It is often said that to learn to love others, you must first learn to love yourself. Although this phrase is wrong, it tends to be associated only with relationships. The truth is that increasing your self-esteem allows you to prioritize yourself in different contexts.
Although many ignore it, self-esteem is of great importance to our well-being. Even certain emotional disorders, such as stress, anxiety, or depression, are associated with it. Similarly, it concerns social welfare, life habits, future projects, and interpersonal relationships. So, how to increase it?
Self-esteem is not a concept invented to sell self-help books. It is not a metaphysical idea or a letter up your sleeve that allows you to solve all the problems of your life. Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead, it is a concept with centuries of debate that involves action at all times.
Signs that you don’t have strong self-esteem:
You may not be aware that you lack self-esteem. Therefore, here I will show you some of the signs that can indicate to us that there is a lack of self-love and self-esteem.
You doubt yourself: The less love you have for yourself, the more doubts you will present toward your person. People with a lack of self-love tend to be very insecure in their decisions and have fear or fear in the face of certain situations in their daily lives.
Fear of the opinions of others: Caring way too much about what others say about you. One of the curious facts about love is that the less affection we have for ourselves, the more importance we give to the opinions of others.
Recurring negative thoughts: Negativity and obsessive thoughts are also signs of a lack of self-esteem and its meaning. This internal dialogue makes people see life passed through a dark filter, affecting many aspects of their life.
Judge accordingly: When people judge others, this is usually a sign that we also do it excessively towards ourselves. Loving oneself implies being kind and humble to others without continually judging others.
Fear of saying your opinions: Self-esteem and self-expression are always very much accompanied. For this reason, those who can confidently share views with others also show excellent self-esteem. On the contrary, when we doubt our courage, our mind can put us consistent excuses for why we do not have the right to say our truth or our opinions.
Learning to love yourself is essential to have strong relationships and high self-esteem. Self-esteem is an action that we begin to cultivate from the moment we are born and develop in a functional family environment. The most critical learning leads to the fulfillment of all the others who will train us as self-sufficient people.
This self-esteem arises with the recognition of our primary caregivers and the affection they gave us from the early stages of life. Therefore, it is a fundamental basis with which we can develop as self-confident adults. So, we must provide the necessary daily importance to emotional growth and physical or organic health.
Keys to developing our self-esteem
One of the ways to increase our self-esteem is by strengthening our skills and behaviors that help us carry out the necessary activities to live. This self-esteem becomes more intense when we value our strengths, qualities, and the negative aspects and areas for improvement. Learning to recognize our mistakes and develop a critical capacity will lead us to a more transformative self-care. Through the following keys, we can create the strength to respect ourselves and project ourselves wisely toward others.
Cultivating individual freedom
We have to work on emotional independence to increase our self-esteem. Emotional dependence is a negative trait that makes us be with others out of necessity and not our choice. Learning to be with oneself and to be an individual is significant to be then able to be in a society without being toxic. But first, you must heal the relationship with yourself to establish lasting and stable relationships with others.
Looking for healthy relationships
Maintaining healthy relationships helps our value increase and, therefore, self-esteem. For example, healthily dealing with family members, keeping a job, having good friends, and being part of a working couple is essential to increase self-esteem. In addition, feeling protected, understood, and respected reinforces self-confidence.
Recognize our work
Feeling productive or functional increases the idea we have of ourselves. Therefore, valuing our daily work will help us recognize our effort and personal self-realization. Every day, our work is a bridge to meet our basic needs.
Take care of our basic needs
Loving yourself is synonymous with self-care in different aspects of our life. It starts with intellectual self-care, with which we protect our minds and take out our most creative parts to stimulate our thoughts. Taking care of our body increases physical health and frees us from stressful stimuli. In addition, we must not forget our emotional and spiritual care, that ability to connect with our inner self to fully attend to the here and now.
We all want to improve. To a greater or lesser extent, we can get better, and our future can improve. We even compare ourselves with others who get things quickly while you might go around the road several times to reach your final goal. Sometimes these perceptions are part of a lack of self-esteem. But how do you love yourself?
One of the reasons a person might not have self-love is their treatment or teachings during childhood. The family environment dramatically influences our self-esteem. If our parents have a positive idea of themselves, our self-esteem will likely be more significant. If, on the contrary, we have seen since childhood a lack of self-love in our parents, with emotional distance, criticism, or even disqualifications towards us, there is no doubt that our self-esteem will be very low. As a result of this last situation, we will be much more exposed away from home, where it will be difficult to defend ourselves and even be afraid of success.
Self-esteem means something entirely different for each person. Even so, we all have many different ways to take care of ourselves and show us the appreciation we deserve. Finding out what self-esteem is like for you as an individual is an integral part of your mental health. The percentage of love we show ourselves is how we conduct ourselves to others and, therefore, model our relationships with others.
Whether it’s free group therapy, empowerment counseling, a clinical psychologist through your insurance, or someone with whom you are connected, therapy is the ULTIMATE form of self-care and self-esteem. Few things come close to the power of sound therapy sessions: a mental health professional can decipher the code of many underlying thought patterns, experiences, and feelings that could prevent a more profound sense of self-love and joy.
And if this is not possible, consider writing a diary. Try doing a “brain dump,” which, as it sounds, consists of dumping all those endless thoughts on one page. It is like a cathartic purge, in which you can write it, take it all out, and then close the page and leave room for new positive thoughts.