On a coaching call last night, a client of mine asked me, “I’ve become aware I have some serious self-esteem issues and I’m wondering if you can give me some tips around that”. He is someone that has had limited success with women and it’s not because women don’t find him attractive, it’s because he doesn’t believe he is attractive both physically and emotionally.
The main thing I want to point out here is we are talking about building self-esteem and building confidence and I am not talking about “how to wake up tomorrow with the highest self-esteem you’ve ever experienced”. As nice as that would be, you would no doubt wake up the following morning feeling lower than low. Building confidence (not over-nighting confidence) requires you to lay out a personal growth plan, and as a life coach and relationship coach, here are my suggested steps on how to do so.
Start looking at the big picture. In relative terms you are here on earth for a very, very short time and then….you are gone. That’s it. Do you want to look back on your life here on earth and think, “gosh, I’m so glad I wasn’t able to develop healthy self-esteem and I’m so glad I let that limit my opportunities in life.” No! You want to look back on your life and be grateful you found ways to shine a positive light on yourself and continuously develop your self-esteem on a daily basis so you could accomplish everything you came here to do. Always remember that life is a precious, precious gift and the fact that you beat out all the other sperm/egg combinations to be here is truly miraculous.
Decide on one thing a day you are going to do to build your self-esteem. Do not make a gigantic list. Just one simple thing. I caution you to put something down like ‘go to the gym everyday’ because we both know what’s going to happen on the day you don’t go, you are going to beat yourself up and hurt your self-esteem. It needs to be something very simple like looking yourself in the mirror and smiling instead of frowning at least once a day. Start simple.
Next, don’t avoid people. Learn how to talk to people. Now you may be thinking, “Um, Christine, I know how to talk to people.” My point here is that you need to talk to more people to gain practice in feeling good about yourself when around others. Often that is a trigger, we feel good about ourselves around our own home but as soon as we are at work, on the street, at an event, something happens to our self-esteem. So when I say, learn how to talk to people, I am referring to learn how to talk and interact with people and still feel good about yourself at the same time. This takes practice, just recognize the thoughts that come to mind and do your best to acknowledge them and then ignore them.
Don’t judge yourself in the process. Sometimes my clients will try one day of building their self-esteem and if they don’t see drastic changes, they say it doesn’t work. Building self-esteem is a skill that you need to practice every single day. Building any skill requires practice and just like if you were a professional athlete, you would have good days and bad days but you are continuously practicing and moving forward. So please don’t be hard on yourself, celebrate your little wins, even if you managed to counter-act one negative thought, that is progress.
These 4 steps will get you well on your way to building self-esteem and building self-confidence. Be kind to yourself and have patience with the process.
To your authenticity,