“Aerodynamically the bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn’t know that so it goes on flying anyway.” – Mary Kay Ash
This is part-3 of the 3-part series on self-esteem. If you missed part-1 and part-2, please take a moment to go through them.
21. Not Having a Physical Environment That Supports You And Energizes You
“There is no question that the objects that surround us impact our experience of the world.” ― Katherine Center, Get Lucky
Having a supportive environment is important for self-esteem and confidence.
Often, we underestimate the power of:
- Surrounding decor.
- Clutter that is all around and clutter hot spots.
- Colors that adorn your walls and furniture.
- Windows that are always closed and do not allow the sunshine in.
Do you have a physical environment that reminds you of your insufficiencies and incompletions?
The Chinese art of Feng Shui places a lot of importance on spaces and the flow of chi or energy. Make sure that your spaces support your mission of great self-esteem. Make sure your spaces make you feel great!
1. Redecorate your work and your home spaces to reflect your tastes and sensibilities if you can.
2. Reduce and remove unwanted and non-functional clutter.
3. Do a regular cleaning of all your surrounding physical spaces.
4. Make sure that you do not have incomplete projects and self-esteem pitfalls in your sight.
“Out of clutter, find simplicity.”― Albert Einstein
22. Being, Projecting and Propagating the Victim Mindset
“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.” ― Norman Vincent Peale
This is a big pitfall into poor self-esteem. We all know people who do not hesitate to project a victim mentality. They always seem to be struggling and feel comfortable having others sympathize with them. I think that this is the wrong approach.
As humans, we need deep connection and empathy from others, not their sympathy. We want to feel and believe that we are empowered. We want to feel like we have a choice, and not feel like someone or something out there is out to get us.
1. Are you intentionally or unintentionally projecting a victim mentality? If you want to connect with others, feeling empowered in yourself is a better approach.
2. Project an image of self-confidence and self-assurance. Fake it till you make it actually works for self-assurance.
3. Feel, think, and act empowered. Self-esteem follows empowerment and a sense of control in your life.
23. Doubting And Second Guessing Your Every Move
“Nobody holds a good opinion of a man who holds a low opinion of himself.”― Anthony Trollope
Doubt is a powerful killer of self-esteem. When you doubt your every move and have a nagging feeling of something is not quite right, it is difficult to have self-respect.
The truth is that everyone has doubts to a certain extent. But how you manage those doubts can make all the difference.
Do you have a habit of second-guessing your moves and decisions? Or worse, do you always ask others to check stuff out that you are not sure about?
Some feedback and support from others is necessary when you are beginning to learn something new. But asking others the same thing over and over again makes you lose respect for yourself.
When you go confidently towards the direction of your dreams like Thoreau put it, you feel boldness and self-assurance.
Your confidence and esteem are contagious. People begin to get influenced by your passions and actions. This is a powerful form of social influence that you can engage to make a difference in the world and provide value and service.
1. Stop doubting your every move.
2. Stop second guessing your actions and plans. Place a request to the universe and stick to it.
3. Make a firm decision and shake away the self-doubting habit for a blast of self-esteem.
4. Manage your doubts, anxieties, fears, and uncertainties. Place them in a realistic framework.
24. Having a Pessimistic And A Negative World View
“You’re always with yourself, so you might as well enjoy the company.”― Diane Von Furstenberg
We have all been that or have had friends with pessimistic and negative world views. Now don’t get me wrong, we are all negative at some point or another and being pessimistic sometimes is all right.
But it is another thing to develop and promote a filter that colors the world with pessimism.
Some people would call this pessimism and negativity as being realistic. They say “look around you, where do you see the positive?”
The truth is that you can find many things that are going right in someone’s life.
By filtering out the positive and allowing only the negative perspectives in, you can have a deep effect on your self-esteem.
You have a “the world is out to get me and my work” instead of looking for opportunities and collaborations.
Negativity and pessimism hijack your senses and make you believe that things are worse off for you than they are.
Not to mention, this way of life does not attract many people. People tend to avoid having to do anything with the negativity and pessimism.
1. What is your dominant filter of looking at life? What are your unique perspectives? And are they affecting your levels of self-esteem and assurance?
2. Do you tunnel vision your attention to only look at the worst case scenarios? What about the other perspectives? Can you broaden your vision or at least consider other and more favorable possibilities?
3. How do you stay unaffected in the presence of energy vampires who siphon off positive energy from you by their negativity and their pessimism? Are you sensitive to such energies? Do you engage in all or nothing thinking?
“How would your life be different if…You stopped allowing other people to dilute or poison your day with their words or opinions? Let today be the day…You stand strong in the truth of your beauty and journey through your day without attachment to the validation of others” ― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free
25. Not Facing Your Fears, Anxieties, Stresses And Worrying about things: Stress vs Relaxation ratio
“I promise you nothing is as chaotic as it seems. Nothing is worth diminishing your health. Nothing is worth poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety, and fear.”― Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience
A quick trip into the spirals of despair and low self-esteem is to not deal with excessive stress. Anxiety, worry, and fear that have little chance of coming to pass in your life make you lose your self-assurance. You are always looking for potholes in the way. Or you are always looking over your shoulder to see mistakes from the past.
Consider the following for action tips:
Do you feel stressed most or a lot of the time grappling with deadlines and such?
Do you not give yourself relaxation time and have a lot of hidden tension?
Do you have many irrational fears that are reducing the quality of your life?
Do you frequently worry about the little things?
Do you get enough sleep and rest time?
Do you have activities that deeply relax you and shift the balance towards a relaxed you?
