don’t believe but by taking ownership and setting achievable goals/actions that confirm your ability to do things and do them well.
Self-awareness is key to raising self-esteem for in the very moment that you know who you are and what your beliefs are as well as your reaction to things, you can start identifying your strengths (and weaknesses) and aligning them with the goals you set for achievement.
Top Tips for building self-esteem:
- Take ownership. Refrain from externalising your negative feelings. If you know your health should be better, take every step you can to support your well-being. If you know that your finances are in a critical state seek advice – the head in sand stance does not work!
- Use your self-awareness to identify your strengths, the things you are good at and set goals in those areas so that when you achieve them you FEEL good about yourself and your abilities.
- Accept that some days you just won’t feel your greatest self or something won’t go the way you had hoped and that’s okay. Let it go, let it pass. The key is not to hang onto the feeling like some long lost friend.
- Stop making negative remarks about yourself! Every time you call yourself an idiot or stupid you leave a mark… on you. This takes some practice because for most of us it has become a habit but every habit can be broken!
- Ensure you meet your basic needs. When you don’t you end up feeling worthless, out of control and full of fear and of course that just takes you back to… low self-esteem