By Asma Naim
The foundations of self-esteem are created early in childhood. For instance, if an individual’s interactions with parents and others were, for the most part, positive (mutually caring, happy, and sound relationships), the individual’s self-esteem would likely be high. However, if parental and other primary interactions were mainly negative, an individual’s self-esteem could be lacking.
Self Esteem is changeable! In other words, the process of boosting your self-esteem is possible even if your childhood didn’t support it. It starts with deciding that you are valuable and treating yourself as such.
You can embed the following habits into your daily life, and you will see the difference.
- Believe in yourself. The first step in creating greater self-esteem is to believe in yourself. It’s your responsibility to take charge of your own self-concept and your beliefs – including belief in your worth, your talent, your abilities, and your potential.
- Identify 9 major successes. Research has repeatedly shown that the more you acknowledge your past success, the more confident you become in taking on and successfully accomplishing new ones. A simple way to start this process is to take an inventory of your major success. Divide your life into three time periods – from birth to 12, 12 to 18, and 18 to 30. Then list three major successes from each time period. To really convince yourself that you’re a successful person who can continue to achieve great things, keep going with your list. See if you can identify 100 or more of your life successes.
- Keep a victory log. Recall and write down your successes each day. This will log them into your long-term memory, enhancing your self-esteem and self-confidence. Whenever you need a boost of self-confidence, reread what you have written. Keeping and referring to your victory log keeps you focused on your successes instead.
- Display success symbols. What you see in your environment has a psychological impact on your moods, attitudes and behavior. Surround yourself with awards, pictures and other objects that remind you of your successes. Create a special place in your home – such as a hallway, shelf or even the top of your refrigerator – to display your symbols. This will subtly program you to see yourself as someone who has consistent successes in life.
- Keep your agreements. One of the most commonly overlooked ways to boost self-esteem is to keep your word. Every agreement you make is ultimate to yourself, even those that involve other people. Your brain registers agreements as commitments. If you don’t follow through, you learn to not trust yourself. You lose integrity and faith in your ability to produce a result. Don’t undermine your sense of personal power – keep your commitments.
Most notably, the core idea of self-esteem is that each human life should be of immense good and great value. Every human being becomes his or her own custodian of that valuable goodness. Thus, one’s own life, welfare, happiness, and fulfillment become a trust that is worthy of the highest degree of respect.This inner respect and this inner striving for good, we call Self Esteem.
“ Challenge to Change, is an initiative aimed at raising awareness about mental health for women from the Middle East. It is a platform for dialogue and support, enabling women to share their experiences, strengths and hope while being supported by mental health professionals. Through raising awareness and taking on the stigma, Challenge to Change has created safe communication channels and support groups with the objective of providing effective and lasting solutions.
Challenge to Change is THE voice for mental wellness for women from the Middle East.”