Gary Vaynerchuk, a very popular motivational speaker and NY Times best-selling author had said,“Self-esteem is the ultimate drug in life.” He is absolutely right, self-esteem can help you become more optimistic, help you become resilient when you fail and make you an overall likable personality.
What is self-esteem?
Before we proceed, let us try to understand what is self-esteem exactly. It is the quality of a person to understand that he is a worthwhile individual with his own set of talents and abilities. He is confident about the unique offerings he brings to the table. Self-esteem realizes that the worth of an individual rests in his own mind and not on the opinion of others.
People with a healthy self-esteem know that they are an important and valuable part of a group or society. They are aware that their voice matters, which results in an individual becoming more assertive and confident about themselves.
Why is self-esteem important?
A lack of self-esteem can cause a multitude of problems in a man’s life. Especially in this new age of social media and hyper-competitiveness when it comes to career, relationships and appearance, low self-esteem can hammer you down. Self-esteem is essentially a lack of self-worth which can cause you to give up too easily or set too small a target. Thereby, setting you up to fall short of your potential. This could mean you might not go as far in your career even after possessing all the requisite skills. Low self-esteem can also make you a pushover who does anything and everything for a relationship. Essentially “grovelers” are a part of the group which has low self-esteem. This can lead you to be in emotionally unsatisfying relationships where you could end up being the needy one or used and thrown. Something that the new alpha male definitely doesn’t want to go through. For this reason, working to build your self-esteem is of prime importance. Without further ado, lets look at some ways to boost self-esteem.
Ways to build self-esteem
Most people are not born with innate qualities of optimism, discipline, mental strength and the same goes for self-esteem. These qualities may be impacted by the person’s childhood, their parents and the experiences that life has thrown at the individual so far. However, we are surrounded by examples of humans who have faced all sorts of challenges and come out flying. This shows us that there are ways to build qualities we may not naturally possess. Self-esteem is a characteristic that you definitely want to invest in. It is highly advisable to make a conscious effort to bring your mind and emotional state where it possesses healthy levels of self-esteem.
Practice being non-judgmental
First of all, non-judgmental people are really well-liked. Because its comfortable being around people you know that aren’t evaluating your behavior or thought process. It leads them to be more relaxed around you. It will definitely help you make more friends. However, in the context of building self-esteem being judgmental of other people is actually detrimental to your emotional health.
The problem is that the more you judge, the more you draw comparisons with another persons. Because the relative position you use to judge another individual is yourself. Soon you would find that people you judge are better than you at a lot of things that you aren’t. This will eventually erode your self-esteem. It is best to not judge others and it will definitely result in you being not judged either.
Practice being non-judgmental by avoiding the unconscious act of drawing conclusions from how a person looks, their class, dressing or the way they speak. You will learn quickly that it opens up doors to being friends with so many new people and learn from them all.
Fix your posture
Always stand erect. The logic that standing erect and maintain a firm, erect posture boosts self-esteem is a lot like how you can never be angry when you’re forcing yourself to smile. It is just extremely contradictory for your brain to do it.
Standing tall with your shoulders back and chest forward exudes confidence, it causes people to treat you differently and also results in you being more confident and feeling good. Consider this tip of boosting self-esteem as a fake it till you make it technique.
Use up space
If you have ever seen powerful personalities or confident individuals, you will notice that they project themselves big. When they are sitting on a chair, they will make sure to use up the full space and be as big as possible with a very open body posture. For example, watch Elon Musk seated in the photo below. It is a classic example of how to use up space and project high levels of self-esteem.
People with low self-esteem tend to make themselves small. It is a natural tendency for them because their body language tries to adopt their mental state of mind wherein they want to be invisible and not approached by people. However, by setting yourself up with a open body language you attract people. It is also the reason why working out and getting bigger typically results in a higher self-esteem, because you demand more space and attention. Especially when men try to make themselves small by keeping their knees and arms drawn in, they are perceived as effeminate and submissive.
Don’t reason with your inner critic
Your inner critic is what makes you less likable to yourself. Because it constant keeps pointing at what you’re not good at and what your weakness is. The problem with inner criticism is that its a bottomless pit. Once you begin thinking of a negative thread, it spirals quickly out of control and you come out of the thought valuing yourself lesser.
It makes sense to just shut your thought the minute you find negativity stemming from your mind. Sometimes you may need to make strong, physical actions such as shouting out “no” or going for run or distracting yourself mentally with another task. Whatever your method, stemming out your inner critic that keeps putting you down is the way to protect your self-esteem. Acceptance is important to acknowledge that one may not be good at everything that another is, some people may be remarkably talented but most of us are stunningly mediocre. Which is why it is rightly said, only compare yourself with you and not anyone else.
Maintain a strong moral code
When you know deep down inside that you did the right thing and gave it your best effort, then you recover from failures quickly. A strong moral code with a sense of right and wrong will allow you to guide your decisions in such a way that your self-esteem is not destroyed when things fail or do not work out. A clear conscience can do wonders to your self-esteem.
It is not only limited to morality, but also life choices. Keeping a set of correct choices such as avoiding smoking and exercising daily re-affirms the faith in yourself that you are doing the right things and headed in the correct direction. This reinforcement you receive from good life choices and strong moral values is what elevates your self-esteem dramatically. So if you have made choices that are wrong so far, now is as good a time to fix everything and begin afresh. In a few months time, you will find yourself with a strong self-esteem that will help you grow and achieve more in life.