What is the ratio between stress, fear and tension and deep relaxation, joy and peace? Where do you stand on what I call the ratio between stress vs. relaxation? Do you have a 5:1 stress to relaxation or do you have a 1:1 ratio?
“I was a little excited but mostly blorft. “Blorft” is an adjective I just made up that means ‘Completely overwhelmed but proceeding as if everything is fine and reacting to the stress with the torpor of a possum.’ I have been blorft every day for the past seven years.”― Tina Fey, Bossypants
26. Not Being Assertive And Expressing Your Needs And Desires In a Constructive Way
“Confidence is knowing who you are and not changing it a bit because of someone’s version of your reality is not their reality.”― Shannon L. Alder
We have all been there. We agree with others but do not want to. We feel like we do not support the argument or a certain point of view but do not say or do anything to avoid the conflict and the discomfort.
And then we feel bad that we have been a pushover. We feel like people walk all over us all the time and our self-esteem takes a nose dive into an abyss.
And when you do say something, do you apologize as if you were distracting other people to listen to your not so important point of view?
When we do not have the emotional and mental tools to constructively express our concerns or desires, we feel a lack of personal power.
Being constructively assertive and expressing and voicing your opinions is a powerful self-esteem booster. You are telling yourself and the world that your voice matters and you are going to risk putting your word and your point of view out there.
1. Assess if you have an assertiveness issue.
2. Can you gently but firmly voice your opinion without feeling and sounding confrontational? You can begin to practice to give neutral opinions first to see how you feel by voicing your ideas.
3. Believe that your voice and your opinion are worth the time and the effort for others to listen and respond to. Feel good about yourself and your assertive self instead of feeling guilty.
4. Say sorry less for voicing your opinion and being assertive. You do not have to be sorry for everything unless there is a genuine reason for being so.
27. Not Accepting The Self, And not Forgiving Yourself
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”― Lao Tzu
Self-acceptance is a powerful self-esteem booster and enhancer.
Do you experience the following:
- I am not smart enough.
- I am not young enough or old enough.
- I am not abundant or rich enough.
- I am not perfect enough.
- I am not good looking or feel like I am not good looking.
- I feel like I am too emotional.
- I am too sensitive.
- I just need to grow up and stop being so immature.
Do you not accept what you think as flaws in you and actively resist them? Instead of letting go and accepting yourself for the essence of who you are, you spend a lot of time and energy in fixing yourself and cultivating resistance.
There are many spheres of life where we can improve and act to make changes in our life. A lot of these involve changes in behaviors or habits and actions.
“When you’re different, sometimes you don’t see the millions of people who accept you for what you are. All you notice is the person who doesn’t.”― Jodi Picoult, Change of Heart
But there are core aspects about you like age, intelligence, appearance that may need more radical acceptance. You need to accept more and resist less.
When we gently accept who we are, we make the room for natural changes to take place in our lives. We let go of resistance and allow and open the doors of possibility and change to come in our lives.
There may have been decisions in your life like choosing the wrong career and others that you are still resentful about. You find it difficult to forgive yourself and move on.
You will receive a powerful boost in self-esteem if you allow yourself to forgive the past. Release the past as much as possible and learn from your mistakes instead of holding on to them.
“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.”― Lao Tzu
1. Look forward instead of feeling stuck in the past.
2. Accept the things about yourself like age and appearance that you cannot change. If you do not like the way you look, experiment with hairstyles and dressing better that you have control over.
3. Forgive the past and learn from your mistakes instead of becoming resentful of the past for a boost in self-esteem.
4. Let go of resistance and feeling stuck and take actions to make you feel better.
5. Get a new perspective on acceptance. Remember that there will always be people who will accept you and those that will not. You cannot change everyone to like you all the time.
“Don’t waste your energy trying to change opinions … Do your thing, and don’t care if they like it.”― Tina Fey
28. Giving Too much, Not Receiving Enough
“Self-esteem isn’t everything; it’s just that there’s nothing without it.”― Gloria Steinem
Do you give, give and give and not receive back in return?
Do you feel like people take advantage of your niceness and sweet talk you into giving more of your time, attention and effort?
The problem is that you may love to give but you might have a problem with receiving. Somewhere deep inside you have a belief that you are not good enough to receive what the world has to offer.
Does receiving make you uncomfortable and you quickly go back to the hyper giving mode? I believe that there should be a good balance between giving and receiving. If you give too much or receive too much, you are changing that into dependency and resentment.
1. Give because you want to give and not because you feel like you have to give or people will not like you.
2. Become comfortable with receiving from others, be it a praise or relaxing while others do some of the work.
3. Have regular timeouts where you recharge yourself from giving too much and begin receiving.
4. Value yourself and your time by believing that you deserve to receive.
“The man who does not value himself, cannot value anything or anyone.”― Ayn Rand
29. Not Loving The Self
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”– Lucille Ball
The last but not the least is the idea of loving yourself for a powerful boost of self-esteem and assurance. Do not just say that you love yourself but back it up by:
The most powerful affirmation for self-love and to enhance self-esteem is from the amazing Louise L Hay:
“I love and approve of myself.”
Make no mistake that saying and meaning the above affirmation is a big challenge to many people. Most of us at some point of our life or another find it difficult to love and approve of the self.
But when you take the first step towards greater self-love, you will never look back.
I hope you enjoyed this post and I would like to finish with saying that you are an awesome and unique individual and I have deep esteem for you.
Now let us all say “I love myself and I approve of myself,” and feel great about ourselves.
“It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else’s eyes.”– Sally Field
Elmer Anderson says
I believe I have a good self-esteem. I don’t let negativity bring me down…