“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second- rate version of somebody else.” (Judy Garland)
Self-esteem is one of the most essential components of a human being’s personality. It is basically the image you have of yourself in your own opinion. You have a good opinion of yourself, you have high self- esteem, you have a bad opinion of yourself, you have a low self- esteem. It is the foundation of our life and something that helps us immensely in living a life that is worthwhile. Until and unless you believe in yourself and your abilities it is almost impossible to achieve success in any walk of life. In other words, we simply need to value ourselves for what we are and what we are capable of rather than wanting to be what we are not.
Low self-esteem will affect all areas of life including our career, work, family, relationships, social life, health and what not. It creates an overall unfulfilling feeling whereas on the contrary high self esteem gives us immense confidence and belief that I am sure has the potential to take us a long way in life.
Since we know that this is an extremely important issue and that thousands and thousands of people suffer from low self-esteem throughout the world regardless of their health, wealth and knowledge, we need to figure out some important and easy ways of increasing our self-esteem. Some of the most effective ways I believe are as follows:
1. Keep a Victory Log
This one is one of my favorite ways of keeping my self-esteem high. Maintain a log book where you jot down all your accomplishments throughout life. It does not matter how big or small your accomplishments may be, you just need to remember what you have accomplished. It maybe the extraordinary skills you possess or the beautiful possessions you have. It might be good grades that you had received or a trophy that you had won. It might be a financial reward that you might have been given or a promotion that you received. It might even have been an approving glance from a person of the opposite sex or the day you scored a hat trick in the school game. It could just be any positive accomplishment that you have made in life.
Just make sure that you have all written in your log book starting today. We all have high and low times and what we need in low times is some spirit lifting. Go through your log book every time you are feeling low or are having any negative thoughts and you will see how this log will give you the great moods once you start thinking of all the good things that have happened to you in life. It simply serves as a reminder of the fact that you have done it before and there is no reason that you will not be able to do it in the present and in the future.
2. Honor Your Abilities
Sit in a quiet place and think of the great abilities and skills that nature has gifted you with. Stop blaming yourself for all the wrong things or even the right things for that matter. Just do not blame yourself. Simply look at the good things and the positive things in your personality and in your life. Be grateful to God for all the great things that you have in yourself and honor it. Remember, if you want the world to honor and love you, you need to honor and love yourself first.
3. Do the right things
Always try to do the right things in life. We all are grown up people and have the conscience to differentiate between the wrong and the right. Make sure that you do your best to do the right things. Believe me you are going to feel a whole lot better when you know that you are doing the things worth doing and the things that are good for your character, health and well being.
To give an example, I personally feel great when I wake up early morning, pray, have a good breakfast, exercise, read the newspaper, work hard, do my daily chores and set my priorities right. I feel that I am doing all the important things that I need to do in order to keep myself energized and to keep my self- esteem at a higher level.
4. Mingle with Positive people
Always mix, meet and mingle with people who are positive and energetic, people who have a positive image about themselves, have confidence in themselves and a positive outlook on life. We need to build our network of friends where we are surrounded by good, enthusiastic, determined and positive people.
5. Be Kind
It is really not possible to feel good about ourselves if we are inconsiderate, mean and selfish. It is essential to treat others with respect and with love. The more respect and love you give, the more you get it back. Everyone has a special quality and a special resource through which one can contribute to life. Be kind, be humble, help the poor, help the under-privileged and be a part of a noble cause whenever and wherever possible in order to be of help and support to the world and at the same time be worthy of respect and value in your very own eyes. This will pick you up and place you on top of the world.
6. Be Honest, hardworking and productive
Another important factor that helps in raising self esteem is to be honest, hardworking and productive. Again it seems quite contrary to have high self esteem when a person is dishonest and unproductive. When one is honest, there is a satisfaction that is felt within him resulting in a great self image. At the same time, it is important to be a hardworking, sincere person that results in high productivity and again leading to high self- esteem.
The above are some of the major ways that you can use to raise yourself image and self-esteem. Always keep in mind that self- esteem is not what others think of you but what you truly believe about yourself. It has to be genuine respect for oneself. In other words it is self respect.
Hal Urban says `Self Esteem is how we genuinely feel about ourselves, regardless of what others say. And how we feel about ourselves is closely related to how our character develops. Ultimately the development of personal character is both a choice and responsibility.” Before we conclude, here is a little reminder:
“To establish true self-esteem we must concentrate on our successes and forget about the failures and the negatives in our lives.” Denis Waitley
Talha Tashfeen Qayyum is a full-time postgraduate business student at the University of Birmingham, UK, and a freelance writer. He intends to contribute to life, society and Islam through his writings on self improvement and personal development with the vision to positively affect other people’s lives. Talha can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Life Discovery: Living, not merely Existing: talhatashfeen.blogspot.com.