The underlying cause of a lot of unhappiness is low self-esteem (a lack of confidence in your own worth or abilities). Self-esteem is the product of your life history, genes and circumstance. Low self-esteem is usually coupled with insecurity and self-doubt. These negative aspects of the 'self' have a nasty habit of causing self sabotage and reducing confidence.
It's heartbreaking to witness how low self-esteem debilitates ones life through fear and doubt. The cruelest part of low self-esteem is that no matter how strong your belief is about how much you believe you deserve something, low self-esteem will find a way to ruin any chances of success unless you manage or heal it.
Let's look at the example in relationships. It's a strong desire for most people to attract and maintain a loving, supportive and fun intimate partner. When the relationship is yet to manifest, the desire intensifies until the universe nicely conspires to place you at the right place at the right time to form this potential partnership. If your self-esteem is moderate to high you will be yourself, show your best qualities and allow the relationship to grow organically. However, if your self-esteem is low you will panic at the slightest perception your potential partner has lost interest, behave in ways inconsistent with your true values and sacrifice much more of yourself than is appropriate in order to sustain a relationship that deep down you don't believe you truly deserve.
Similarly, when it comes to changing your career path, if you do not have a high self-esteem you will procrastinate, make poor decisions and avoid taking potential risks due to a very high fear of failure.
How you feel about yourself directly impacts on your life success and overall happiness.
Thus, before you embark on any life change, it's imperative that you first work on increasing your self-esteem.
Whilst there are short-term quick- fix solutions to increasing your self-esteem, it usually takes a bit of time to firstly find the underlying causes of low self-esteem and then to begin to increase your self worth and self confidence using a variety of techniques.
Whilst it can take time to fully increase self-esteem, a great way to begin boosting self-esteem is through validation (internal and external). This means acknowledging and welcoming the praise you receive by others and taking the time to regularly give yourself praise for every little job well done – instead of just disqualifying it as another job to tick off your to-do list. These could be as simple as praising yourself for:
- posting a profile on a dating site
– contacting someone you have a crush on
– attending an event that made you feel nervous
– completing a daunting presentation
– applying for that great job
– speaking up about something you feel strongly about
– paying your bills on time
– investing your money
– cleaning your home
– making time to care for a loved one
– spending time with a friend from overseas or interstate
On a daily basis you do a myriad of fantastic things that you either ignore or downplay simply because they are not as important as the tasks you have decided are most important to lead you towards achieving your long term goals. Whilst these tasks are great measures of success, taking time to acknowledge all the other great things you're doing daily will increase your self-esteem. In turn it will increase your confidence in your ability to make your larger desires a reality.
So praise yourself and others regularly and be proud of all the wonderful things you do for yourself and others on a daily basis.
Be mindful of your self-esteem and seek help if you need assistance to boost your self worth.