You Can Nurture Self-Esteem And Find Actions To Practice Building It
Self-esteem affects everything in your life. If you have healthy, abundant self-esteem, it will help you in the workplace, in relationships, and even with family. If you are like me, and so many others in recovery, self-esteem is something you need to develop and work at ongoing. But, there are so many actions and practices you can start that will help you get where you want to go.
For example, do you know the expression: Fake it ’til you make it? “Fake it till you make it” (or “Fake it until you make it“) is an English aphorism that suggests that by imitating confidence, competence, and an optimistic mindset, a person can realize those qualities in their real life and achieve the results they seek.
I’ve heard it a million times since I entered recovery. But, what does it mean and how do you do it?? At first, I thought, “Fake it until you make it,” meant to dress the part. Then I learned you had to act the part as well. That meant looking and behaving in the way that I wanted to be no matter how I was feeling about myself at the time. As time has gone on, I realized that there’s more to it than that. Learning to fake it until you make it also means thinking the part. And all of this involves using skills that nurture self-esteem.
OK, the goal of mimicking self-esteem is to create a positive mindset, feel good about your skills, and appear confident. These are clear directions. Let’s start by choosing exactly what we’re trying to emulate, then we’ll talk about how to get there.
Study your character
Who do you want to be in life? I wanted to be mentally healthy, have a healthy partnership, raise dogs, be nice, make some money, and master my crafts. But, I had self-esteem problems, under-earning problems, mood issues, anxiety, and general paralyzing fear. Becoming who I wanted to be was going to take a lot of work. To even begin that kind of work, I had to start believing in myself and taking action quickly. I almost had to trick myself into believing I was capable before I felt capable but there were things that helped enormously. And break up with that negative self-talk.
I like affirmations. I said affirmations for years and I swear, it worked. It changed the tapes in my head and helped me focus on what I wanted and how to get there, instead of obsessing about the past or things I’d done wrong. I also made vision boards so I could see what I wanted. Stop being vague. Choose the house you want to live in, choose your mate, manifest that stuff. It’s possible to get what you want, but you have to be clear and consistent.
Get out of your head and into your body
If you’re insecure, it shows. The way you carry yourself, the way you speak, it will reveal all. Getting into shape and being mindful of the way I present myself made all the difference for me. When I’m in a room of people, I have to remind myself to take up space not shrink into a corner. Stand up straight, look people in the eye, and be polite but firm. Learn to project when you speak. Whether you’re aware of it or not, you’re giving people instructions on how to treat you as you travel through your day. Make sure you’re giving people the correct guidelines and overcome your self-doubts.
Get clear on what makes you special
Everyone is good at something. Write down your best skills. Guess what, people who grow up with alcoholism or other types of dysfunction often have fabulous skills that just need the right focus. Even if you’re not sure what to do with the skill like you can help stop family fights, write it down. You might make a great mediator or family counselor. Have you lived on your own a lot and you’re super organized? You might be the perfect executive assistant or executive yourself. Or maybe you have a big degree but addiction or mental health problems slowed your roll. That’s OK. Start planning how to get back on track. It’s not as hard as you think it will be.
Look the part
Turns out, that dressing the part isn’t the total solution but it helps. If you want to move up in the world, get yourself some clothes that will help your cause. If cost is an issue, there are so many ways to get discounted clothes these days. From second-hand stores to online stores to asking friends if they have clothes they’re done with–get yourself cleaned up. It will make you feel better.
Meditate on it
This tip will be in everything I do and write for the rest of my life. Got anxiety? Meditate. Got sobriety or anxiety issues? Meditate. Obsessed with someone? Meditate. Worried about money or your future? Meditate. See where I’m going with this? If you are insecure, sad, anxious, like to compare, have self-harmed or struggled with addiction (like I did) learn to meditate. It will change your brain. Science proves it and you will get better.
Click here to read: How To Get Rid Of Self Doubt
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Tips For Growing Up
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