Many people have questions about their feelings and thoughts and often doubt themselves. This happens to everybody and is a way of weighing up oneself against one’s society to see whether one is normal or abnormal. Building high self-esteem is one of the most important ingredients of a happy life. Self-esteem deals with the social and mental aspect of human health. Our level of self-esteem influences our ability to make decisions. If we have low self esteem, we will lack the confidence to make decisions. Low self-esteem makes us less able to assert ourselves or defend our values. Low self- esteem makes people unwilling to take responsibility for their actions. They tend to blame others for their failure and refuse positive change by making excuses. We shall be looking at what self-esteem is all about and 9 strategies for improving one's self-esteem.What is self-esteem?
Self esteem is a person’s feeling of worth, which may be influenced by performance, abilities, appearance and the judgment of significant others. In order words it can simply be described as having confidence in one's worth.
Types of self-esteem
1. High Self-esteem: This is when an individual’s beliefs, views, thoughts, values or judgment about him or /herself is positive and healthy. This means seeing yourself in a positive way, accepting both your strengths and weaknesses. A person with high self-esteem is generally satisfied with whom he or she is and what he or she is doing with his or her life.
2. Low self-esteem: When an individual’s beliefs, views, thoughts, values or judgment about himself or herself is negative and unhealthy. This means seeing yourself in a negative way and focusing on your weaknesses. A person with low self-esteem will suffer from feelings of unworthiness, inadequacy, helplessness, inferiority and inability to improve his/her situation.
Characteristics of people with high or low self-esteem
· Caring attitude
· Respects authority
· Fault finding
· Suspicious of people
· An inferiority complex
· Allows self to be pushed around
Factors that influences self-esteem
b. Socio-economic background
c. Culture and tradition
d. Personal achievements
e. Mass media
f. Other people’s perception, etc.
Strategies for improving self-esteem
The following 9 strategies can be adopted to improve one's self-esteem:
1. Do not compare yourself to anyone else:
This is the mistake most people tends to make, by comparing themselves with various individuals that have been successful in one aspect of live or the other without having the thought that everyone is unique. The whole idea is that one should be him/her self, discover yourself and work on your God-giving talent and for sure you will eventually understand how special you are in your own way.
2. Identify your strength and weakness:
identifying your strength and weakness is a sure way of maintaining a balance and knowing who you are. know your strength and always make positive use of it, then also know your weakness and endeavour not to allow it to be a set back to you.
3. Set goals that can be accomplished:
Setting goals that can be accomplished is another key strategy, you do not expect to harvest rice when you initially planted a yam tuber. know what goals are capable of being achieved a particular time based on your individual input.
4. Identify your values and behave according to them:
know what you value in life and behave according to them, and for sure let the various values of yours points towards positivity.
5. Develop your abilities and be proud of them:
Just like the saying "practice makes perfect" goes, individual abilities or skills needs to be developed and placed on constant practicing. with this you always see a fruitful yield and at the end always be proud of your abilities.
6. Use your family and other support systems (religious groups, teachers etc):
Since they said "charity begins at home", using your family as one source of improving your self esteem is very important. Other support groups such as churches, mosques or even school can also come in handy.
7. Stand firm when your group members try to influence your behaviour negatively:
you should always stand firm on your right, values and thoughts whenever negative peer pressures comes in. This is another way of telling them that you are the boss and CEO of your life.
8. Decide to change what you don't like about yourself:
During a thorough examination of your life and fishing out those negative aspect that you don't really like is highly essential. Not only fishing them out, but endeavour to implement a positive change on them.
9. Reward or appreciate yourself whenever you achieve your goals:
Finally, tend to always give yourself a tap on the shoulder whenever you accomplish any set target or goals. You should be the first fan of your own self, love yourself more than the way anybody can ever love you.