First, let’s talk about some of the internal and external factors that contribute to self-worth. Examples include:
- Private thoughts/cognitions
- Health status
- Job status
- Social support
- Influential life experiences
When self-esteem is too low, it can lead to depression. When it’s too high, it can lead to narcissism. The factors above can help determine where you fall on the self-esteem spectrum.
Gauging Your Self-Esteem Level
Your self-esteem is more likely to be in the healthy range if you can
- say no and enforce personal boundaries.
- accept shortcomings as well as strengths.
- confidently express your needs.
- experience a positive outlook on life.
- be accountable for your words and actions.
Your self-esteem is more likely to be in the unhealthy range if you have
- a constant belief that you are “less than” others.
- difficulty accepting feedback.
- chronic feelings of shame, depression and/or anxiety.
- an intense fear of failure.
- difficulty enforcing personal boundaries.
- a focus on limitations and weaknesses.
- a disregard for your strengths (as unimportant or the result of luck).
The journey to improved self-confidence can seem daunting, especially if you’ve struggled in this arena for awhile. However, the following steps, when practiced consistently, can go a long way toward improving yourself-worth:
- Identify your strengths and build upon them.
- Adopt an attitude of self-compassion and acceptance regarding your weaknesses.
- Practice mindfulness and cognitive flexibility when negative self-talk arises.
- Avoid comparing yourself to others. Consider starting a gratitude journal. And, remember you can never truly know how another person feels on the inside, regardless of their financial status or the portrayal of a “perfect” life on social media.
- Help others, which can improve personal morale and decrease loneliness/depression.
- Reframe the way you think about failures. Commit to viewing mistakes as nothing more than learning opportunities.
- Beware of toxic people. If others are trying to control or belittle you, it may be time to decrease your interaction or end your relationship with them altogether.
Yes, boosting self-esteem requires work. But, the investment in yourself can pay dividends.
If you’re looking for support in improving your self-esteem or overall mental health, contact Travco Behavioral Health today!