As someone who has struggled with self-esteem issues for years, I’ve learned quite a bit about the link between how we see ourselves and how happy and successful we are. I used to think things like “I’m not good enough” or “I don’t deserve this,” which only fueled feelings of anxiety and depression. It became a vicious cycle – the worse I felt about myself, the more challenges and setbacks I faced.
It wasn’t until I started actively working on improving my self-esteem that things really turned around. And let me tell you, it has made a world of difference! I now see myself as worthy of love, success, and happiness – and I’m finally achieving goals I didn’t think possible. I went from hiding in the shadows to proudly sharing my voice with the world. From imposter syndrome to feeling assured in my abilities. From avoidance and isolation to putting myself out there socially and landing my dream job.
I credit it all to the effort I put into building real self-esteem. And it wasn’t quick or easy (self-help rarely is, let’s be honest). But with consistent practice, I began believing in my inherent worthiness bit-by-bit. I’m now happier, healthier, and more confident than I ever imagined I could be!
Of course, I still have bad days where those old beliefs creep back in. But I’ve learned not to beat myself up over slip-ups. Now I have the proper tools and coping methods to get back on track quickly.
Through trial and error, here are my top lessons for learning self-esteem and improving happiness:
Practice positive affirmations daily. I know, I used to roll my eyes at this too. But verbally acknowledging our worth, talents, and abilities in front of a mirror every morning truly rewires our brain over time. Even if we don’t fully believe them at first, fake it till you make it works wonders here!
Set small, manageable goals and celebrate wins. Don’t expect an overnight 180. Make a list of minor steps you can achieve each day and week to build confidence in your abilities. Recognize each one with a tangible reward, no matter how minor it seems. We have to retrain our brains to notice progress, not just failures.
Rewrite limiting beliefs and self-talk. Actively challenge every negative thought with a new empowering one. “I can’t do this” becomes “I’m going to take it one step at a time.” It feels silly at first, but self-talk is powerful. In time, the positive voice will come naturally.
Practice self-care and self-compassion. Doubly important! Do things each day that fill up your mental, emotional and physical cup. Move your body, fuel properly, sooth anxiety, get quality sleep, etc. Be your own best cheerleader – treat yourself as you would a loved one struggling. Develop a nurturing inner voice.
Try therapy or support groups. We can only heal so much alone. Having the right professional support provides validation, coping methods, accountability, and insight into our triggers. And surrounding ourselves with others doing self-work inspires us and reminds us we’re not alone. It’s vulnerability on steroids – but so worth it!
No matter where we are in our self-esteem journey, there are always tools we can add to build ourselves up. While it remains an ongoing process, the more we actively foster self-worth, the more heights we can reach in all facets of life. With compassion for ourselves and others, we can transform our inner voice to tap into our true potential. As someone who once felt helpless to the demons of self-doubt, I’m living proof that small consistent steps towards self-love can change everything!