Self-esteem is defined as the opinion you hold about yourself and when you ask yourself “what do I think about myself?”, what do you come up with? On a scale of 1 to 10, where does your opinion of yourself lie? Would you say you are a 10? Take a moment and honestly assess the level of your self-esteem and if you’re any less than a 9, then perhaps you could benefit from the strategies I’m about to go through in this post.
To build your self-esteem and to change the opinion you have about yourself takes intention and work. You can not expect to suddenly like yourself overnight. Sure, there may be moments where you feel good about yourself and experience some pride about a job well done but it is the act of reflecting, collecting evidence, and consistently challenging your thoughts and underlying beliefs that will ultimately shift your opinion of yourself to one that gives you confidence, purpose, clarity, and fulfillment in life.
Become aware of and challenge negative thought patterns
The first way to build your self-esteem is to become aware of those thoughts that are contributing to your low opinion of self. What are you saying to yourself? You know, that inner mean girl who is constantly telling you that you’re not good enough. That you have to do more to prove your worthiness and to be the mom your kids deserve? Yeah, her! Start by writing down any time you notice her saying things that bring you down and keep you playing small. The self-doubts, the self-criticism. You need to get at what you’re saying to yourself and begin to challenge those thoughts.
Be on the lookout for negative thought patterns or thinking errors that may be playing a role in those thoughts. For example, black and white thinking or all or nothing thinking can prevent you from seeing the gray areas. Are you discounting the positive and only zooming in on the negative, which will stop you from seeing the whole picture. We tend to focus on that which reinforces the beliefs we hold and so when you are able to shift your perspective and become aware of the irrationality of your thoughts you can begin to change those underlying beliefs.
Set and communicate healthier boundaries
Super-moms tend to struggle with saying no but that’s only part of the issue we have with setting appropriate boundaries. There are so many negative feelings that can come up when you’re not setting limits in your relationships. Caretaking often tests our boundaries and if you are finding that you are consistently sacrificing your own needs and wants for others, then it’s likely you need to work on setting healthy boundaries. It’s one thing to be giving and generous, but it’s a whole other matter if you are sacrificing yourself for others more often than not.
Self-esteem will improve tremendously once you recognize that you have needs and then again when you learn how to ask for what you need, either from yourself or from other people in your support system. Those with lower self-esteem tend to hold frustrations and unmet needs within, hoping that they go away only to have them build up and become worse. It’s important to learn how to communicate these in a way that is straightforward and in a manner that serves us.
Give yourself credit
How many times do you actually give yourself credit for a job well done? Or even credit for effort even if the job doesn’t turn out as you wanted it to? Probably not that often, especially if you struggle with low self-esteem. See, the thing is, we gravitate and hold on to the evidence that supports the beliefs we hold and so to take notice of things outside of our belief system isn’t natural. Yet, in this case, we need to in order to begin the shift of beliefs.
Stop playing the compare game
Self-esteem is measured by our self-worth. When we feel worthy, we have a higher opinion of ourselves and on the other end, when we feel unworthy, we have low self-esteem. There’s nothing that makes us feel more unworthy than when we are constantly comparing ourselves to others. Whether consciously or unconsciously, we can get trapped in comparing ourselves to what we see in others, although we are definitely not seeing the whole picture.
To release yourself from this trap and stop playing the game, begin to take notice of what thoughts you are having and again, challenge these. Remind yourself that everyone is unique and we all have our own struggles and tribulations. If it’s social media that fuels the game, unfollow those who tend to make you feel worse about yourself. The point is, be proactive. Be aware of what’s going on and take action to change it.
As you do the work to shift the underlying beliefs that are contributing to your low self-esteem, a piece of the puzzle is in the action you are taking to counteract any of those negative feelings you are having. Self-care is those activities that are aimed to recharge you and fill your cup. These can include basic acts such as showering, eating nutritious meals, ensuring that you are getting good, quality sleep but also activities that allow you to really lean into being you. For example, exploring new hobbies, learning new skills, taking adventures, and investing in healthy, supportive relationships. All of these will positively impact your self-esteem.
Invest in self-development and personal growth
Often times when your self-opinion is low and you’re not feeling very confident in yourself, you need to take specific actions that “prove” that you are indeed worthy. Because really, you are. There are resources that exist, people who are trained to help you shift those beliefs that are no longer serving you, if they ever really have.
Maybe therapy could help you resolve some trauma that is contributing to your self-esteem or perhaps investing in some coaching will allow you to make the shifts that need to happen in order for you to move towards your best self. You could sign up for classes, a support group, or even a retreat as a way of saying to yourself “I am important” and “I matter.”
It is up to you to know what you need. Remember, you are 100% responsible for you and so knowing what you need and going for it will only help you. If you are unsure if coaching is what will help you get there, then sign up for a discovery call and let’s talk. Your self-esteem is foundational to your satisfaction in life. Don’t settle for less than you deserve, Super-Mom!
Of these suggestions mentioned, which do you think would be a good place to start? Which do you think may be the most difficult? How do you rate your self-esteem and what can you commit to doing to improve the opinion you hold about yourself?
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