If you had told me this time last year that I would be writing a blog on how to build your self-esteem, I would have giggled and told you I’m underqualified. But, as we know, a lot can change in 12 months. I moved out of my family home in January 2020 and by March the whole country was in lockdown. Needless to say, my self-doubt rocketed.
For starters, I did not believe I was cut out for living by myself. After lockdown was announced, I was then further separated from physical contact with my friends and family. As an anxious and tactile being, this was not my idea of a good time. But I truly believe that there is a message in every mess, and I want to share mine with you, in the hope that you experience a few less moments of “I can’t do this” and a few more of “I am a powerful badass who is doing this”.
1. Accept where you are
Where you are and where you want to be may be entirely separate; the latter might even feel unachievable at this stage and that’s OK.
Let’s start with where you are. Are you doubting your capability to handle a certain situation? Are you letting your inner critic run a riot inside your brain? Are you thinking of all the things that could go wrong, and even validating these thoughts through previous negative experiences?
There’s a quote I like that reads “What if it all goes right?”. It prompts us to consider the other possible outcomes. In reality, no one can predict the future. We do not know for certain what will happen tomorrow or the next day, and as we’ve already established, a lot can happen in a year. When you are a control freak like me, this can be a hard truth to accept but, honestly, it is also a little liberating. When we divert our energy from what could happen towards what is happening, we find we actually have more control over the situation.
2. Take ownershit
Don’t panic spelling police, there are no typos here, just the reinvention of an existing word.
Are we good? Thank you. In that case, I will resume…
…I like to think of it as “ownershit” because this is where you own your shit. Everyone has their own shit, everyone goes through their own shit, and everyone has to deal with… Yep, you guessed it, their own shit.
As humans we love to look elsewhere for validation. We hope that someone else out there holds the key with the answers to our questions and ultimately our happiness, but as my wise mama would say “Each of us has our own key”.
I would like you to take a moment to think about a time in your life when you were really happy. Visualise yourself in that moment. How do you feel? What is the weather like? What can you see? What can you hear?
For me, I am on the beach. I feel calm and content in my soul. The sun is shining and glistening off the waves as they gently come towards me and flow back out into the vast open space. I hear seagulls and prepare myself for battle if they take so much as a glance at my chips.
But seriously, take comfort in the fact that you can travel to your happy place at any given time. That is yours to own and it cannot be taken away from you.
3. Flex those confidence muscles
Low self-esteem ultimately comes from a lack of confidence or a lack of self-belief.
When we are in a ‘lack’ mindset it is difficult for us to receive, so we need to shift our mindset to one that is more open and more vulnerable. If you have read this far and tried the visualisation above, you have shown that you are willing to open your mind to trying something new.
I think it is important to note that trying something new does not have to be something big like jumping out of a plane, unless of course that floats your boat, then jump my love, jump! But perhaps you have wanted to give meditation a go? A lot of people think they can’t do it because they have such an active brain, but this is all the more reason to meditate. If you can set aside 5-10 minutes where you will be undisturbed and focus consciously on your breathing, gently noting when a thought arises, you’re meditating baby.
The more exposure we have to new situations and the more we work our confidence muscles, the stronger they (and we) become.
My final note is this: who you are today is not necessarily who you will be in a year from now. Allow yourself room to grow and to thrive, rather than survive. Do not put a limit on just how worthy you are; you are wildly capable.
Written by: Becky Shoon