At some point in everyone’s life, a crossroads appears and some fairly large decisions will need to be made. Regardless of what lies before you, one of the driving forces behind the decision making process is how much you trust yourself and your judgment. Unfortunately, self-esteem is a looming adversary for more people than one might ever realize, and finding the way to loving and trusting oneself is a rough road to travel.
The funny part is though, it doesn’t have to be. Once you can retrain your brain to view the world through a new set of eyes and process what you are seeing with a new mindset, finding ways to let go of the self-doubt will become easier and easier by the day. The key to being successful is the desire to want to change.
Take a moment and think about yourself, and be honest. Think about what makes you, you. Your physical appearance, your inner thoughts, clothes, likes, dislikes, mannerisms, regrets, triumphs, what makes you happy, sad, angry, joyous, frustrated… all of it. Each and every one of those components is important to recognize and acknowledge if you want to truly want to find ways to be happy and confident.
If, after examining yourself you find that your self-confidence is leaving you down in the preverbal dumps, fear not! There is hope, and you only need the desire to want to make some changes, to get on track to living a happier life.
First things first, let’s talk about control.
A lot of people are frustrated over their lack of control, maybe leading their egos to believe that they could have done better, more, etc. Truth is that we rarely have control over the situations that leave us reeling the most. Even when it is another person telling us we didn’t do “enough”, that is their ego placing the blame on you because they can’t accept it for what it is.
Losing our jobs or our loved ones, realizing that others don’t always like you and that you will never please everyone all the time; these are all situations that are out of your control. When you reach one, recognize that sometimes there is just nothing you could have done. Give that ego a rest my friend, because sometimes it is just out of your hands. Look at the situation and ask yourself this, “is this a ME problem or a THEM problem?” I guarantee you, most times you will answer the latter.
The only part that CAN be controlled in an uncontrollable situation is how you react. The more you give in to the bad feelings and frustrations that fuel poor self-esteem you are wasting valuable energy that could be directed to productive problem solving.
Changing how your mind thinks can be the toughest challenge, and luckily there are exercises that you can do without breaking a sweat; although, that kind of exercise can also do wonders for a person’s self-esteem too!
Even if you are already carrying around a 6-pack and healthy lifestyle, mental exercise is extremely important to maintain a pure level of happiness and high esteem. Try any of these tricks, and within a short amount of time not only will you believe it, you will look back and wonder how you didn’t believe it before!
- Practice a mantra. It’s simple. Identify your road block, and kick it to the curb! All this time that little voice you hear and feel is out of your control, isn’t! It’s YOUR voice and you control it! Use it to tell yourself something positive every day. Repeat what you’re grateful for instead of thinking what is missing from you or your life, and before you know it the self-doubting negativity will cease to play in your mind.
- Smile more. Sounds silly, right? It’s not. Every time you pass by a mirror, smile. Every time you are walking down the street and make eye contact with a stranger, smile. When you do, put your shoulders back, stand tall, and smile like you are keeping the world’s greatest secret. In time, the smile will be more natural, and you will start to feel its benefits through your entire body!
- Be mindful and live in the present. By establishing boundaries of what you can and cannot control, it allows you to live in the present moment and appreciate it for what it is. Even when that moment is tough, if you experience it and get through it, you can sleep well knowing that you overcame the hurdle and are still standing. When that moment is something beautiful, relish in it and recognize the beauty of it, because you never know when it will come to pass again.
- Help others. So often today we are caught up in what WE need or what WE want, we lose sight of those around us. A great way to not only give your self-esteem a boost, but distract yourself from your own problems, is to help someone else. It can be as simple as helping your son or daughter with homework, to assisting a new co-worker with a project or even giving an ear to a friend.
- Make commitments and stick to them. Think of a goal or set of goals that you want to accomplish. Write them down and give yourself a time frame to accomplish them, but be realistic! Setting and achieving goals, no matter how big or small, is sure to not only give your self-esteem a much needed boost, but will help that smile grow naturally even faster! The more goals we set out to conquer, the more we spread ourselves a little thin. Start small by accomplishing simple things like lose ten pounds, start and maintain a small garden, take a walk every afternoon, keep in better touch with friends, or even start a journal.
Relinquish control, be present, be mindful and make commitments to yourself, and you will see your self-esteem and views of the world change before your very eyes. Regardless of how deep your bank accounts go, when you can love yourself and love your life, all the wealth in the world won’t compare to how rich you will feel inside.