I have been reading news in The Economist that people with low self-esteem may do themselves a disservice if they try positive thinking.
By thinking positively, someone with low self-esteem doesn’t believe what they’re thinking, which then makes the person feel even worse.
Simply thinking how good you are and making confident statements is clearly not the best solution for everybody. Those with high self-esteem do seem to be able to use positive thinking to their advantage. So the power of positive thinking may only work properly for people who are already positive thinkers.
That doesn’t leave those with low self-esteem with nothing to do. Here are 10 ways you can approach positivity and learn to appreciate yourself a bit more:
- Failure brings you closer to success – Don’t beat yourself up when you make a mistake, learn from it! Everyone makes mistakes. Some of the most successful people make so many mistakes because they’re not scared to make them. And as they’re trying so many things, they find more success after they’ve failed so many times. But they’re not counting the failures…they are counting the successes!
- View ways forward and areas for improvement that you’ll concentrate on – With low self-esteem, we see it’s best not to see things in a positive or negative light. Instead, find problem areas you wish to concentrate on improving. Be specific in finding what you need to do going forward. This isn’t a time to say you’re rubbish at everything, it’s a time to get serious and examine how you’re going to target issues and blast them out of your way.
- Make a list of the things you DO feel positive about – Low self-esteem doesn’t equal complete negativity. So focus on what makes you smile, what gives you strength, what boosts your energy. Write a list on the things about you that pick you up and the things that give you reason to seize the day. It’s close to positive thinking, but one which has more chance of leading you to positivity, because you actually do believe in these things!
- Understand that nobody is perfect – Imperfection is nothing to be concerned about. None of us are perfect. It’s not positive or negative, it’s just a fact. So no need to compare yourself with others and imagine you have to reach some imaginary point of perfection.
- Positive thinking doesn’t help, but neither does negative thinking – If you have low self-esteem and don’t believe positive thoughts, you’re probably going to lap up negative thoughts. But that’s just as damaging. The trick is not to see things so clear cut. Nothing is all good or all bad. Nothing is all quiet or all loud. Nothing is all dark or all light. Look how to progress to the next level, rather than how to turn a negative into a positive.
- Try not to control everything – Many things are beyond our control. Most things, in fact. File it all under “Outside my control” rather than “I wish I had the answers”. Just try to help as best you can, because doing your best is one thing definitely under your control.
- Form your own opinions, rather than waiting to be told what to think – When you reach your own conclusions, your outlook on life is certain to be more concrete than if you let others dictate how you should be feeling. You’re allowed an opinion. You’re allowed to change your opinion too. With your own thought-out opinions, you should find a clear boost to your self-esteem.
- Visualise your purpose and what you wish to achieve – Work toward a clear goal to help gain focus and clarity. As you picture the way forward, you can be more certain of yourself.
- Use positive friends to pick you up… – If you interact with negative people all the time, the unfavourable behaviour transfers to you. With positive people, guess what? Yup, they’ll help you feel more positive. No doubt you know some people who are more negative and other people who are more positive. Spend some quality time with the positive people and let the positivity come your way
- …And allow your friends to see you in a positive light – When someone appreciates something about you or who you are, don’t argue with them. People compliment you because they want you to know you’re special. Accept it as happily as you can when they tell you.