Problems with low self esteem can be caused by many things. In our early years, low self confidence stems from the fact that we feel inexperienced on many life fronts. This is the time when we do many firsts - first time to take in front of a crowd, first time to be part of the cast in a school play, first time to sit for a major exam etc etc.
As we grow older, our experiences increase and this helps eliminate any low self esteem we had. But it does not work our out so meticulously for everyone. Sometimes, even people who outwardly may seem successful do struggle with their confidence and maintaining a positive attitude. Nevertheless, there is a lot you can do to break free from low self esteem and face life with confidence.
Start by identifying what is the underlying cause for your low self esteem. Often, low self esteem originates from a fear that the people you interact with will see this shortcoming. It could be something about your past, your family history, your height, your looks or your academic credentials.
To get to the bottom of low self esteem, you need to perform a candid self assessment of your perceived weaknesses and strengths. This may prove difficult because it is normal for us to want to ignore or deny knowledge of these shortcomings, refusing to acknowledge them even to ourselves. But once you get this out of the way, you will have surmounted what is probably the most difficult step.
Next, determine whether there is anything you can do to change your perceived weaknesses. If it has something about your weight, may be you should consider going on a diet – but a realistic one. If the issue is insecurity over your academic credentials, you could attend a professional course in your area of expertise or commit to reading books and journals on the subject.
Not all weaknesses can be addressed as directly but the fact that you have even taken the time to think about them is often powerful enough to put you on the path to being more confident and having a positive attitude.
With the negatives dealt with, think about your strengths - everybody has strengths. Maybe you are not a whiz who can say the Periodic Table backwards, but you probably have a way of making people laugh about the most mundane things.
To capture as many of your strengths as possible, start by creating a list of things you have accomplished so far in life. Add to this a list of the things you think you do really well. If you usually get compliments every time you perform a certain task no matter who the audience, chances are you are really good at that task. Most people are surprised by just how many strengths they had but never quite realized it!
Now, change your behavior. Did you know that your behavior can determine your feelings? If you frequently smile to the people around you, you are likely to get that back. Throw in compliments to other people whenever it is appropriate to do so. People will return the favor and this creates a powerful virtuous cycle thus building self esteem.
Take time to plan ahead – planning reduces the likelihood of making mistakes that would pull down your self confidence. Finally, exercise, sleep and eat well – it has a direct impact on your stress levels, moods, health and is thus self esteem building.
This article was written by Ian Moffat because so many people seem to have an uncertainty or insecurity in this modern, brash and fast-paced world, but steps can be taken to find help and get more confidence and self esteem.