What does it mean to have a healthy self-esteem?
Some people think it means you are okay with how you look. Other people think you must accomplish something big in your life to have a good self-esteem. But the reality is, having a healthy self-esteem means you like and appreciate yourself faults and all. A good self-esteem can be the difference between being a happy, resilient individual, able to face life’s challenges head on, and someone who suffers from depression and anxiety and is often overwhelmed with life.
If you have struggled in the past with self-esteem issues, there are some things you can do to give it a much-needed boost:
1. Face the REAL Reality
Are you someone that generalizes your lack of self-esteem? By that I mean, do you make generalities about yourself such as, “I’m an idiot,” “I’m not pretty enough or smart enough?” The truth is, we all act like idiots from time-to-time, and most human beings on this planet can find someone who is smarter and more attractive than they are.
If you’re going to work on your self-esteem, you need to first recognize that you often lie to yourself with these generalities. It may be a very convincing lie from your point of view, but it’s still a lie. To become familiar with reality, make a list of 10 of your strengths and 10 weaknesses. If you have a hard time coming up with your strengths, think about what others have said about you: you’re a good listener, you are thoughtful, you cook a mean burger. When you’re done making this list, you’ll see there are plenty of things you are really good at. And, some of the weaknesses may be things you can absolutely change over time and with some effort.
2. Forget About Perfection
Perfection doesn’t exist. Now you may think all of those Hollywood A-listers that are on the cover of magazines are the epitome of perfection, but even they are air-brushed, photoshopped and have a team of people following them around so their hair is never out of place. Stop spending your energy trying to have the perfect face, body, bank account, career, children or relationships. None of that exists. Focus your energy on achieving attainable goals like obtaining your degree and enjoying hobbies.
3. Get to Know Your Authentic Self
We spend so much of our lives comparing ourselves to others that we don’t really take the time to get to know ourselves. Beyond strengths and weaknesses, who are you as a person? What makes you happy or excites you? What hobbies do you enjoy? What kind of brother or sister are you?
The more you know about yourself, the more chances that you’ll find things out you really like.