Self-Improvement Part II
Our self esteem is something that we can control and change at any time. It is based upon the beliefs and attitudes that we have about ourselves. Improving our self-esteem comes from identifying our feelings and knowing how to express them appropriately. We need to know that we have choices when we deal with our feelings and problems.
When faced with a stressful situation, it is important to develop a plan of action for our actions, which will yield a more positive response. It is important to act, not react. Instead of verbally attacking, physically hitting walls or cursing/yelling at someone, which are reactions, we can take a walk, call a friend, pray, meditate, write in a journal, draw/paint or work on a favorite hobby, which are actions, or choices. By choosing a positive action we immediately improve our self-worth. When we react in a negative way we never feel good about ourselves. We usually feel worse about ourselves and wished that we had handled things differently. If we put ourselves down for making a mistake or reacting in a negative way, it is important to forgive ourselves for how we handled the situation and identify changes we can make next time. This is how we learn and grow and improve our self-esteem.
Another way to address negative thinking is by saying affirmations. An affirmation is something good we say about ourselves over and over again until we believe it to be true. Say it with FEELING in the present tense because you really believe it. One way to make our affirmations come true is to think about how we will look, feel and act when we are what we want to be. For example, if our affirmation is I AM SMART, we can imagine how confident we will feel when we are studying, answering questions in class, or taking tests. Once we start believing our new, positive thoughts, we will automatically make small changes to make those positive thoughts come true.
In order to improve our self-esteem, we must build confidence in ourselves. Self-confidence comes from self-knowledge, which means WHO YOU ARE and WHAT YOU ARE CAPABLE OF DOING. It is the belief in our own talents and abilities. It is seeing a new situation as an opportunity for learning and growth. When our self-esteem is strengthened we no longer have to live life so carefully as to avoid rejection because our basic sense of approval comes from within. So the goal is to be courageous, face our fears, trust our instincts and make daily changes to improve our self-worth.