If you have a healthy level of self esteem, the thoughts you have about yourself will be largely positive. In contrast, if you have a low self esteem you will tend to focus on the negatives - for instance your weaknesses or the mistakes you have made throughout your life. You might find it difficult to recognise positive parts of your personality. Self esteem is a process that takes place throughout the course of your life and you may feel differently about yourself at different times - however developing a healthy level of self esteem will help you to get through the tough times without experiencing lasting damage. The good news is that there are many ways in which you can help yourself to develop a better opinion of yourself.
- Assess personal values and discard activitites that are not coherent with values. Knowing your principles and living them will give you a sense of direction and help you to feel comfortable with yourself. Importantly, you need to act on them, dont just believe them.
- Increase positive self talk and challenge negative self-talk patterns- Stop using words like "can't", "ought", "should", "we" and "you". Start using words like "want to", "choose to" and most importantly "I".
- Create a self esteem inventory by listing ten of your strengths and weaknesses and if any of these can be changed set a goal to change one of them. Aknowledge the things that you are good at.
- Give yourself a sense of pride by setting yourself a challenge which is realistically achievable. Daily try to set yourself small goals, like waking up earlier or drinking more water.