Build your self-esteem in these simple ways
There are many moments in our lives when almost all of us find ourselves lacking in our sense of confidence in our own abilities. Such low levels of self-esteem could not only be associated with depressive features, but are also common instances of an individual’s tendency to doubt one’s own abilities in the light of fears of failure. In addition, feelings of competitiveness, complexities of the tasks to be accomplished, and a multitude of other factors could be interacting to give rise to such a sense of inferiority within oneself. The following tips could be kept in mind to build our levels of self-esteem and overcome mental depression:
- Avoid comparisons. Rather, we should try and be objective in the evaluation of ourselves, and help shift the focus towards improving ourselves. Each one of us is different, and we need to learn to respect and enjoy these individual differences. Remember, you are the best judge of your own self, and we must develop our own sense of insight. Comparing with each other is always unfair, both to yourself as well as to the other person.
- Refocus on your achievements and strengths. Yes, we all do have some strengths. In moments of low self-esteem, most often we tend to pay attention to our failures and weaknesses, often to the neglect of other more positive things. Therefore, it is important to make a note of all the achievements we have made until now, and to count our own strengths and attributes.
- Don’t hesitate to express your feelings. Instead of getting trapped in our feelings of inferiority, we should try and find outlets to be able to vent out our emotions and thoughts. If you can’t find someone trustworthy to talk to, you could also indulge in any creative or expressive form, including writing, drawing, singing, dancing, and clay-modelling, etc.
- Identify thinking errors. Most often, when one is feeling low or suffering from mental depression, we tend to think in terms of black and white, or what is known as the ‘all or none’ phenomenon, wherein we are so busy focussing on our inability to perform a particular task, that it seems like this inability actually means a complete inability or failure to do anything. Therefore, it is important to take a step back, and to make an effort to look at things from a wider perspective.
- Keep yourself engaged. It is not a bad idea to take out time to join memberships of some clubs or activities of our choice, like a sport, gardening, cooking or even enrolling for a religious meeting. This would help us not only learn new skills, and meet people who share our interest, but thereby also give us a sense of achievement and satisfaction with our own self.
- Don’t give up. Life does bring with it its own set of ups and downs. We may not always seem to get what we deserve or desire. However, we must not lose hope. In fact, we need to be persistent, and remember to be realistic in our expectations and evaluations of self as well as others.
Finally, it is important not to hesitate to seek help and support. At times, it is often difficult to deal with one’s low mood and such self-deprecating thoughts. Maintaining such feelings could increase our chances of being at risk for mental depression or even suicide. If you find yourself unable to cope with your low self-esteem, do consider approaching a professional to seek their help.