Ideally you would like to shine with happiness every day, but before you know it, the internal critic comes up again. That self-criticism affects your self-esteem. Where does it come from and how can you boost your confidence? Mindfulness trainers Susan and Mats Billmark explain:
The negative and critical thoughts you may have about yourself may have been taken with you from childhood. Negative events and certain life circumstances at a very young age may make you feel rejected and different from others.
You may have been mistreated, criticized or punished, or rarely received compliments. Your conclusion may then be that you are worthless, stupid or bad or that you are not good enough.
Always in second place
This can lead to you always thinking that you come second, that you may not dare to say what you think for fear of being rejected’ or that you believe that everything has to be perfect. Later in life, if you find yourself in situations where you are rejected, fail or risk losing control, those old conclusions about yourself are reactivated, and you think you are worthless and such.
This, in turn, creates negative expectations that may lead to anxiety and/or non-functional behavior. Examples of this are being avoidant, being very careful, giving up what you are doing or not daring anything at all.
All those things then become a confirmation of your ‘right’. You get more critical and negative thoughts about yourself, along the lines of: I’m not good enough, I’m bad, stupid, worthless and so on. The negative spiral continues and can lead to depression.
Self-esteem can be low in adults and children. This low self-esteem causes a host of problems. It also leads us to seek confirmation for the belief that we are good enough outside of ourselves, through other people and through things.
As we strengthen our self-esteem, so does our acceptance of other people’s shortcomings and makes it easier to work together. When we strengthen our self-esteem, we value ourselves more, we are more satisfied with ourselves and we stop criticizing ourselves so much.
A strong sense of self gives us courage. As a result, we dare to take up a little more space in social situations, say what we think, make decisions and enter into contact with new people. People with a strong sense of self allow other people to express themselves better, are often more modest towards others and allow them to take up space and have a say.
A prerequisite for growing our self-esteem is that we more often praise ourselves for who we are, not just what we do. When we dare to challenge ourselves to do things we have never done or are afraid of, we increase our self-confidence.
To increase your self-esteem, you can start treating yourself and others in a new way.
What you think about yourself is much more important than what others think about you!
1. Focusing on the positive things in your life leads to more optimistic behavior and a view that makes your own life and that of others better. You will notice that you get much more positive energy back. You can train yourself to become more positive and change your mindset.
2. Have positive people and sources of inspiration around you. Choose the environment that supports you and that allows you to feel good.
3. Put up notes with positive and empowering messages that make you stronger.
4. A good practice to make a habit: Write in a gratitude book every night . Keep a notebook by your bed in which you write down three things each night that you are grateful for, something that happened that day, or something else. You can also write down a quality that you value in yourself or someone else. ( For example, think of our beautiful Night Book, or our Inspirational Life Journal if you need a little more space .)