How much time do you spend thinking about your self-esteem? It might not be a lot, especially in those terms. But how much time do you spend thinking about how you feel about yourself, or how others feel or think about you? Do you think that other people don’t like you? Do you think that you are not smart enough or pretty enough or talented enough to do something that you want to do? Do you think that others make fun of your behind your back for something that you said or did? Do you feel like you are hopeless or worthless? Do you talk to yourself negatively – telling yourself that you are stupid or ugly? All of these things are part of your self-esteem and may be a struggle during your anxiety treatment.
Low self-esteem can very easily lead to a variety of different kinds of difficulties like addiction, eating disorders, and mental health issues. The more time you spend thinking bad things about yourself, the more likely it is going to be that they will find some way to manifest in your life.
There are quite a few simple things that you can do to build up self esteem.
This daily journal does not need to be anything big and fancy. It does not have to be the long story of your whole day. It does need to list a few things every day that you feel that you have done well or that you have accomplished. It should be good things that come out of your day. List anything positive that happened, even if one of those things is simply getting out of bed. At the end of each week, read though the positive things that you accomplished and reflect on them. Keep them in mind in the week to come, and they will start to make you realize that your life has some meaning and you can be hopeful.
There is little to be gained from spending a lot of time thinking about mistakes you have made or people you have hurt or have hurt you. Self-blame and reliving these mistakes is not productive. Start to make amends with yourself for your past. If there are people you have hurt and you can ask for forgiveness, do. Let these people know that you are sorry for any wrongdoing and that you are trying to change. Likewise, forgive the people who have done wrong to you even if they are not asking for your forgiveness. Harboring anger can do more harm than good. It keeps you resentful of the person and makes you feel guilty for being angry. If you want to be a different kind of person, let go of the past and move forward.
There is no better way to feel better about yourself than to help others. There are lots of ways that you can help others in your community and all over. You can start by simply being kind to the people around you – holding doors, picking up trash, asking people how they are and actually wanting to know. A simple smile goes a long way. And then you can move on to things like volunteering. Non-profits are always looking for volunteers. You can volunteer for churches, shelters, food banks and soup kitchens, literacy organizations, humane societies, and children and youth organizations. Any of these groups would be happy to have you. You can begin to make a difference right away, even if you are simply stuffing envelopes or hanging up fliers.
There are always going to be people who have more money than you. There are always going to be people who are better looking, smarter, faster, or more talented than you are. And there are always going to be people who do not have a much money as you do. There are always going to be people who are less attractive, not as smart, slower, and less talented than you are. It is the way of things. But life is not about who is the best or the worst. You have to figure out how to live your life without comparison. Your life is your own and what you do with it is up to you. Who you are is not comparable to who someone else is. You will constantly be defeated if you play that game. Do not worry about what everyone else is doing. Just worry about you.