- How do you start believing in yourself?
- In learning to do, they learn to be…
- But it doesn’t stop there.
- Were you equipped with healthy self-esteem?
- How do people with healthy self-esteem feel?
- Let’s hear what psychology has to say
- Take a moment to assess your own sense of self-worth
- A quick glance at what stops you from believing in yourself
Don’t stop believing in yourself, no matter what happens.
We begin to form our sense of self and our own values from the time we are very young. If you were lucky enough to grow up with loving parents, then most likely your mom, your dad, your teachers in schools, and caregivers—all did such a great job of teaching you the necessary life skills you need, while making sure you felt self-assured and confident in your achievements.
How do you start believing in yourself?
It begins with the simplest tasks—from being guided as a baby to sit up on your own, being taught to feed yourself, then sleeping on your own, speaking in your native language, dressing, taking care of personal hygiene, tying those shoelaces, learning to read, to write, and so on.
The progress towards self-sufficiency continues through our childhood, into adolescence, young adulthood, and beyond.
Of course, these early skills that we consider basic and take for granted—we may consider them insignificant as we grow older. Especially in the adult world of Very Important People Doing Very Big Things.
And yet, if a child is offered the opportunity to skill-build from the time they’re little, and if they’re encouraged to do and be good citizens, this is absolutely critical.
In learning to do, they learn to be…
and from there a child goes out into the world with a strong sense of self-worth, a secure spirit, and a sense that they can accomplish anything they set out to do.
One day, that chubby-cheeked baby who discovered with joyous wonder her own face looking back at her in the mirror, grows up and lands his first job, rents an apartment and begins a life for herself.
Studies state that there is a relationship between self-respect and self-esteem.
But it doesn’t stop there.
Personal growth is continuous and the course you choose to take on the path to happiness is always up to you.
So, let’s backtrack a bit and ask the vital question:
Were you equipped with healthy self-esteem?
Ever stopped to think about how you feel about yourself, in terms of self-worth as compared to others?
It’s hard to know where we fall on the spectrum between being the utterly selfless doormat for others to tromp upon, versus the egotistical, empathy-lacking narcissist who manipulates and discards others for selfish gain.
I’d venture to say that most of us fall somewhere in the middle, and that shows a healthy balance between self and others, which is really at the heart of it all.
How do people with healthy self-esteem feel?
How does healthy self-esteem affect who they are on the outside? Is self-esteem something that’s cemented in stone early on? Or do our relationships with other people, and the messages we’re sent by others, affect our belief that we can do and be anything we choose?
Let’s hear what psychology has to say
Psychology teaches that the foundation for healthy self-esteem is set in early childhood when the delicate human psyche is developing.
Even if a person who has loving parents and role models with a strong, secure sense of self may stand a better chance of thriving as an adult, there is always the chance for negative experiences and difficult encounters with closed-minded individuals to stunt and stifle personal growth.
You could be going along, progressing on the course of your own happiness, when a seemingly fixed obstacle, like a relationship that you’re stuck in, throws you off course… and now you find yourself going in circles.
Perhaps it is in our best interests to periodically assess where we are in our sense of ongoing development as individuals, and as contributing members of society.
Take a moment to assess your own sense of self-worth
Here are some questions to ask yourself.
- Are my relationships thriving?
- Do I practice the art of loving and empathic communication with friends, family, and coworkers? Is it reciprocated? Or do I find myself floundering in uncertain waters, unable to navigate conflict effectively?
- Do I feel as though I’ve handed the controls over to someone else, or a group of people, maybe even society as a whole?
- Do clashes of will and differences of opinion hold me back from what I really want to do and be?
- Am I finding constructive ways to overcome challenges? Or do I choose to turn a blind eye to the problems in my life, abusing alcohol, drugs or engaging in other addictive behaviors as an avoidance tactic and band-aid solution to life’s problems?
If you chose to read this, then maybe you are in a place where you know it’s time to move past the relationships that you’ve outgrown, and the people who hold you back from being all you can be.
A quick glance at what stops you from believing in yourself
We can safely say that believing in yourself is often touted as the cause of success. But if, as I mentioned before, you have low self-esteem, believing in yourself is not easy.
You may find it hard to step outside of your comfort zone and look for ways to improve your life. You may believe that you don’t have the means to better yourself or that you don’t deserve a better life.
Good news? You can change your life. And it starts with believing in yourself.
But first, you have to identify what’s holding you back.
Here are three common self-esteem killers that can keep you from living out your true potential.
That thief of joy, comparison. Do you look around and feel like everyone else has a handle on life but you? This is a common feeling, especially in our digital age.
Maybe you have a friend on Pinterest who always seems to have a clean house. But you don’t see what her house looks like when the kids have the flu and there hasn’t been time to do any laundry.
Seeing your friend’s good days can leave you feeling like you’re a failure because your house doesn’t look clean all the time like your friend’s house is.
When you’re on social media, you’re constantly exposed to the best side of someone’s life. You rarely see the ugly parts. Please remember this when you’re scrolling through your news feed.
The past often shapes us and affects us far more than we realize. Negative situations in your past can make believing in yourself quite hard.
Maybe you were in a toxic relationship with a partner who verbally abused you. Maybe you grew up with an alcoholic parent or maybe you were bullied in middle school.
Your past can be the biggest threat to your present if you don’t take action. It can take a toll on your self-esteem and crush your sense of confidence.
If you’ve been in a bad situation in the past, you’ll need to re-train your thought process. You may need the help of a therapist or life coach to help you deal with painful situations from your past that are keeping you stuck.
Are there current relationships with a dynamic that keeps you questioning yourself?
Sometimes, other people can undermine your sense of self-esteem. They may do it subtly by making unkind remarks and dismissing these remarks as jokes. They may discourage you from taking action on a project you were really excited about. They may tell you that you’re not good enough to reach your goals.
Few things are more painful than a friend or loved one that is unkind and unsupportive.
If possible, try to have a conversation with this person about their behavior. In a healthy relationship, there’s room on both sides for honesty.
But if your loved one or friend still won’t be supportive, you should consider limiting how often you interact with them. If you do have to be around this person for some reason, try to have a nurturing activity planned for yourself later after your interaction.
Just like you can switch your iPod to a different song, you can change your thoughts about yourself from negative to positive. It takes a lot of work and it doesn’t happen immediately. But as you begin to focus on your positive qualities, you’ll experience a boost in your self-esteem, and believing in yourself will be easier.