Self-Esteem: How to strengthen your belief in yourself again
You alone determine how you think about yourself, your life and your circumstances.
This article on how to strengthen your self-esteem was created due to a few questions I was asking myself while I was reading my notes in my journal. I have thought about the following questions: What is self-esteem? What are the components that can affect self-esteem? How can I strengthen and expand my self-esteem?
In the context of this search on self-discovery, I would like to answer these questions here. I would also like to introduce you to a five-stage process on this topic, which you can go through in self-coaching to strengthen your self-esteem further.
What does self-esteem mean?
Self-esteem is a combination of self-understanding, self-love and self-acceptance.
This combination is essentially the measure of how we value and view ourselves – regardless of what others say or do.
So self-esteem is something that does not change quickly or easily when external factors or circumstances change.
Since our self-esteem is constant and fearless, it has the power to change our own lives for the better radically.
What does it mean to have high self-esteem?
High self-esteem embodies:
- positive opinion about yourself
- a great appreciation for yourself
- Wholehearted acceptance of yourself – despite all weaknesses and limitations
- an unshakable belief in yourself and your abilities
- a positive outlook on life
- feeling worthy of the good things in life
- the conviction that happiness, health, prosperity, success, love, are deserved
- not to be put off by difficulties, disappointments or other opinions
Our self-esteem lets us recognize our real value – who we are – now and here – right now.
All of these points essentially mean that we can be steadfast no matter what happens. Nothing outside of our personality can affect what we think about ourselves.
Our influence on this fact is the only thing that matters.
You alone determine how you think about yourself, your life and your circumstances.
This part is the essential point from which you can draw your strength.
“It is difficult to make a man unhappy while feeling worthy of himself.” (Abraham Lincoln)
How to build your self-esteem
A high level of self-esteem is undoubted of enormous importance.
But the question remains:
How can we build our self-esteem?
How do we create enough self-worth to shape our daily decisions and actions so that we can achieve our desired results?
I would like to introduce you to a five-step process that supports you in building your self-esteem (further).
It is a process that you have to work on consistently. This process is the only way to build something of real value.
The build-up of self-esteem is not something that you can pull through quickly and then forget.
If you put a single stone on the floor, you would not have built a house.
However, as soon as you put one stone on top of the other over time, your house slowly takes shape. It needs time! Building self-esteem also takes time and patience.
Think of this task as a long-term process
Add a new stone every day. Eventually, your house will become more distinctive and substantial until it is almost impossible to destroy.
It can assert itself in the rain and storm because it is built on a solid foundation. It is the essential point from which your house draws its strength.
The strength of your self-esteem also needs a solid foundation.
Now let’s get into the five-step process of building your self-esteem.
1st stage: The self-image
The first step is to get to know yourself on a deeper level.
Imagine the following scenario: You lose everything due to circumstances. I mean everything.
Your career, your status, all your possessions, your money, your relationship, your social contacts, your achievements – everything that is physical, tangible and visible.
- What if I lost everything in my life?
- What if I was suddenly on my own?
- What feelings would I feel?
- What would be valuable?
This is an exciting scenario. It is a scenario that you have probably never really imagined.
How you think about yourself when everything disappears from your life determines the size of your self-worth.
If you have high self-esteem, nothing will change in your personality. It won’t shake you because you don’t measure your self-worth based on external circumstances. Instead, your value comes from within.
For this reason, it is essential to take the time to think about this last question and answer it honestly:
What would be left, what is valuable?
The more intensively you deal with this question, the more you will find out what you value in yourself and where you derive your true self-esteem.
It comes from your self-image.
No matter how your circumstances are, – it doesn’t affect you internally. This self-image is essential when it comes to building your self-esteem.
Let us delve a little deeper into your true self-worth. Here are some questions that will help you see yourself without masks and inhibitions …
- Who am I? I am … I am not …
- How am I?
- How do others see me?
- How do others talk about me?
- What are the key moments that determine who I am today?
- What brings me the most passion, fulfillment and joy?
The key to understanding your true self-esteem is who you are and how you see yourself.
Of course, it is usually of interest to everyone how others see you and how you talk about them. But it’s not so much about the others.
It’s more about how you see yourself when others talk about you or because others see you differently. This also contributes to self-esteem.
Then some key moments give you the most pleasure, ignite your passion and bring fulfillment.
These are the things that will help you to release your self-worth in the world.
However, this process assumes that you are happy with yourself, stand by yourself and feel good in your skin.
Let us take a look at your weaknesses and the struggles you have with yourself every day. Find answers to the following questions:
- What am I fighting with most?
- Where do I want to improve?
- What are the fears that often hold me back?
- What habitual feelings hurt me?
- What mistakes do I repeat often?
- At what point do I tend to disappoint myself more often?
Accept the fact that we are all humans, and we are imperfect beings. We all have our weaknesses and fight our struggles.
Therefore we should have the courage, to be honest with ourselves and with our self-assessment.
This is the only way we can build high self-esteem over time.
In this way, you can dig deeper into the understanding that you need to move forward through this process successfully.
