Each of these situations has the potential to leave a damaging mark on a person’s self-esteem, in various degrees. Self-esteem is a subjective evaluation of one’s own worth; therefore, there is no proof, evidence or objective way to measure it.
Unfortunately, we’re not always the best judges, sometimes being overly harsh or critical of our perceived shortcomings, particularly after an injurious or humiliating encounter. If you find yourself particularly stuck, a life coach can help you rebuild your self-confidence and stop dwelling on past mistakes.
Self-esteem not only impacts how you feel about yourself and your outlook on life; it also forms the foundation for your relationships with others. Therefore, when a situation delivers a blow to your self-esteem, it is important to take steps to repair it as quickly as possible.
5 Life Coach Strategies to Rebuild Your Self-Esteem
- Learn something new — Take up yoga, learn to speak Mandarin, try your hand at acrylic painting … Too often, we let ourselves get caught in the “I-can’t” trap, assuming we’re too old, busy or simply incapable when it comes to participating in a new activity or learning a new skill. Not true. There is no cut-off age for learning. Visit your local library or parks and recreation district for a variety of free or low-cost courses.
- Adopt a mantra — A positive affirmation can sometimes serve as a reminder of your self-worth. In Kathryn Stockett’s The Help, Aibileen Clark repeatedly tells her young charge, “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” Find a quote, affirmation or mantra and put it on a post-it note where you’ll see it every day.
- Show compassion and self-respect — Would you ever treat a friend the way you sometimes act toward yourself? From the negative self-talk to the broken promises to eat healthier, spend less, exercise more and so on, we can be downright cruel to ourselves in a way we wouldn’t dream of treating others. One life coach strategy we suggest is to be more compassionate in the way you talk to yourself. Be kind when you look in the mirror; pay yourself a compliment and refrain from being so harsh in your judgments. Respect the promises you make to yourself with the same importance as any others.
- Forgive yourself — Everybody — without exception — makes mistakes. It’s where you go from there that matters. Do you wallow in self-pity, berating yourself for your failures, or do you dust yourself off and move forward? Research has shown that healthy self-forgiveness involves the right amount of remorse, which helps you learn from your mistakes and fuel positive change.
- Journal your accomplishments — Have you ever heard the saying, “Do something right, no one remembers; do something wrong, no one forgets?” We are often our own worst enemies when it comes to keeping score. By articulating your accomplishments and recording them on paper, you force yourself to increase your awareness on the positive side of the equation. Our life coaches often encourage clients to try this exercise for one week (or one month, or however long it takes!): At the end of each day, reflect on your accomplishments throughout the day, however big or small. Did you sign on a new client … learn a tricky recipe … take the dog for an extra-long walk … meditate? Remember, no one is grading the list; what is important is that it aligns with what matters most to you.
What strategies have you found helpful in rebuilding your self-esteem?