Self esteem is the opinion we hold of ourselves. It concerns the type of person we believe ourself to be and our level of competence in a whole multitude of things. We may have too high an opinion of ourself, that’s true, but far too often, people have an opinion of themselves that is too low.
Here’s a little exercise for you: complete the following sentence, ” I am …” In fact, if you have time to do it, get a pen and paper and write down four or five sentences about yourself that begin with the words, “I am.” When you have done that, take a close look at those things you said about yourself. Are they, generally, positive things or is your list full of negatives?
Hopefully, you made a list that includes lots of positive things, such as:
- I am happy
- I am fulfilled
- I am confident
- I am grateful
- I am loved
… and so on.
Sometimes, when I cannot find something and my wife can do it immediately, she will – playfully – ask me the question, “what are you?” perhaps expecting me to say something like “silly” or “daft” or “a dumbhead” or something, but I will never do that, even though I know it is just a game. I will not ever say anything negative about myself. This is not for any egotistical reasons, it is simply because I do not wish to feed my subconscious mind with anything that will be counterproductive to me achieving my goals.
Personally, I feel that people with low self-esteem have been told too many times the wrong things. They have been told repeatedly, perhaps by their well-meaning parents, that they are stupid, slow or lazy. I say ‘well-meaning’ because I do genuinely believe that most parents have the best interests of their children in mind when they deliver these messages. They expect their children to shape up as a response.
What they often don’t realise is that some children will simply accept the message. After all, it is an adult delivering the message and not just any adult, but one who they love and respect. Someone who has far more experience of the world than they. Someone they trust. Someone who has, in part, played the role of teacher. Is it any wonder therefore, that some children consequently develop an unhealthy low self esteem?
Symptoms of low self-esteem:
- Overly Self-Critical
- Sensitive to Criticism of Others
- Always Trying to Please Others
- Feelings of Guilt
- Pessimistic Outlook on Life
So how can we tackle the problem? Well, the use of affirmations is a powerful method and it is deceptively simple too. An affirmation is a sentence that begins with the words “I am” just like the list above. All of those statements can be used as positive affirmations.
What we need to do is to say those sentences, over and over again, until our subconscious mind accepts that we are changing our beliefs about who we are. Say each affirmation three times and repeat the procedure three times per day- nine times in total each day. It takes very little time to do, but you must keep at it, day after day until you begin to believe these statements.
Quite simply, when your subconscious mind accepts these statements as true, your self-esteem will improve. If you are trying to help someone who has low self esteem, then get that person to enrol in our (free) Affirmations Course.