Are you struggling with poor self-esteem? Do you think negatively, constantly compare yourself with others, overreact to what others think without regard for what you think, dwell over mistakes or failures, or set low expectations for yourself?
Would you like to improve your self-esteem? Well first, it may be more helpful to consider whether our self-esteem is healthy or well-regulated, rather than simply positive or negative, because with healthy self-esteem we are able to recognize our positive attributes while also accepting our mistakes and failures.
Interestingly, when individuals are burdened with low or poorly regulated self-esteem, they may struggle with feelings of inferiority along with some feelings of superiority. That is, they may be harsh and judgmental toward themselves but also towards others. Thoughts and emotions may shift between extremes. And they may be very controlling or perfectionistic at times.
When our self-esteem is well regulated, we are able to integrate our strengths and weaknesses and form a stable concept of ourselves that supports resilience. When we encounter frustration or failure, we also remember our successes. When others hurt or disappoint us, we also remember when they have shown kindness to us.
With healthy self-esteem, we can approach problems and interpersonal conflicts confidently without fear of failure or rejection.
Here are some recommendations for advancing healthy self-esteem:
Identify specific situations in which concerns with self-esteem are experienced.
Accept yourself. Be yourself. Stop thinking and saying negative things about yourself. And stop comparing yourself with others.
Stop berating yourself for your mistakes and failures. Credit yourself for your successes. Accept both your strengths and weaknesses.
Treat yourself with respect and kindness. Notice how others think more of you when you think more of yourself. And enjoy compliments from others.
Recognize when you are being overly critical towards yourself or others.
Accept constructive criticism offered by others without being defensive.
Stop trying to convince others when you think you are right.
Take pleasure in something you enjoy. And be willing to try things whether you think you’re good at them or not.
Reflect on God’s purpose in creating you. And experience your value as you extend kindness to someone else.