5 Steps to better Self-Esteem

Salam alaikum! I’m glad that you’re reading this post on self-esteem. Having a health sense of self-esteem is an important need for any human being; but we all think of it differently. What does the concept of “self-esteem” mean to you? Take a moment to complete this sentence “self-esteem is____________.” Self-esteem is generally defined as the estimation that a person has of themselves or their abilities. Someone may judge himself depending on how well he did something, while another may feel elated or horrible depending on what was said to her that day. Take a moment to reflect on your thoughts about self-esteem. This post is about giving you some tips to enhance your sense of confidence and self-esteem. So let’s get started.

Step 1: Determine where you are right now!

It is useful to know where you are at the start so you can measure, and enjoy, your progress as you make changes. On a scale from one to 10, 10 being the highest possible level, where would you say your self-esteem is right  now? Draw the scale on a piece of paper so you get a visual. 

Look at the number that you have chosen. What let’s you know that your self-esteem is at this level? Write down the reasons for why you believe that your self-esteem is at the level you have chosen. For example ‘I know that I am at a four because I don’t feel good being 20 pounds overweight.” Remember that this is just for you to get a more concrete idea of why you feel your self-esteem is where you believe it is. If you are focusing on something you can’t control, such as your height, or a physical feature, then you will need to let that go. Enhancing self-esteem is primarily about putting your focus on what you can do something about. We all have things that we can’t control- acceptance is the most powerful tool to handle that; and it will enhance your self-esteem too.

Step 2: Set a context.

We usually realize our self-esteem is low the moment we notice that the results in our lives are different to what we expected. At this point, people often blame themselves for making bad decisions or doing things wrong, and a downward spiral begins. For a moment, just imagine that your life is amazing in every way. You have a loving family and lots of friends, you feel spiritually connected, and you have good health and plenty of money. You notice that you have achieved most of your goals till present. How are you feeling about yourself? I imagine you would score pretty high on the scale.

Healthy self-esteem is the emotional by-product of when we take actions and succeed. Our focus needs to be towards setting some goals and taking actions towards them.  Self-esteem will begin to increase as we take those actions and grow even more as we succeed. Go ahead and choose one area that you really you want to change, or improve (health, work, time management etc).

Step 3: choose only up to 3 goals

Now take a deep breath, you’ve done the really hard part. The next step is to come up with no more than 3 goals that you would like to achieve in this area within the next three months. Make sure that your goals are based on actions that you can, and will do yourself.  Make your list, and then rate them in order of importance. Next, open up your diary and start to plan what you will have done, and by when. Do make sure that you have a finish date for each goal listed as this gives you a time frame to work in. If you find that your goals will take over 3 months to complete, then break them down into smaller targets and begin there.

Step 4: Achievement list

This is the most enjoyable step of all because now is your opportunity to appreciate all that you do but don’t take notice of. At the end of every day, make a list of everything that you did well during that day. After writing the list, take a moment to notice how you’re feeling. Don’t worry if you don’t notice very much in the beginning, its just because you’re not used to it. Keep it up and things will start coming to mind. I anticipate that you will begin to feel happier and more fulfilled as you go along.

Step 5: be consistent.

It takes at least 21 days of doing something every day for it to become a habit.

The last step is to keep your actions consistent. Make sure that you write your achievement list daily, and take actions on your goals as you planned them.  You may want to use reminders in the form of pictures, post-its, or notes in your diary; use reminders that inspire you take action and stay on track. Once you reach the finish date you had set, go back and take notice of what you achieved and take note of anything that’s left over. Next, measure yourself on the scale once more. If you really did what you said you would, then you will surely find that your self-esteem has grown, even more than you anticipated!

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