Individuals with poor self-esteem have a hard time adopting a positive view on life. Childhood experiences play a major part in the development of self-esteem, although self-esteem is also a mix of your outward accomplishments and your inward confidence.
The good news is that anyone is able to improve his or her self-esteem and maintain a positive outlook on the world.
First, you need to work on your self-image.
Self-Image and Success
The most common attribute you will find among successful people is a positive attitude. The bottom line is that confident, successful individuals all (or nearly all) display a positive attitude.
It is not something they merely display, though. It is something that permeates their very being, something that radiates from them. Positivity is an automatic response to a given situation; this thought process is who they are.
This positive attitude stems from a confidence in their own capabilities and skills. They know that they have the capabilities to obtain their goals. They have a positive image of themselves.
Self-image is based on how you view yourself in comparison to society as a whole.
More specifically, it is based on these factors:
- How you view your weaknesses and strengths
- How much you treasure your beliefs and personal ethics
- How you view, and accept, your physical appearance
- How you perceive that others view you
- How well you maintain good hygiene
Someone with a strong, positive self-image thinks highly of themselves as a person, as well as their skills and capabilities. A negative comment from someone else cannot sway this view. A mistake they make will not sway this view. They cannot be crushed by rejection. These are the people who are most successful in life and their positive view of themselves generally spills over into their view of the world and life.
Improving Your Self-Image
Many of the following suggestions are easier said than done, but with true dedication, you can make these happen in your life. These tips will help you become a more positive thinker, which in turn builds your self-image and self-esteem.
- Evaluate your view of yourself: Explore how you truly feel about yourself. This may require keeping a journal of day-to-day thought processes and reactions to other people, and life situations. It is important to identify and become aware of how you truly feel about yourself. For example, do you experience intense anxiety when going on a first date? This can indicate that you lack confidence in how you look or who you are. Do you always need someone to compliment you? This may mean that you require external validation, and that your own is not enough.
- Make a list of your best traits: This will not only provide you with instant gratification as you sit and reflect on your admirable characteristics, but it will be physical evidence that you can turn to anytime you are feeling down.
- Surround yourself with positive friends and acquaintances: You unknowingly (or for some, knowingly) feed off those around you. By surrounding yourself with positive people, you will become more positive yourself.
- Learn to receive compliments: Do not shoot compliments down, or internally tell yourself that they are not true, because you are hurting your self-image. Once you begin to accept compliments, you will subconsciously realize that you do possess positive traits.
- Do not compare yourself to other people: Comparisons only stir up jealousy and defeat. You will continuously hurt your self-image by comparing yourself to others.
- Pick up a social or professional activity that intrigues you: This will help you discover new talents and interests. Plus, it will help you form new connections with positive people.
- Learn to say no: By letting others take advantage of you, you are unconsciously diminishing your value. Sometimes there is a fine line between helping others and letting them take advantage.
- Intentionally build yourself up on a regular basis: Say positive things to yourself on a regular basis, such as “I’m great because ____.” Your self-image will certainly improve.
- Serve society: There is a meaningful joy that we experience when we serve others. Taking that first step to go out of your way to serve is tough, but once you take the plunge, you will build your self-worth as you help others.
Working on self-esteem is a fragile process; the assistance of a qualified mental health professional can be a great asset through the journey. Therapy has this magical quality of naturally facilitating epiphanies through the process of talking, and a good therapist has the skill to guide you in the right direction to induce deep self-awareness.
A strong self-esteem leads to a positive outlook on life, and vice versa, positive thinkers have strong self-esteem. Learn to think more positively, and to build your self-esteem, and life will become much more meaningful and enjoyable.