Can Self Esteem Be Taught?

Of course it can, in fact we have all, as a society been taught to believe self esteem is even a thing. Prior to 1980 most people hadn’t even heard of self esteem. The first use of the term can be traced back to 1890 but even then the concept of self esteem didn’t really even become an accepted as a psychological concept until the late 1960’s. This came about as the rise in consumerism and consumption started to put the individual at the centre of his or her destiny.

A major influence on the self esteem movement was Nathaniel Brandon who is often credited as the father of the self esteem movement. So if you’re having self esteem issues as you might like to call them, you can blame him. This was affected by enlightened self interest and radical individualism espoused by An Rand. Whilst Branden’s views may not be what they once were, he is widely credited with opening the door of self esteem to popular culture. This occurred sometime around the late 80’s as self esteem began to move from the world of academia into the public consciousness.

Helped along by political types, a member of the California State Assembly even claiming low self esteem is the cause of drug abuse, teenage pregnancy and even school underachievement. Seeing boosting self esteem as a form of social vaccine. All this despite no evidence and many studies showing evidence to the contrary.

Unlike many fads that come and go, self esteem has hung in there and become part of the social fabric and popular culture of the western world. These unsubstantiated and erroneous beliefs about self esteem became part of the teachings about how we should view ourselves. So effectively much of our society has been taught to believe in self esteem. It has become reality based on collective belief and wish instead of evidence or fact.

What can you do? Refuse to rate the self, start by accepting yourself because you can breathe, and start to notice when you are trying to rate your entirety. When things go well try being happy stop yourself at that point if your habit is to start making sweeping generalisations about yourself as a result. When things don’t go well its OK to be unhappy, but rating yourself because of it is not only unhelpful, it’s also incredibly inaccurate. Learning to accept yourself unconditionally is the best place to be.

10 Ways to Boost Self Esteem

There are many ways to boost self esteem. Self esteem is the positive or negative attitude one feels about themselves. Portraying yourself to be a certain way in your mind will eventually lead to disappointment. Here are ten ways that helps to boost your self esteem.

1. Avoid Negative People

Don’t let people’s negative perception of you lead you to start believing those negative thoughts of yours. When it comes to self esteem, your opinion is the only one that matters. Avoid people that treat you badly for this will start to make you feel bad towards yourself. Surrounding yourself around negative people will only make you act negatively.

2. Stop Trying to Please Everyone

You can’t please everyone so don’t try. Trying to please everyone will have you feeling unappreciated if you don’t get that same treatment in return. Even though you should treat others how you want to be treated, you won’t always get that same treatment in return. Not getting the same treatment in return is not a reflection of you, but them. Everyone’s intention won’t be the same as yours. Pleasing everyone is stressful. Don’t rely on others to determine your self worth because of rejection. Don’t expect things to always come out the way you expect it to. Be the unique person that you are. You don’t need to seek validation from anyone. Never let the thoughts and feelings of not being able to help others affect you mentally, physically, and emotionally.

3. Occupy Yourself

Don’t spend time thinking about something that makes you sad or insecure. Do the things you love to do to occupy your mind. If you are busy doing things you love to do, you’re not going to have the time to dwell on negativity.

4. Get Support

It’s OK to get the support you need when struggling with low self esteem. You don’t have to do it alone. Having a good support system makes believing in yourself a lot easier. Communicating how you really feel shows that you are in tune with negative thoughts and really want the help. Being more open allows you to express all your feelings that you have been holding inside.

5. Forgive

You have to be able to forgive. Holding onto feelings of resentment will keep you in a state of negativity. Once you forgive yourself, you will be able to start to forgive others. Sometimes you have to change your perspective to see other’s point of view. The past is the past and you can’t change it so don’t live with regrets. Having that sense of forgiveness is a relief lifted off your shoulders.

6. Be Confident

Never feel like you are ever worthless. Have confidence on both the inside and out. Encourage yourself and treat yourself with kindness. The more you practice treating yourself genuinely, self confidence will rise. No one can see your insecurities and lack of confidence unless you show and tell them. Having strong self esteem results from day to day activities and how you control the bad thoughts. As you focus more on the present instead of what should have, could have and would have, confidence will come easily. Are these thoughts factual? Do you really believe the things you think about yourself? Would you say those things about yourself to someone else? If you wouldn’t, then avoid saying them to yourself. Being hard on yourself while having low self esteem will lead to depression.

7. Don’t Compare yourself to others

Comparing yourself to others can make you feel as if you’re not worth it. Just because you feel someone has more than you, or is doing better than you in any type of way brings you down. There is no such thing as a life that’s better than yours. Your insecurities shouldn’t be a reflection on any and everything that someone says. Don’t be so hard on yourself if things don’t go exactly as you want them to. Know your own personal value.

