“I’m not good enough. I’m not smart enough. I look terrible today.” We are often guilty of being too self-critical. When this becomes a habit and we fail to see our positive traits, it’s likely a self-esteem issue. High self-esteem is an important component of success and happiness. By navigating life’s ups and downs with optimism and a strong sense of self-worth, we gain the motivation needed to achieve our greatest goals. Learn how to improve self-esteem and why it matters.
You already have an idea of what self-esteem means, the word is pretty much self-explanatory. But, let’s start from the very beginning by answering the puzzling question: what is self-esteem? Psychology defines it as a person’s overall sense of value or worth. It is, in simple words, our attitudes towards ourselves, which can be either positive or negative.
Several factors make you develop high or low self-esteem. It’s believed that genes play a vital role. Yet, other factors such as age, health, social circumstances, and life experiences are equally important. In the 21st century, maintaining a sense of self-worth has become a huge challenge. After all, low self-esteem has become a billionaire business. Every day, ads tell us we can be richer, prettier, happier, and basically much better than we currently are.
Poor self-esteem is one of the biggest challenges we face nowadays. Unfortunately, a low sense of self-worth can manifest in many ways, impacting our emotional and mental well-being. Learning how to improve self-esteem it’s crucial. But first, let’s discuss why this is important and how it influences our lives.
The importance of high self-esteem
When a person presents signs of low self-esteem, they tend to avoid anxiety-provoking situations. They believe that these situations are potential sources of embarrassment or failure. Naturally, said anxiety-inducing situations can involve school, work, building personal relations, which are important in a person’s life.
Nowadays, millions of people across the world struggle with their self-esteem. Young adults and teenagers are the most vulnerable demographic. According to a report, in the UK, 61% of girls aged 10 to 17 suffer from poor self-esteem. Whenever they feel bad about their looks, they avoid regular activities like attending school or family gatherings. Meanwhile, in America, a shocking 96% of young girls and boys feel insecure about their appearance.
High self-esteem in children, teenagers, and adults is important for a significant number of reasons. When a person feels they are valuable, they believe they succeed in life. As a result, they are motivated to set goals and work consistently to achieve them. Equally, people who understand their worth are better at handling disappointments and negative experiences.
What are the many benefits of high self-esteem?
A self-esteem boost can make a positive difference in your life, be it delivering a presentation, performing on stage, exceeding expectations at a job interview, or having the courage to pursue a loving and strong relationship. To better understand the importance of good self-esteem, here are seven benefits.
1. A strong sense of purpose
When you believe in yourself, you are able to identify your strengths and skills. This way, discovering your passion and true purpose becomes much easier.
2. Understanding your value
You are worthy! You deserve a fantastic life! For many people, this is not so obvious. If you’ve spent the majority of your days feeling like a failure and that you aren’t special, you won’t be able to love yourself. Good self-esteem will help you understand your actual value and see life from a positive perspective.
3. Clear decision-making
A person with high self-esteem trusts their own ideas. Self-judgement is not a big obstacle to achieving what they want and taking the right steps to do so.
4. Drive to succeed
With everything mentioned above, it comes as no surprise that people with high self-esteem are driven to succeed in everything they do. Clear decision-making, a good understanding of their personal value, and a strong sense of purpose will help them overcome challenges and limitations to achieve their resolutions.
5. Unafraid of the unknown
Change can be scary, especially for those who don’t trust themselves or their ability to adapt to whatever the future has in store. Self-esteem can help a person believe that no matter the upcoming challenges, their skills, and intelligence will help them thrive.
6. Willingness to help others
According to psychology, teenagers and young people with poor self-esteem tend to mistreat their peers and have a hard time building meaningful relationships. On the other hand, people who are in tune with themselves are the first ones to offer a helping hand to those in need. They volunteer, play active roles in their communities, and so on. If you are happy with who you are, chances are you will spread that feeling.
7. Balanced mental health
There’s a strong connection between the way you feel about yourself and your mental well-being. According to the WHO, mental health is “is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” Research has proven that low self-esteem may lead to anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. In order to cultivate good mental health, changing the deep-rooted feelings you have about yourself it’s necessary.
Achieving High Self-esteem With Mindfulness
Self-esteem is not fixed — it’s constantly changing and developing with time. For somebody struggling and in need of support, mindfulness can be an excellent way to improve self-esteem. When you are mindful, you are focused on the present moment without any judgment. It is a state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, and experiences. It is believed that mindfulness increases positive feelings, compassion, acceptance, and general well-being.
The majority of negative feelings are the product of memories or thoughts about a distressful future. If you feel down, perhaps you are thinking about past failures, negative remarks somebody made about you, or you may be imagining worst-case-scenarios. When you are having these thoughts, take a break. Rather than indulging in pessimistic mind chatter, simply acknowledge it for what it is: mind chatter or simple thoughts. This is what mindfulness is about.
Russ Harriss proposes the following method. Whenever you are having negative thoughts such as “I’m not smart enough” or “I’m ugly”, shift your perspective. Replay that same thought by adding the following phrase in front of it “I am having the thought that…” Replay the same thought once more. This time add, “I noticed”. For example, “I noticed I am having the thought that I am not smart enough”. This will make a significant difference.
Research on Mindfulness And Self-esteem
Mindfulness is ideal for promoting greater self-esteem as demonstrated by several scientific trials. Researchers from Griffiths University carried out a study looking at a group of undergraduate psychology students. The participants went through a 15-minute mindfulness training, whereas the other half were given a story about a carnivorous plant. By the end of the study, the mindfulness group managed to significantly improve their self-esteem.
A 2015 review by psychologists at the University of Manchester looked at 17 studies published in the Mindfulness journal. These studies investigated changes in self-esteem following mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs). The majority of the MBI studies reached the conclusion that mindfulness training significantly increases self-esteem.
Knowing that mindfulness can boost self-esteem, what’s the most efficient way to practice it? And, wouldn’t it be wonderful to become mindful in just a few minutes? With Synctuition, you can make it possible! Our program combines the best sound technology and mindfulness practices. The results are 120 mesmerizing sound journeys, which help you let go of pessimistic self-talk and relax your mind and body. If you wish to improve your self-esteem, we recommend listening to Level 1’s Movie Star, Opening the Gift, and Confidence.