Most people, even celebrities, have self esteem issues. Did you know that Victoria Beckham once said that when she was in the Spice Girls, she felt like the audience showed up to see the other women—not her. Actress Emma Thompson has talked about a negative inner voice that criticises her for not being good enough.
So if celebrities have self esteem problems, what hope do us mere mortals have? Plenty, it turns out. There’s a lot you can do to improve your self esteem.
1. Accentuate the positive
No one is perfect, and who would want to be anyway? That’s boring. But you undoubtedly have plenty of positive qualities. Focus on them instead of miring yourself in negative talk. If a voice inside your head starts to say: “Get rid of that mirror. You look awful,” shush it and search out positive features in the mirror.
In many instances, acting confident and like you have high self esteem when you don’t really feel confident inside works wonders—and gets you to actually feel confident! Here’s how it works. Say you’re going to a work party function at the boss’s house. You’re scared witless because you’re shy, awkward and a clumsy dresser. Guess what? Pretend you’re cool and smooth and suave—because you most likely are somewhere deep down inside. If you act confident at the party, people will naturally gravitate toward you, and that in turn makes you feel better.
3. Do something you do well
Participate in activities that give you a sense of accomplishment and belonging. They can be as simple as buying gifts for children in poverty or walking every day or volunteering at a soup kitchen. You’ll see what a difference you’re capable of making—and are making. Make fun time for yourself too. Take classes in areas that have always interested you.
4. No comparing
Comparing yourself to other people will only bring you grief, not to mention it is impractical. You are not in these people’s shoes, and they very likely have self esteem problems too under that facade. Remember the celebrities example? You are you, a unique, amazing individual. The fact is, only you know your life experiences. If you pass a gorgeous woman on the street and are tempted to compare yourself to her, shut off thoughts about her. Focus on you—your positives. Your smarts, your physical features, all the wonderful things in your life.
5. Identify and solve
What are your nagging issues? Weight? Shyness? Communication? Be reactive no longer. Take charge of the issue and of your life. Find proper motivation. Internal motivation often is not enough; you probably need external motivation too. Look to the future and keep a list handy of how resolving this issue will help your life. Take communication for example. You could write: “After taking communications classes, I will approach people more easily and be responsible for less misunderstandings.” Keep goals concrete and realistic.
Going to a therapist is an option. It may be difficult at the beginning, but this person will be your advocate and ally. She will help you figure out a plan to address this issue that impacts your self esteem so severely. So many people go to therapy. It is by no means a mark of failure. It is often one of the best things people do for themselves.