Developing self esteem depends on you. While it’s nice to get an esteem boost from others once in awhile, ultimately it’s up to you to change your self talk and develop a positive attitude about yourself and your abilities. Depending on others for developing self esteem is taking your own power and handing it to everyone else you come into contact with. It’s time to take your power back!
Did you know that if you’re like the average person, you probably have about 55,000 thoughts per day? Most of this self talk is about yourself, and on average, about 80% of that talk is negative.
- I’m not good enough.
- They don’t like me.
- I can’t do it.
- I don’t look good.
- I’ll never be able to… (lose weight, get a promotion, get a degree, start a business…).
- I can’t get it right.
- I’ll never get ahead.
If you’re constantly putting yourself down like this, it’s going to be tough to develop self esteem and belief in yourself and your abilities.
So How Can You Develop Self Esteem?
Developing self esteem is just like developing a positive attitude. You need to start questioning your thoughts and beliefs and start imprinting new positive thoughts on your subconscious mind.The easiest way to begin developing self esteem is to first figure out where you are now. What negative self talk are you using? Carry a notepad with you over the next 2-3 days. Over that time, do your best to pay attention to your thoughts. Write down every negative thought you observe going through your mind. I think you’ll be amazed at the list you end up generating.
Start Questioning Your Beliefs.
Once you have your list, find some time for yourself. You’re going to go through each item on that list and start questioning your self talk. This is critical to developing self esteem.
- Do you really know what that other person is thinking?
- Could you be wrong?
- Instead of “I can’t,” ask yourself, “How can I…?”
- Can you really predict the future? Maybe something much better could happen instead?
- What can you do to change the situation?
The point of the exercise is to learn to question your self talk and make a habit of doing it. What you think isn’t always true. If you do run into a thought that is true, stop focusing on the negative and start looking for solutions by asking “How can I…?” or “What can I do to change this?” By questioning your thoughts, you activate your brain to start looking for solutions instead of staying focused on the problem.
The more often you question your thoughts, the sooner it will become a habit for you. It’s better to have a habit of questioning your self talk than to just let it run unchecked. If left unchecked, it will keep feeding your subconscious mind with negativity and will ultimately lead to low self esteem and lack of ambition.
Start Imprinting A New Positive Attitude About Yourself.
As you start questioning your negative self talk, you also want to start purposefully feeding your subconscious mind with positive thoughts. This is another critical step to developing self esteem. Take the list you made earlier and rewrite each item down the left side of a new sheet of paper. Then on the opposite side, list the thought you would prefer to have about yourself.
For example, if you wrote I’m fat and ugly on the left side, you might write something like I am sexy and alive weighing 135. Make sure you word the phrase as you would when you write an affirmation.
Your new list is going to be a list of affirmations and visualizations for you to use. Both of these tools are important for developing self esteem. You want to start blitzing your subconscious mind every day with positive thoughts and images about yourself. Over time, these phrases and images will start to become imprinted on your subconscious. In turn, your subconscious will believe them to be true and thus get to work on your behalf to help make your external reality match your new internal beliefs.
Pick the 5 items on your list that you would like to work on changing first.
Use these 5 items as daily positive affirmations.
Use these 5 items as daily visualizations.
A daily victory journal is another tool to help you develop self esteem. Take a few minutes each evening to review your day and write down anything that went your way that day.
- Did you do anything well?
- Did anything go your way today?
- Did you have any successes?
Your answers don’t have to be what you would normally consider major successes. It could be as simple as making a great dinner for yourself or the family. Maybe you did a good job reading a story to your child that day. Maybe you put together a perfect outfit that morning, or found a great deal on that item you needed.
The point of the exercise is to start focusing your mind on things that went well for you. After doing this exercise for a few days, your mind will automatically start looking for things throughout the day that you can put into your journal that evening.
Congratulations, you’ve started training your brain to look for success instead of just focusing on failure and negativity. Keep it up!
You may also want to read my article on developing a positive attitude for more ideas on improving your attitude in general. As you develop a positive attitude in other areas of your life, you will also be developing self esteem automatically.
Some Final Thoughts
Be patient and gentle with yourself as you work on developing self esteem. Sometimes change can happen overnight, but often it takes time. You have probably been using negative self talk for many years and it will take time to change that. Try not to get down on yourself or give up if you don’t see immediate results. This will only prevent you from creating self esteem. Commit to working at it for at least 30 days and you can expect to start noticing some results.
Once you start seeing results, I’m sure that will give you the motivation to keep going. Before you know it, you’ll have a healthy and lasting positive attitude about yourself that doesn’t depend on other people or outside situations to feed it.
Congratulations, you’ve just taken your power back!To learn more about this topic, please check out the related articles listed at the bottom of the page.