“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn't try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn't need others' approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.” ― Lao Tzu
Self-esteem = others-esteem?
Self-esteem is often others-esteem, it depends on what others think of you or how you perform in comparison to others. Self-esteem is about how valuable we see ourselves.
It affects different areas of your life, from communication with others to the general level of happiness and fulfilment with life.
Self-esteem and communication
“Why should we worry about what others think of us, do we have more confidence in their opinions than we do in our own?”– Brigham Young
Have you noticed measuring yourself against others and choosing how confident you can be with this specific person or a group of people? If you consider people to be your equals or according to some criteria lower, you will feel more confident and relaxed with them. If you think that people are of higher importance than you, this will make you feel uncomfortable next to them.
This doesn’t have to be the case, you can drop the habit of comparing yourself to others. Imagine how less distorted and more natural your behaviour will become.
Self-esteem and happiness
In an attempt to keep the level of self-esteem or to grow it people often end up being under pressure and not able to relax until they achieve something. As a result, people aren’t fulfilled or content and often don’t understand why they are feeling this way.
And yes, if you question why it is so, very often the reason behind this is you trying to do or be what others will value you for.
Is it worth your happiness and inner peace? Is there any other way? There is!
What are the people who accept themselves like?
I’m sure you met people following their own path, with high self-esteem which doesn’t border on selfishness and putting others down. Maybe you are already one of them. Those people are resilient and confident no matter what. Very often self-acceptance is the key to this. Self-acceptance doesn’t measure or compare. It doesn’t fight or compete, it thrives and is confident that there’s enough for everyone and everyone is enough.
What is self-acceptance?
Self-acceptance is non-confronting yourself, non-demanding from yourself to be a certain way to feel satisfied with your life. Self-acceptance is letting go of self-judgement. It allows you to be authentic without trying to conform.
It gives you a feeling of ease and freedom. When people are at ease there’s no place for chronic stress and survival mode anymore. You don’t have to use stress to motivate yourself anymore. Why not get more self-acceptance in your life?
6 ways to grow your self-acceptance
# accept your feelings
There are no bad feelings, there are bad ways to handle your feelings. Every emotion is important since this is the way your body and mind communicate with you. It’s important to accept all your feelings and recognise what they are trying to tell you.
Usually unpleasant emotions are signalling about some unmet needs. Us just acting on them can cause even worse outcomes than experiencing the feeling itself.
For example, you are angry or upset and act as the emotion tells you. As a result, you can harm yourself and your relationships with others. If you take a moment, slow down and think what’s behind the feeling you can find a more constructive solution to the situation.
# be kind to yourself
Treat yourself the way you treat your loved ones. With patience, understanding and compassion. Being hard on yourself will not help you reach things faster or solve any problem. Very often being unkind to yourself leads to you losing connection with yourself.
How to be kinder to yourself:
Create happy moments for yourself every day
Think of the ways you can add more self-care to your life, both physical and emotional (what puts you at ease and gives you pleasure)
Instead of beating yourself up, try to understand why you do things in a certain way
# don’t take it personally
It’s not always about you. It has been scientifically proven that most of the time people are thinking about themselves. Rest assured that thoughts like: “Do I look good? Do they like me? Did I say the right thing?” are racing not only in your head.
Isn’t it a relief to know that? Chances are that while you are talking to someone all they think about is whether you notice that little pimple that appeared on their forehead this morning. Knowing this makes you have more empathy both towards others and yourself.
Remember that in the moments when you think others are judging you for something, this is you judging yourself in the first place.
# practice gratitude
Often times, we neglect what we have now and take it for granted. Staying focused all the time on what you don’t have creates the feeling of not having enough all the time. This can be a cause of not being able to relax and enjoy the moment.
Take a few moments daily to appreciate what you already have. It can be hard in the beginning, but the more you practice it the happier you will be with your current situation. What can you be grateful for? Literally everything: people in your life, your health, your opportunities, even your struggles, because they teach you lessons.
# stop comparing yourself to others
When we compare ourselves to others this means us wishing others to do worse than us or not better than us so that we could feel at peace. Should this be the price for you to be satisfied with yourself?
How to stop doing this? Think about where you would stream your energy and creativity if you weren’t thinking about your achievements in comparison to others.
# practice positive thinking
What’s the use of always playing the worst-case scenario in your head? This almost never happens but people keep focusing on the negative side of life. As an experiment for a week or a couple of weeks try focusing on the best-case scenario and see what decisions it will lead you to.
P.S. Drop me an email (email@example.com) or book a Free Session with me if you would like to transform your life and grow your self-esteem and start accepting yourself more.