Now let’s look at your strengths. Answer the following questions for yourself:
- What skills do I have?
- What can I do better than 90 percent of the population?
Your strengths help you build your self-confidence. With your strengths, you will further expand your confidence.
However, this is about the forces that you are convinced of. It’s not about the strengths that other people suggest to you.
When you rely on other people to tell you what you are good or bad at, it is not a personal strength that comes from the feeling of your strength.
People also like to change their minds sometimes, and then this power suddenly disappears.
However, this does not have to be the case if you believe in your value. This is the most important thing when it comes to building your self-esteem.
2nd stage: Self Acceptance
By now, you probably have a relatively clear picture of your current self-esteem. You now understand how you perceive yourself and your environment.
There are things in every life that don’t make us proud.
To build real self-esteem, however, it is necessary to deal with ourselves realistically and authentically at all times.
We need the recognition of our true nature, and that includes the good, the bad, the beautiful, and the ugly.
No, we are not perfect. And yes, we make mistakes and have weaknesses, and we always fail miserably.
That is how we are, and that is our real “I.” We are who we are.
Forgive yourself for everything you have done in the past and accept life as it is – unconditionally, without judgments and excuses.
That’s them. Accept yourself by confirming that …
- You accept the good, the bad, the beautiful, the ugly …
- You accept every part of yourself – including your mistakes, fears, behaviours – that you may not be too proud of
- You are who you are and make peace with yourself
It is crucial for the further development of your high self-esteem that you fully accept yourself despite all weaknesses and limitations.
You are the way you are. You are lovely, unique, authentic and real. Make a personal commitment that external circumstances or forces cannot define you.
This way, you can finally let go of everything that has held you back all these years.
3rd stage: Self-love
After you have entirely accepted yourself, it is time to give your true self-esteem the necessary appreciation. It is essential to practice and build your self-love.
That means treating yourself with kindness, tolerance, generosity and compassion.
Yes, you have errors. Yes, you have many limitations and weaknesses – but that’s the case with everyone.
It is part of our human nature. However, it is time to let go of all of that and instead be compassionate with yourself.
Compassion comes through self-love. Self-love arises through self-acceptance. Self-acceptance results from our self-image.
We have already gone through these steps in this process.
To practice self-love, have a positive and supportive dialogue with yourself.
Here are some examples:
- I am valuable because …
- I’m special because …
- I love myself with all my heart because …
- I am a competent personality because …
- I am a worthy person because …
- I deserve all the good things in life because …
- I love my body because …
When you communicate with yourself in this way and tell yourself wonderful stories about yourself, you direct all your attention and focus on your inner beauty on the good in you …
You no longer look at external circumstances and do not need other people to send you confirmation and recognition.
You will find this approval in yourself in the future. This is the most significant step toward healthy self-esteem.
4th stage: The phase of recognition
When you have your self-image and fully accept yourself, when you exercise self-love and compassion for yourself, you no longer define other people, any events and circumstances.
Instead, you begin to identify yourself and continue to build your self-esteem.
It is also helpful to openly acknowledge that you no longer need to please other people.
Other people have their own opinions, their own lives and their perspectives. It doesn’t matter what other people do or say.
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
It doesn’t matter what happens in your “outside world” – you alone determine your perspectives and your attitude in life.
That is the only thing you can control.
This is the only way you have the strength to react to the events and circumstances of your life.
You can rely on your internal sources, resources and ingenuity, which reflect your true value and help you to have high self-esteem.
It is, therefore, essential that you know your true value regardless of your income, your status, your career, your possessions, your social rank, your relationship status …
These things no longer measure your real value – it comes instead from your internal sophistication, which you have set for yourself.
That is your real personal source of strength.
5th stage: The phase of responsibility
The fifth and final step in our process includes full responsibility for your life, your circumstances and your problems.
I’m not saying you should go over dead bodies. I say that you have to take full responsibility for everything that happens to you in your life. Only when you take responsibility for your life will you not give up your power.
It means for you to recognize that you have the personal power to influence and change the events and circumstances of your life. Without personal responsibility for your life, there can be no healthy self-esteem.
The moment you build high self-esteem, you will no longer wait for other people to make decisions for you and your life.
You alone are accountable, and only you have the power to make positive changes in your life.
Never forget: without YOU, changes in your life are not possible!
There are no more complaints, accusations, judgments or apologies. You alone have the power.
You have control over your life because you fully trust yourself and your abilities and make decisions that bring you back to the wheel of your lifeboat.
You will no longer be affected by the changing winds. You stay calm and confident. You know who you are.
You fully accept yourself. You love yourself unconditionally and realize that you are the captain of your life ship.
No matter what storms blow up the sea and despite the rumours of the mutiny on the oceans, you stay focused and able to keep the course of your lifeboat.
Correct your path from time to time and take full responsibility for the adventurous journey of your boat.
You have not been troubled by external circumstances. Yes, the world out there is a strange mess, but your inner world can be calm and level-headed.
And that is precisely the difference. In the end, you will lead your lifeboat safely to every port you want to call, and you will succeed because you have taken the time to build your self-esteem.