8. Surround yourself around positive

Surround yourself around people who loves, cares, and accepts you just for who you are. It helps when family and friends remind you of things that you do right. If you expect to be treated a certain way, surround yourself around those people. Treat those who treat you negatively how to treat you. People see you differently than you see yourself. Openly accept the sayings of the ones who treat you good. This helps you view yourself in a different way other than how you view yourself. Hearing what people like about you instead of what they don’t like about you puts your mind at ease. Treat others with kindness and the kindness will be returned. Being appreciated makes you feel better about yourself.

9. Make a list

Make a list of things you feel proud of. Celebrate your accomplishments. No matter how big or small, it’s always a job well done. When you feel your self esteem is not high, look at the list to remind yourself of your success.

10. Turn negative thoughts to positivity

Negative talk can cause you to respond negatively. Emotions run high when there is negative talk around. Instead of feeling overwhelmed from negative thoughts, accept them. Don’t allow negative thoughts to influence your behavior. When you feel bad, you will only remember bad times. As you continue to think about things that upset you, it will cause you to act in such a way that’s not appropriate. The way you feel has a major impact on thoughts and behavior. Your self esteem will began to improve as you learn to control negative thoughts. If you can’t control your thoughts, you will never be able to control your behavior. Learn from past failures and turn it into positives.

Being aware of your thoughts and feelings uncovers the real issue. Just because you see yourself to be a certain way. Thoughts are just thoughts; not necessarily to be factual. Thoughts are normal and may seem factual, but they are just perceptions of the way things should be.

Embracing Who You Really Are – And What Love Means for You

Women (and men) can discover what are the keys to loving themselves in so many different ways. In fact the journey of love is all about what is your way that works for you. What teaches you to love? Did you have a particularly hard relationship that knocked you off your balance and then you found an inner power that you didn’t know before? Did you lose a parent and find that all the expectations you had about life – weren’t actually true.

What you can discover is that love and finding love is about creating a deeply authentic understanding and relationship of who you are and what love REALLY is for you. And not what the media and social media want you to think love is (or make you feel guilty about because you are not in some ideal romance). By a certain age, it gets really tiring to still be measuring yourself by some social media icon. And for future generations, it’s important for older women to start modelling not caring about what others think about their bodies – as younger women and girls are having more and more pressure to look good physically from the social media representation of girls.

One of the reasons I am so passionate about teaching on self-love and creating loving relationships is that I know how debilitating a woman can feel when she is not in a relationship. But it all starts from when a young girl starts to become more dependent on her joy by what other people think about her – and how she looks. And this starts in puberty – and can start even before when the girl feels she’s not likeable based on some asset of her appearance or personality. But puberty really messes things up by adding in hormones and obsessing with how much we are liked by someone or accepted by our peers.

In my journey to deeply satisfying self-love, I discovered what was making me create negative experiences in my love relationships with men.

It was a very old habit of looking for the man’s approval of me – to prove to myself I was ‘enough’ and attractive to their liking. I could never be enough when I was looking for approval outside of my body – and I became more and more dependent and scared about not being thin enough or looking like what society would call attractive.

The path I found to embracing who I was and to stop looking for approval outside of me was by discovering the power of sensuality and feeling deeply in my body. Most people when they think about feeling deeply in the body – will think of two things, sexual arousal and emotional depth. Sensuality is the bridge between emotions and sexual arousal. And in fact, without sensuality, sex is just a physical exercise.

Practicing the power of connecting to my senses allowed me to find the joy of my body that was not dependent on what anyone thought about my body. And it is so important these days to know that what you feel with and inside your body is so much more connected to who you really are. There are more and more expectations being put on women to look good, be successful and be these very unreal ideals of what a woman (and young girl) should be. And those expectations are only going to become more extreme.

So by tapping into your senses, your sense of what feels good, and makes your body come alive – you can practice focusing on what you feel as the biggest priority – and break the chain of thinking you should be what others want. Whatever you can do in your day with your body and imagination to practice feeling your body throughout the day is a powerful balance to the more mind-based way our society forces upon us in school, work – and even play. I add in some play in day – every day – like playing with my body with music, dance, and meditation to feel more of my body internally.

And if I am short on time – I just add a healthy dose of silly faces, laughter and joking especially when people are too serious – usually by asking them how they feel too. People open up so much, when they realize I am more interested in what is inside of them – and they begin to relax too (and even laugh and have fun!). In a time-crunched world, you can actually change your attitude – to being more interested in a person on the inside – and a whole new way of playing can open up! This is also how the senses open up – with that old-fashioned “sixth sense”, which by the way is not about seeing dead people – it’s actually about feeling people’s feelings.

When you start a journey of finally accepting yourself you will discover that if you truly want to stop depending on what others think and say about you and your body, you need to shift your focus to what makes you feel alive internally and sensually – and also you will automatically from doing that – shift your entire perception of what love is for you.