Building your self-esteem

Today’s topic is self-esteem and why it’s so important in life to feel good about yourself.

It’s a truism to say that we can only know what happiness and self-esteem feel like when we’ve experienced the downside and the opposite. When we’ve seen things in the negative and been very self critical. It’s also very easy to blame others for our own lack of self-esteem.

My own experience

We are all capable of building up our own self-esteem. It’s like a muscle. If you use it and practice with it, it improves. And it’s easy to forget what you already do well in the hustle of the day-to-day. I’ve certainly been through periods like that in my own life when I’ve doubted myself and my abilities.

The main time I can think of was during the time I was a young mum. I’d left a career in London in order to have greater flexibility to be with my own children. And it was indeed a very special time, but it also felt like I’d lost myself to some extent. I lost that feeling of self-esteem and a link to what I thought I was good at. And I learned that for me personally, my self-esteem benefited from having that connection with the adult world. I realised I needed to continue working on interesting material where I felt I was able to give back a bit and also contribute to the family finances. This was all very important to my sense of self.

Write down what you’re good at

For you, that self-knowledge could come from any aspect of your life. I’ve noted down a few pointers on how to increase your self-esteem.

It is really important to recognize what you are good at, maybe even write it down and reflect on it. Ask yourself what your closest friend or family member would say you’re great at doing or being.

Set some goals

You should also set yourself some achievable goals. This forms the basis of coaching for a really good reason. That feeling of achievement when you reach your goal is one of the building blocks of self-esteem. And make sure you celebrate it when you get there!

Find your confidence clan

Surround yourself with positive people, not people who’ll pull you down through criticism, however well-intentioned that criticism is. I had an example of that recently myself when someone I know gave me negative feedback on something I had done. It was not constructive and it hadn’t been invited. It was a lesson in how not to give feedback and naturally left me feeling a little bit negative. I turned it around by working out what sat behind it and drawing out the good that could come from it. Keeping your mind open and avoiding becoming defensive is vital but knowing when to walk away is also important. Some people just offer negativity in order to bring you down. They are confidence drainers, not confidence boosters. And you need to surround yourself with people who make you feel good and not who are jealous of your success or may want to hold you back because they themselves are lacking confidence.

Say no respectfully

And that leads me onto a related point. Be assertive. Learn when to say no respectfully. You can set your boundaries without causing offence and realize that it isn’t necessary to please everyone. It just may not be the right time to say yes to something. Setting up your boundaries in a way that works for you will increase your sense of self-worth.

There are loads of ways you can work on building your self-esteem and it will repay you by giving you a much more positive and successful approach to life.