CONFIDENCE CAN BE TRICKY
Confidence can be tricky but then again so can mental health. Normally people’s confidence ebbs and flows with what happens in their lives. If something negative happens then their confidence dips but when something positive happens, it can go through the room.
But if the negative outweighs the positive then low confidence or self-esteem can dominate our lives. Be careful with what you consider to be high self-confidence as there is a fine line between that and just being plain narcissistic.
A PERSONAL BATTLE
Self-esteem has been something I have battled my entire life despite having a relatively positive upbringing. I developed anxiety in high school and later got prescribed anti-anxiety and depression medication during a mentally abusive relationship while in college.
Self-esteem has been an uphill battle ever since. To clarify, self-esteem is not the same as depression, but the two concepts do overlap. Having low self-esteem can make you more susceptible to depression. Low self-esteem can also trigger anxiety especially in social situations.
Self-esteem is extremely important for a variety of reasons. Holding yourself in high regard can help with coping skills and handling adversity. Having a higher esteem is going to lead to better mental health and vice versa.
Instead of viewing a situation as hopeless or thinking you are unworthy you are more likely to look for views on how to improve after a perceived failure. With that being said, high self-esteem is also going to allow you to handle stress better and to be less reactive to things that happen in our daily lives.
HAVING A BAD DAY IS NORMAL, LOW SELF-ESTEEM IS NOT
It is important to note that it is normal to feel down or have a bad day. Poor self-esteem becomes a problem when it becomes a permanent mindset. If you have a chronic negative self-image then it goes past just feeling down.
This can lead to poor mental health and an increase susceptibility to depression and other mental health problems. If you have low self-confidence or self-esteem, then you are more likely to put up with people treating you badly and less likely to stand up for yourself.
Now I know developing high self-esteem (or confidence) is not an easy task. It is an everyday battle, and it is very deliberate. I have to think about certain things and tell myself certain things every day. There are a few things you can evaluate in your current situation to take the first steps.
“YOU IS KIND. YOU IS SMART. YOU IS IMPORTANT.”
Next, positive self-talk is a must. I know it sounds cheesy, but it’s true. Like I mentioned above, I tell myself “Keep moving forward” probably upwards of 50 times a day to reframe myself from dwelling on negative situations that I can’t change.
Take a page out of the movie “The Help” if you have to. “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” Positive self-talk is an easy thing you can do to get the negative thoughts out of your head.
SELF-CARE IS A MUST
First and foremost, Self-care is something you have to prioritize. If you don’t take care of yourself then you can’t possibly improve.
If you feel run down, are having a bad day, or make a mistake, give yourself a break. Don’t be so hard on yourself.
Make sure to forgive yourself for things you might regret and don’t dwell in the past. I tell myself “Keep moving forward” every day, it reminds to live in the present and not in the past.
Make sure you value yourself and what you bring to the table whether it’s at work, in a relationship, etc.
Love and respect yourself despite your flaws. Everyone has them. Continuously work on yourself.
Start the day with the mindset that you are going to do one thing that makes you better than the person you were yesterday.
YOUR ENVIRONMENT MATTERS
The environment and people you surround yourself with are just as important self-care and self-talk. If you surround yourself with people that don’t value and respect you then it is hard to value yourself.
It is a lot of work daily to hype yourself up to get yourself from being dragged down by the negative people around you.
Surround yourself with positive people and people that respect and value what you bring to the table.
If you feel like you are in an environment where you are surrounded by people that don’t respect or value, you then do your best to remove yourself from the situation. It may be a job or a friendship or a relationship.
If you play sports maybe its your coach or teammates. (I have experience with bad coaches as well). I know it can be hard but take steps to get out of that situation as quick as you can before it drains you. Surround yourself with people that are your biggest fans.
DON’T CONFUSE ARROGANCE FOR HIGH SELF-ESTEEM
Remember no one likes a narcissist or someone who is arrogant. Don’t try to cover up low self-esteem with either of those as these two things appear to be high self-esteem but are actually the exact opposite. Work on yourself each and every day, but don’t forget to give yourself a break. Your self-esteem and mental health will thank you.