To change something that was being built for a long time we first need to have a very good look at it. To build a healthy self-esteem we need to analyze our current belief system and question it to change what’s not working well for us.
For some women their self-esteem suffers the most in the area of body image, for others in their relationships. Whatever is the pain point, we all need to start from within to understand how it works in our lives.
First thing we need to do is lose the victim mentality. If we blame others for our negative self-esteem, it means we give them power to create our self image. In reality, it was us who agreed, accepted and internalized their negative ideas and made them our own. Once we stop blaming others and giving any value to their opinions, we will be able to take the full responsibility and control of who we are.
Easier said than done. That’s why we need to remember one simple truth – what people say reveals who they are and has nothing to do with us. Everyone sees us through their own lens of experience and values. So what they think of us only describes the kind of lens they have. You are the only person who can truly know yourself. So you don’t have to accept opinions and beliefs of other people, even if they are your close ones.
Pay attention to your internal dialogue. Notice the words you use when talking to yourself. Are you kind? Are you repeating someone else’s words that were said to you? Would you speak the same way with your best friend or sister?
Whenever you notice negative thoughts about yourself, dig a bit deeper and question how they appeared in the first place. You need to seriously question their validity. Search for a proof that this negative belief is wrong. After that, create a new positive thought to replace the old one and remind yourself of it every time your old negative thought re-appears.
3. Mind training
Our minds need to be trained to become more focused and aware of all the internal dialogue and our mental reactions to the everyday life. Mindfulness can be reached only with constant action, with constant work of bringing your mind to the place where you want it to be, not where it wants to wonder to.
The best way to train your mind is a daily meditation. During meditation your mind learns to focus and hold its full attention on one subject for a long time. It is like a gym for the mind. The more you exercise, the stronger is your mind’s ability to stay focused and aware.
4. Reminders & habit building
We need to be committed to this process and work on our thoughts and beliefs relentlessly for an extended period of time. Change will not happen in a few days. So we need to create a routine for this process and help ourselves to stick to it.
There is a variety of apps, diaries and planners that you can use to introduce thought analysis and meditation to your daily routine. Remember, the better you stick to the plan, the faster your results will be.
This is the initial outline of the process you need to be going through in order to build a healthy self-esteem. It is a lot of work, because you will need to learn to look at the world from a different angle and react differently to many situations. But not only that. Be prepared that many people around you will not like the change. Some might even try to test or sabotage your progress. The reason why this happens and ideas on how to cope with it will be explained in the next post.