Importance of building and boosting self confidence
From personal relationships to success at work, self-esteem makes a difference
- By Susan Kozak For MediaNews Group
Low self-esteem can influence many aspects of our lives. Its an indicator of our self-worth and how others will perceive us. Having a negative self-perception will stop us from speaking our mind, dealing with problems in a relationship, lack of boundaries or accepting less than you truly deserve.
Low self-esteem can influence many aspects of our lives and has been shown to lead to mental and physical health issues like depression, anxiety, and anorexia as well as alcohol and drug abuse. February is International Boost Self-Esteem Month, and boosting your self-esteem is good for your overall mental wellness.
Signs of low self-esteem
People who struggle with low self-esteem are afraid to make mistakes, let people down, and general feelings of inadequacy. Here are a few signs of low self-esteem.
- Handling criticism – Hearing criticism isn’t always easy, but how it’s received may be a self-esteem marker. People with low self-esteem tend to be more sensitive to criticism and believe it just reinforces their already poor opinion of themselves.
- Difficulty making choices – Do you find it hard to make or stick with a decision? Lack of self-esteem can lead to issues in trusting your instincts when making good choices and decisions. There may be second-guessing or feelings of being overwhelmed.
- Making comparisons to others – A pitfall of social media is we are bombarded with images and posts that offer a tiny snapshot of others’ lives which can cause us to compare them to our lives. Keep in mind that people share what they want to share, and we don’t get the full picture of their daily life and their problems. Avoid making comparisons and keep scrolling.
Ways to boost confidence
Boosting self-esteem is part of self-care, a term we’ve heard a lot over the past year. It’s about prioritizing ourselves, our minds, and our bodies, to better our health and well-being.
- Fact or fake – Challenge your mindset when the negative thoughts come in. Is your perception really what others see (fact) or those poor preconceived notions you’ve come to believe (fake)? It takes time to recognize and shift thinking in order to build self-confidence, but like any exercise, the more you make it part of your daily routine, the better your self-esteem will be.
- Set goals and priorities – Get in the habit of making a list of achievable goals for the day, week, or month. Things you want to accomplish – from cleaning out the closet to finishing a report for work by deadline. This will help you prioritize what you need and want to do and avoid them being derailed by others with other requests or demands of you.
- Celebrate you – Stop the negative self-talk and instead, acknowledge the special traits and talents possess that are admirable. Maybe you’re a great parent or caregiver, a dedicated employee, an excellent cook, or a dependable friend. Recognize your abilities and successes and remind yourself of the qualities that you have which are worth celebrating.
Improving our self-esteem is something we can control, and it takes work every day. If you need to talk to someone about your mental health, substance dependency, or anything else that might be troubling you, help is only a phone call away. Contact Community Care Services at 313-389-7500.
Susan Kozak has been a licensed social worker for the past 35 years and currently serves as the executive director of Community Care Services, a position she has held since 2011.