According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, before one can achieve greatness or self-actualization, he must first achieve self-esteem. Successful people know their value. They are confident of who they are and what they can do.
If you want to achieve excellence too, you have to start believing in yourself. Learn to respect yourself and those around you. Have a healthy level of self-esteem. Do not esteem yourself too high that you will step on others but do not esteem yourself too low that you let others step on you.
Do not worry if you currently have low regard of yourself. Self-respect can be learned if you are willing. Below are ways you can do to build up a strong self-esteem for you to reach your full potential.
1. Love yourself first
Before you can truly love anyone, you have to love yourself first. Having self-love is the initial step towards success. As you care for yourself, improvement in your relationships and career will eventually follow.
You must take care of yourself holistically. Pay attention to your physical body by eating right, exercising and resting well. Nurture your emotions by looking at yourself in a positive light. Let your mind grow by keeping it active. Care for your spirit by having faith.
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2. Get rid of people who belittle you
“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that but the really great make you feel that you too can become great. “- Mark Twain
There are 7.4 billion around the world, do not settle mingling with those who brings you down. It can be easy to look down on yourself if other people start it for you. Do not allow that to happen. Leave them before they start to do damage.
You can always find friends who lift you up. If you cannot find any, it would be better to be alone at the moment than to be with bad company. Great friends will eventually come as you build your self-confidence.
3. Do not compare yourself with others
“If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter. For always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself’; is an excerpt from the poem desiderata worth remembering.
We all have different races, different paths and different backgrounds. It would not be wise to compare yourself to anyone. It will just hurt your self-esteem. Besides, when you look at others you might be looking at the fruits of their labor. You cannot see all the hardships and efforts they have done to achieve what they have now.
4. Limit your Time on Social Media
Social media can be a great tool for self-improvement if properly utilized. However, if improperly used, it can lead to bitterness and unproductivity. People post only the best part of their lives on social media. It can be depressing to look at your friends getting promoted, getting married, buying new stuff and travelling while you are there, browsing at work.
As I mentioned in number 3, do not compare yourself with what you see on social media. What they post is only a tip of the iceberg. Use it to inspire you. Spend less than an hour on Facebook, Instagram or twitter and more time improving.
5. Dress and Groom for Success
How you look on the outside makes a difference on how you feel. It doesn’t mean you have to go for invasive procedures like plastic surgery. Just make an effort in your grooming and dressing.
Wearing your proper size, being trendy and staying neat can go a long way. Remember, you can’t help it but people will base their first judgement on what they see.
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6. Sharpen your skills
There is no better way to feel good about yourself than a job well done. Discover what you are innately good at. Unleash your passion and invest most of your time and energy improving in that field. Strive for small improvements every day.
7. Read, Watch and Believe positive affirmations
Fill your mind and heart with positive things. There are thousands of free motivational materials around you can make use of. Memorize an optimistic mantra and recite this to yourself whenever you start feeling low.
Instead of watching dramas, watch movies and motivational videos that are meant to lift you up. Instead of following gossip accounts on social media, follow people who have succeeded in their respective fields.
8. Accept what you cannot do
No one can do it all. Part of having a healthy esteem is to accept what you cannot do. It will just lead to frustration ifyou insist to do what you are not meant to do.
Delegate tasks you are weak at, capitalize on your skills and talents instead. Accept your flaws. Change those you can and acknowledge those that cannot be changed.
9. Be your number one motivator, instead of your number one critic
Stop telling yourself you are not good enough. Stop telling yourself they are better than you. Quit the habit of negative self-talk.
To successfully get rid of a bad habit, it must be replaced by a good virtue. Substitute negative self-talk with positive self-declarations. Think, write and say positive declarations with conviction and confidence. It would work better if you say it out loud. Tell yourself you can do better. Appreciate who you are and what you do. Once you find yourself thinking negatively, stop.
10. Make a list of your Achievements
Before you go to sleep, note of at least 3 achievements you have done during the day. They don’t need to be big ones. Write about small daily improvements.It will inspire and motivate you to improve.
Building on a healthy self-esteem may be difficult; especially if your lack of it started during childhood. But do not despair if you fail at first. Just keep trying. With the right attitude and perseverance, you will eventually be a confident person. Practice the ten tips mentioned above and soon you will find yourself at the peak of greatness.