Self-esteem is a funny thing. We know what it feels like when we don’t have enough but do we really know what it means when we do?
If you knew that the research says that high self-esteem has been associated with bullies, criminals and narcissists would you still want it?
I’d have to say yes, so long as you also had a healthy dose of empathy and compassion. High self-esteem that is focused entirely on your own personal amazingness (yes I know – it’s a made up word but I like bending the literary rules) is not healthy. Healthy self-esteem also holds space for appreciating the amazingness of other people and not seeing yourself as better than, or more deserving of, than others.
So, how do we build healthy self-esteem? And how do we recover from a nasty blow to our previously intact self-esteem?
Sooooooo many ways. Tooooooo many ways to tell you in one blog.
That’s why it can be so tricky and also so easy to start to build it.
Here’s a list of things that build healthy self-esteem. I’ll go into them in more detail in the weeks to come.
- Be good with your boundaries (with yourself and with others). If you do more than you are actually willing to, if you are not true to your word, if you do things to people please, you will not like yourself very much. It’s better to have some moments of discomfort than do things that will give you months of not respecting yourself.
- Know the difference between guilt and shame. Guilt says “I did something wrong”. Shame says “I’m all kinds of wrong as a person”. Stay away from shame. You can always change your behaviour.
- Learn to communicate well. When you know you can handle anything verbally (uncomfortable requests, conflict, apologising etc) you enter into situations with a lot more confidence. Communication skills are easy to learn.
- Acknowledge and be grateful. For the good things you do. For the times you try. For the lessons you learn failing. For the risks you take – with love, with friendships, at work, in daring to be you.
- Take time out. For self-care. For rest. For play. For anything that makes you feel good. Treating yourself well is an act of self-esteem.
That’s enough for today. I’ll give you more next time. Til then – feel good about you.
Related Tag: Psychologist Gold Coast