When we grow with damaging beliefs we evolve with a low or hurt self-esteem. These beliefs may be things such as 'I am not good enough,' 'I'm worthless, stupid, ugly' or even 'I am unlovable.' Having these damaging beliefs will cause you to be unsure of your sense of self, sense of security and your sense of belonging. Being unsure of all of this is likely to mean you are living a life filled with worries, concerns, fears, in other words; anxiety. So when we work to improve our self-esteem and those damaging beliefs, our sense of belonging, self and security will grow reducing the amount of fear or concern, anxiety, we live with.
Here are three ways you can boost yourself esteem and watch your anxiety drop away:
1) Realise and retrain
When we suffer with low self-esteem, we often have a very harsh inner critic critic within us. That little inside voice that tells your you are not good enough, not worthy, not smart, attractive or important, all those things come from your inner critic. Although it may feel like we can’t do anything to alter that inner critic, actually we can. We just have to first notice what it’s telling us and then be dedicated enough to re-train that critic. There are a huge variety of ways we can do this but self-love is a great place to start and five minutes each day is all it takes! Simply start your day with noting down one positive thing about yourself. This could be about your physical appearance, your personality, talents or accomplishments. Over time you will build up a long list of compliments about yourself which will begin to replace the negative core beliefs you have become so familiar with.
2) Acknowledge and appreciate
Commonly when we have low self-esteem we have a low opinion of our physical appearance, criticizing and shaming various parts of our body. Again this simply reinforces our negative beliefs, making it harder to shift them. So instead, acknowledge each part of your body from your feet up to your head, appreciating it and showing gratitude for the part it plays in making you, you! For example, ‘thank you feet for carrying me all the places I need to be every day.’ Notice how much more you begin to appreciate your body and feel connected to it rather than hate and shame it.
3) Decide and declare
Believe it or not we do have the ability to decide exactly how we feel about ourselves and how we choose to think about ourselves, although at times it may not feel like it. Positive affirmations are a great way to decide how we want to feel about ourselves. They are simple sentences we can choose, about the way we want to feel, so once we have decided what they are we can then declare them to ourselves on a daily basis. For example, ‘I am confident and positive.’ ‘I am brave.’ ‘I am capable.’
So I encourage you to make some time this week to take better care of your self esteem and allow this to slowly and gently balance your anxiety levels. Remember, it's not a rush, it's a journey - have fun!