Self-esteem is a buzzword we see and hear everywhere, from therapy sessions to social media posts and just about everywhere in between. But no matter how often you hear about its importance, actually gaining self-confidence can seem a lot harder than it sounds. For some, the only time they feel confident about themselves is when they’re using drugs or alcohol.
At 7 Summit Pathways, we want to help you discover your importance outside of your addiction. We hope this short guide is a helpful starting point in understanding your low self-esteem and learning how to improve your self-confidence with proven self-esteem-building activities.
What Is Self-Esteem?
Your self-esteem is your sense of value and self-worth. In other words, it’s your opinion of yourself. Self-esteem encompasses all your beliefs about yourself, such as your emotions, thoughts, actions and appearance.
Self-esteem is often shaped by experiences. For example, someone whose family constantly belittles them will probably also put themselves down and believe they aren’t worthwhile. This negative thinking is called low self-esteem.
Striking a balance between low and high self-esteem is essential. Too little self-esteem can keep you from achieving your dreams or looking at life positively. Too much self-esteem can lead to narcissism. Healthy self-esteem, on the other hand, encourages you to think about yourself both positively and realistically.
Signs and Symptoms of Low Self-Esteem
You may be suffering from poor self-esteem if you notice thoughts such as:
- A belief that other people are better than you
- A negative outlook on life
- Lack of confidence in your abilities
- An inability to believe positive feedback
- An overwhelming fear of failure in the workplace or at home
- Feelings of shame and worthlessness after you make a mistake
Tips for Building Your Self-Esteem
If the above symptoms of low self-esteem sound relatable, you aren’t alone. Poor self-esteem is a common problem that affects millions of people across the country. Fortunately, this issue doesn’t have to take over your life forever. You can try several activities to build your self-esteem, including the following:
- Be kind to yourself: Our thoughts are amazingly powerful at controlling our actions. Make a conscious effort to think positive things about yourself, and challenge any negative thoughts that might pop up. Try to say these positive thoughts out loud or write them down in a journal — and don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to your best friend.
- Care for yourself: Feeling good about yourself is easier to do if you’re taking care of yourself physically, emotionally and socially. Proper self-care includes regular exercising, eating healthily, dressing in a way that makes you feel confident, doing what makes you happy and creating healthy boundaries in your relationships.
- Help others: Serving other people is one of the best ways to get out of your own head and feel grateful for the things you have. Not only will you make the other person feel good, but you’ll also boost your confidence in yourself and your ability to make a difference.
- Don’t compare yourself to others: It’s easy to compare ourselves to people on social media and think we aren’t as happy, successful or attractive as they are. But appearances can be deceiving, and these comparisons only lead to negative thoughts and low self-worth.
- Celebrate your accomplishments: One of the best ways to be kind to yourself is to celebrate even the little tasks you accomplish throughout the day. Getting out of bed, going to work, completing a project or making a fantastic dinner are all things to feel great about!
How Can 7 Summit Pathways Help?
If you’ve turned to drugs or alcohol to cope with the burden of low self-esteem, 7 Summit Pathways is here to help. We offer individualized, holistic treatment plans that can help free you from the bonds of addiction while also addressing the pain your low self-esteem has caused. Reach out online or request an appointment to start your journey toward freedom from your struggles with self-doubt.