As I drove past Happiness Street in Dubai (yes, we have that over here), I had a think about the element that’s the biggest deterrent to our happiness – it’s low self-esteem. I’ve had my consistent struggles with it too and have seen so many millennial peers being plagued by self-harm and self-doubt; the advent of social media hasn’t made it any easier either.
But how do we break out of this bubble of negativity and self-loathing? It’s not easy and I’m still working my way up towards it everyday – here are a few things I’ve tried that sure to help you:
1. Stop the negative self-talk
This has to be the most important aspect that we might often choose to ignore. Although we might not realize, we think thoughts and talk to ourselves all day, whether we’re taking a shower, driving to work or even eating our favorite meal. Have you ever noticed what kind of thoughts they are? If it’s things like, “I’m ugly”, “I’m lazy”, “I’m so dumb” then you’ll never be able to pull yourself out of the endless cycle of self-hate. Instead, imagine yourself as a small child that needs to be encouraged every step along the way with love and care. Has constantly criticizing yourself gotten you anywhere? No- then start encouraging yourself!
2. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else
“Don’t compare your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 20” – this unhealthy obsession of comparing ourselves has only been magnified by social media and having millions of accounts/ profiles to compare ourselves to at our disposal (and I have often fallen prey to it too). We are all on our unique journeys across time and all of us have our own strengths (that might not be visible to the world) – we just need to realize them, and most of all, appreciate them!
3. Filter out the naysayers
Life always throws some naysayers at us, whether it be a boss, a partner or a friend – maybe their criticisms come from a well-intentioned place but end up harming our self-esteem. Learn to constructively acknowledge their negative opinions and filter them out – there are always good things to hear too if we put our ears close to the ground.
4. Start focusing on your good traits
Writing 5 things you love about yourself right before going to sleep is a good start – it might be a bit difficult to find things at first (it was a nightmare for me) but once you do some positive soul-searching and get in the flow of it, you’ll actually start enjoying it. Being grateful for what you’re blessed with only multiplies it and that holds true for all your traits and abilities too!
5. Start celebrating yourself – now!
Stop thinking about how you’ll be perfect when you lose some weight or become more organized – you don’t need to reach a certain standard set by society to be labelled perfect. Start to praise the amazing being you are in the present whether it’s just rewarding yourself with some positive self-talk, having your favorite meal or even some retail therapy.
Hope all these tips help you turn your self-loathe into self-love! If you’ve got any interesting tips on how to increase your self-esteem, I’d love to hear them in the comments section below.