How to go about building self esteem? Do you need to?
Quite a few people don't believe they are good enough - especially the more sensitive ones. Negative emotions hit them hard and in order to avoid them they try to keep their surroundings happy.
I'm sure you have met this type - one who keeps on agreeing with whoever is speaking. And yet you sense - or know - that this is against their own beliefs.
They feel they have somehow failed if someone disagrees with their world view. They may not express their deeper beliefs because they fear judgement from others. They try to please everyone in an effort to stay out of conflict.
They are telling themselves that their own opinions are not worth anything. And in time this kind of behavior makes their self esteem crash.
Controlling other people's behavior isn't only done by strong people. Ever thought the seemingly positive people who are always in agreement with whoever happens to be talking are in fact trying to control the behavior of others? Pleasing others to stop unpleasant situations from forming. The unpleasant situation being a moment when the other person realizes there is a differing opinion and challenges it.
And so they allow themselves to be used by others, even laughing about it. Pushing their own values back, and suppressing their own inner self because showing a happy face makes them a less likely target of negative comments.
So outwardly everyone seems to be content. But the sensitive person who is hiding behind the facade of positivity and agreement is not feeling happy.
How to Go About Building Self Esteem?
First of all - if you are one of those sensitive people avoiding conflict at all costs, ask yourself why you do that.
What is the worst that can happen if you stand up for yourself? If it is a threat of violence - remove yourself from the surroundings immediately.
Mostly, however, it is a fear of not being liked. But you know what? People with good self esteem don't dislike you because you disagree with them. People with low self esteem may do that, though.
But if you wish to build your self esteem, you need to state your opinion from your own center, no matter whom you are facing. You can only have a good self esteem when you recognize your own value, and trust your opinions have quite the same right in this world as the other person's.
What is important to you? What are your values? Yours, not anyone else's.
It may take some doing to find those core beliefs that make you happy. You may have been too scared to voice them even to yourself. But once you find them, stick to them.
You may imagine yourself beforehand in a situation where you are most likely to meet with differing opinions. And then rehearse an answer that reflects your true self - answers that make you feel good.
Repeat them aloud to yourself, write them down, learn them by heart so that when the situation arises, your answer comes out automatically.
How would you convince yourself you are valuable?
What are you good at? You don't need to be an artist or a millionaire. You may be good at keeping your house tidy. You may be good at keeping schedules. You may have good sense of style. You may be good at gardening. Heck - you may be good at filling the cupboards so that no space is wasted!
So write those things down.
What are the good things you have achieved? And mind you - things you feel as achievements. If it is crocheting a scarf, then that is a perfect achievement for your list. Would you have pictures of your achievements? You do? Great - print them or create a virtual corkboard of them on your computer. Return to that corkboard often. As they say - pictures are worth a thousand words. Just looking at pictures of your accomplishments makes you feel good. Don't let that good feeling vanish, pay attention to it, maybe add a few words to it. "Oh yes, that was one of the greatest moments of my life!"
You friends don't complement you? Well - how about you imagine one. Create a new email account for your imaginary friend and send yourself emails in that friend's name - complementing you and your achievements. Giving high fives for those times you stood up for yourself. It is possible to send times emails from certain services, so why not write a few of them in advance and book a time when they are sent to you.
And compliments - have you noticed moments when you belittle your own achievements when someone compliments you? This is surprisingly common. The next time someone compliments you, say "Thank you" in a joyful voice - and mean it. They have just proved to you that something you have done is valuable.