Self-esteem is not the same as arrogance, or having a lack of modesty. Self-esteem means tht you are realistic about your abilities, neither overestimating nor underestimating them.
Self-esteem generally starts developing in children, around the age of 3. Through the approval and praise from the adults around us, we start to view ourselves in a positive way. A healthy level of self-esteem tends to make us happier, but having a low self-esteem doesn’t mean we’re doomed to feel that way forever, we can do something to change it!
Good self-esteem is having the awareness and understanding that we are good in certain things, and that we may be weak in others – and that’s ok. So if you have a bad self-esteem, what can you do?
- Get to know yourself. You are your own expert, after all. Start by writing down things you are good at, and things you would like to grow further in.
- What do you think about yourself? Write these down. Start to notice if your thoughts tend to be very critical about yourself. ex. “I can’t do this, so I’m bad”. Challenge these thoughts, is there a different way you can word it?
- Ask yourself, would you say this to your best friend? If not, then why should you say it to yourself?
By being compassionate and caring towards others, we are one step closer to being compassionate to ourselves. So imagine you are your own best friend, what would you say to that person?
Another recommendation is to be around people who support you and build you up (which means giving critical feedback too, but given in a supportive manner), rather than criticise you. Ask yourself, what kind of people are you surrounded with?
Self-compassion is a skill, it needs to be practiced. And as you become more compassionate and caring towards yourself, the more your self-esteem will begin to improve.