Emotional Wellbeing

Mandy Kloppers

How to improve self esteem

We all have self doubt on some level and some suffer from self hatred more than others. Often, low self esteem begins in childhood when critical parents project their inadequacies onto their children. Children who often hear that they are not achieving enough or are compared negatively to others will internalise these comments and find it harder to like themselves.

When we become adults, it is essential to challenge negative childhood experiences that have lead to low self esteem. Parents who insult and criticise their children are not operating from a happy, healthy place and it is important to realise this as an adult.

When we are young we look up to our parents and accept what they tell us as fact. When we grow up, we realise that our parents are fallible and had their own weaknesses and issues.

Ask yourself what it is exactly that shapes your self esteem. “What is it that I value?” Another way to phrase this may be, “What qualities do I admire in others?” Think about what you respect in others. Kindness, generosity and compassion are qualities that many of us respect. Find qualities that appeal to you and that you would like to incorporate into your life.

 The next step is to figure out what you need to do to live in accordance with these qualities you desire. Put into place action steps to bring you closer to your goal. If you admire someone else’s knowledge and confidence, look into studying further. Be creative and see it as fun, not as pressure.

Don’t be hard on yourself if it takes a while or you make mistakes. Just keep on going in the right direction.

Don’t allow yourself to engage in negative self talk. Instead on focusing on what you don’t have, think about what you do like about yourself and nurture gratitude. It serves you to focus on your strengths and not your weaknesses. Make this a habit.

Be your number one fan. If you won’t be then who will? Self confidence is infectious and others will treat you the way you project yourself. Be open, fun, and approachable and the same will come back to you.

Your thinking determines your life – make sure it’s positive and serving you well

Mandy X