Take Action Now: Self-ESTEEM

Knowing what self-esteem is, it’s the first step. The second step is to take action. If self-esteem is how much you value yourself, then, self-image is directly related to how you can change your self-esteem. Self-image is the concept we have about the self we project, in other words, our strengths and weaknesses. It’s important to be aware of our self-image so that it is not based on external factors to validate our internal core because then we become vulnerable to others’ opinions, which may not come from a critically evaluated place. So, the question then becomes, “How do you evaluate yourself to be able to shape your self-image?”

Something that you may not have realized, due to the fast-paced life we live, is that negative beliefs weigh more than positive ones. Specifically, research studies showed that a negative belief is approximately equivalent to five positive ones. Therefore it is harder to focus on your strengths and positive aspects of yourself compared to your weaknesses. So, once again, the key is to be patient with yourself.

One way you can start evaluating yourself is by closing your eyes and visualizing an event that has already happened in your life. Then, as an observer watch the scene closely as if it is happening right now in front of you and evaluate your performance. In every evaluation, make sure that you notice your strengths and weaknesses. If you merely instruct yourself to evaluate the situation, most probably your mind will get into autopilot and focus mostly on the negatives. Write everything down and give a number to each attribute. Note down which attributes you want to improve and by how much. This will help you to create a plan of action. Through this exercise, you can recall specific memories depending on the state you are in (i.e., if you are sad, most probably you will see yourself when you didn’t feel good). Inevitably you will miss some of your attributes.

Another exercise you can do is to design the identity you want to install. Instead of having a self-image dependent on your memories, bring to mind a role model or create a role model on your own that you wish to have. The goal is to have a concrete internal representation of yourself that will take you into a state where you reach the self you want to project. Keep practicing and focusing on this new self. The most dominant thought will overpower any other thought and will program you to take small actions leading to what you think most frequently and most intensively.

Having healthy self-esteem is not a matter of luck. It’s a matter of putting in the effort and working with yourself. Through the process of creating healthy self-esteem, you may find yourself having opportunities for new experiences and new learning. Considering that self-help is difficult because it mistakenly focuses on results and not on progress, it is advisable to seek the help of a professional where you can learn the skills and techniques on how to work and then work on your own.