When was the last time you looked in the mirror and said to yourself “Wow, you look great today!” If you’re like most women, it’s probably been a long, long time.
There are many factors that make a strong self-esteem challenging. From the meteoric rise of social influencers and their Instagram-tastic vacations, the belief that others have it way more together than you do, to feeling like you have to keep up with millennial-level youthfulness—self-acceptance and love can be hard to harness.
Our current culture has overtly implied that it’s necessary to be “like” someone else—smarter, more polished, more successful with a nicer house and, well, more. More than you are right now.
It’s all a ploy to make women (and men) insecure in themselves.
Guess what, sister? You’re amazing exactly how you are. There’s only one you. Every single one of us on this planet came her to be who we are—fully who we are.
This may mean that you’ll need to come to some sort of self-acceptance. You’ll need to begin withholding judgement of yourself.
How can you do this when the critical voice in your head just won’t shut up?
Here are 4 ideas to get you started:
Notice your critical thought patterns
We all have the occasional self-deprecating thoughts, but people with low self-esteem have them often. The first step is to notice these thoughts and reframe them as quickly as you can. For example, you may run short on cash, then say to yourself, “Geez, you’re terrible with money!” Are you really terrible with money? Always? Or is this just a one-time mistake that you can avoid in the future?
Catching, and reframing this overly-critical thought pattern is crucial to recovery. By doing so, you’re not glossing over your shortcomings, but you’re noticing them, holding compassion for yourself, and giving yourself permission to do better next time.Instead of judging the heck out of your soft belly, try sending it some love. Click To Tweet
Pay especially-close attention to criticism about your body. This is where women run into the most trouble. Instead of judging the heck out of your soft belly, try sending it some love. Every single cell in your body is alive and an ecosystem unto itself. As Deepak Chopra says, your body is awash in your consciousness. That means that all those cells, individually and collectively are listening to your thoughts. Sending your body love and compassionate attention is a super-healing thing to do. As a child who thrives in a loving environment, so does your physical body. Speak kindly.
Look in the mirror
Louise Hay’s book, You Can Heal Your Life is all about looking in the mirror, and saying out loud: “I love you, just the way you are”. Or, “Don’t you look cute today!” This method of looking into your own eyes and saying something kind, can be super-triggering. It was really hard for me at first. I didn’t feel like I deserved those words. I didn’t believe them.
Even if it feels silly, or difficult, try it out. Keep a post-it note on your mirror to remind you of the phrase. Louise even suggests keeping a mirror on your desk so you can give yourself the occasional wink with a kind word throughout the day. This method is life changing.You are what you repeatedly do. Do good things for yourself. Click To Tweet
Do things that are good for you
It’s easy to slack off on your exercise routine, good eating habits or meditation practice, but putting positive rituals in place and sticking to them is a huge self-esteem booster. Your Unconscious Mind is paying attention, and when she believes that you are the kind of person who takes care of yourself, you’re apt to stick to your routines.
On the other hand, regular slacking off leads to the belief that you’re the kind of person who’s flaky, isn’t worth taking care of, and chronic self-sabotage is almost always a result. You are what you repeatedly do. Do good things for yourself.
Put boundaries in place
People with low self-esteem have a habit of either letting other people walk all over their lives, or they intrude inappropriately into the lives of others—usually in the name of “helping”.
These behaviors stem from a habit of seeking love from outside sources. In the first case, letting opportunistic people take advantage of you seems safe, because in setting limitations there’s a risk of rejection. In the second case, when we intrude, unsolicited, into the lives of others, there’s a need to be needed, and it usually comes with an expectation of praise or reciprocation.Mind the woman in the mirror and a strong sense of self-esteem and compassion will soon follow! Click To Tweet
Often boundary problems come in the form of not telling the truth. Making excuses, while convenient at the time will erode your self-esteem in a hurry. Your Unconscious Mind is eavesdropping on all those little white lies and will begin to believe that you’re a liar. Next time you can’t make that outing, be honest about why—even if it’s just so you can take some much-needed alone time. It’ll boost your sense of integrity and you’ll feel better about yourself immediately.
Bottom line: Love yourself. Take care of yourself. Meet your own needs. Be your own advocate, and take 100% responsibility for your own life, and leave others to theirs. You’re only responsible for that which is under your own circle of influence.
Mind the woman in the mirror and a strong sense of self-esteem and compassion will soon follow!