"Be yourself." "You do you." "Listen to your heart." The messages behind authenticity are beautiful ones: you are the center of your world and you are the only voice that matters. But while such phrases are inspiring, we live in a world that bombards us with beliefs, opinions and general emotional noise. This creates a dilemma that many of us struggle with–how do I think like myself when everyone and everything is trying to tell me how to think?
Happiness and Self-Fulfillment
If I could talk to the teenage version of myself about authenticity, I know what I would say. I would tell her the very things she is afraid make her "weird" are actually the things that make her awesome. I would tell her to stop wasting energy being afraid of judgment, and to put that energy towards enjoying the things that make her happy.
Explore your low self-esteem? How do you do that? Picture a road map. On one side is a bright red dot, labeled "High Self-Esteem." This is our destination, the place we dream of arriving. Our map is covered in routes that twist and turn, approaching the red dot from all different directions. On our journey we will be able to explore these, finding the ones that lead us closer to our goal. But in order to begin, we need to find the dot labeled "You Are Here." We have to know our starting point. We have to explore the starting point of our low self-esteem to know how to raise it.
Do you find that it's hard to make time for self-care? We all have busy lives and play many roles, but if we don’t take care of ourselves and listen to what we need, it makes it harder to take care of the ones we love. When we make time for self-care on a regular base, research shows that most of us begin to develop healthy self-esteem, are more mindful and present, and feel more control over our mental health.
You can avoid the self-esteem traps that create unrealistic self-importance instead of healthy self-esteem. You should continue to build yourself up despite possible self-esteem traps because living with low self-esteem has many negative consequences as well. Low self-esteem can make you unwilling and unmotivated to achieve what you are capable of, averse to relationships that you deserve, and it can make you vulnerable to depression.1 In order to protect yourself, it is, therefore, vital to build your self-esteem. However, there are ways that build self-esteem that can end up fostering other negative outcomes in your life, or self-esteem traps. If you want to maximize your wellbeing and have more positive interactions with people, then it pays to be mindful of the self-esteem traps of narcissism, jealousy and resentment.
Did you know that there are ways to improve confidence in less than five minutes? Whether you are feeling anxious about a meeting, worried about a test or feel down in the dumps, these tricks have helped me shift my mind from fearful to feeling in control and they take just a minute or two of your time. These are ways to improve confidence.
Your job affects your self-esteem in both positive and negative ways. Many people today report more dissatisfaction with their jobs, and this impacts them even when they aren't working. Do you feel unhappy or energetically drained by the work you do? If so, there are a few things you can do to protect your self-worth and your energy. You can't stop your job from affecting your self-esteem, but you can do things that balance any negativity.
Helping others improves your self-esteem and sense of purpose. People who volunteer their time, donate to a cause they care about, or aid someone in need of assistance, have higher self-esteem and overall wellbeing. How can you help others and improve your self-esteem?
It may feel challenging but you can stay confident during stressful times. Many people give into old habits and negative thinking patterns when they are under a lot of stress. This leads to succumbing to unhealthy behaviors that can lower your self-esteem. You can combat stress and stay confident, it just takes some awareness and practice.
Positive people have some secrets to share with you. Whether you struggle with negative thinking, low self-esteem or too many bad days, you can learn something from people who look at the world through rose-colored glasses. Positive people aren't just born this way, they, too, have endured bad days and many have struggled with feeling good about themselves. That's why the secrets of positive people are valuable, they've been in your shoes.