o We all have negative thoughts from time to time. But, when they are aimed at ourselves this can be a sign of unhealthy self-esteem. One of the first steps on the road to loving yourself more is to start to think about your sense of self-esteem, and then make an effort to start doing things to lift it up.
To help understand where you fit on the scale of healthy self-esteem, try answering these 10 questions:
1. Are you able to say no and actually mean it?
2. What are the kinds of people you envy and why?
3. How do you feel when you look in the mirror at your body?
4. How do you feel about your appearance?
5. Do you feel that you deserve the best?
6. Would you say that you’re critical about yourself?
7. Are you able to take personal space whenever you feel you need it without feeling guilty?
8. Do you take the time to do things for yourself?
9. What do you feel when someone gives you a compliment?
10. When buying new clothes for yourself do you feel guilty?
By now, you might be wondering what these questions mean, and what they have to do with the way you view yourself? Everything that happens to us is directly connected to the way we see ourselves because our self-image is a filter through which we interpret our experiences.
If you noticed that the answers you put down express negative language towards yourself, you may be someone who could benefit greatly from practicing some new ways of thinking to try and improve your self-esteem. If you’re looking to improve your self-esteem it’s important to start tuning in, not out and learn to love ourselves more in the following ways.
– Notice when you are blaming yourself, or putting yourself down and try to use kinder language towards ourselves.
– Treat yourself like you would a best friend. You wouldn’t constantly call your friends unkind things, right? You deserve to treat yourself the same way.
– Never allow any invalidation of yourself, whether from within or without, to pass unchallenged.
– Treat yourself to self-care: take a long bath, read, listen to music, get your hair and nails done. Taking care of yourself is showing that you care and love yourself.
– Start to think that you already deserve love and kindness. Give yourself permission to enjoy the world around you.
– Be grateful for what you have in your life.
– Set boundaries for yourself on you let people treat you. If you do not feel comfortable in the words being used in a particular conversation (words that put you down, or are overly judgmental) do not continue to engage any longer in that sort of communication and request that the same things be told in a loving way or remove yourself from the conversation in a calm and firm way.
These few first steps will help you start to identify where you currently stand with your self-esteem and make an immediate change. Keep in mind that practice is key here. If you have a difficult time treating yourself with more love and kindness, don’t worry, it takes time to develop any new skill. Be kind to yourself, even when you have a setback, Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Tip: Read more on Transformative Communication – which gives you some guidance on how to communicate with yourself in a loving way as well as being able to constructively express your needs and feelings to others.