If you want to know how to develop self-esteem it’s only fair that we start with one of the biggest reasons why you can’t seem to develop self-esteem at all.
That reason is negative self-talk.
I don’t know your situation but I sure as hell know that I used to be too hard on myself (and still am sometimes).
Do you know the statement “we are what we think.”?
That statement couldn’t be truer. You see, our thoughts affect our behavior and how we feel. So when these thoughts are negative this will only result in a negative self-image.
If you want to develop self-esteem it is important to recognize these thoughts and try to change them into something positive.
But how do you change your thoughts?
Well, I hope this article has the solution you are looking for.
Identify negative thoughts
The first step to take is to identify negative thoughts, and believe me, you have plenty of them.
The average person has 50.000 thoughts a day so you can only imagine that there are some negative thoughts among them.
What you want to do is to be aware of your thoughts. Try to be more observant of what you think on a day to day basis. It isn’t hard to recognize these negative thoughts; it’s that self-critical nagging little voice in your head that’s telling you the following:
- I am not smart enough
- I am not good looking enough
- My life is meaningless
- No one loves me
- Things never seem to work out for me
These are just a few examples.
It’s important to identify this little voice if you want to develop self-esteem. If you want to fix something, you first have to realize what the problem is.
A good majority of humans is stuck in a daily cycle of negative thinking and they attract a negative reality because of it. If you are stuck in negativity lately then try to stay aware of what you are thinking.
You need to identify these negative thoughts to be able to recognize patterns. There might be just a few key thoughts that need to be changed to develop better self-esteem.
Take some time and sit down. Grab a piece of paper and start writing all the negative thoughts you had over the last few days. Do this a few times in the next two weeks and read the thoughts that you have written.
Are some of these thoughts coming back every single time? If this is the case you want to focus on these thoughts first.
This brings me to the next part of this article.
Replace negative thoughts with positive ones
Once you have started with monitoring your thoughts and are more aware of what you think it’s time to start actively changing your thoughts.
How to develop self-esteem has everything to do with a positive self-image. If you have negative thoughts about yourself you will never have that positive self-image.
The next time you catch yourself thinking a negative thought you have to try to replace it with something positive.
If you are thinking, “My life is meaningless” and catch this thought you should immediately replace it with a positive thought. Think for example: “My life is meaningful and fun!” and repeat this to yourself over and over.
If you are thinking, “I am not good enough”, replace it with: “I am good enough and capable of anything I set my mind to!”
Really empower your replaced thought so that it’s stronger than your negative thought. Keep repeating the positive thought just as long that it sticks and the negative thought is gone.
This technique will quickly disarm the negative thought and will give you a more positive vibe.
Do this as much as possible and soon you will find out that your replaced thoughts become more natural and improve your mood and how you think about yourself.
How to develop self-esteem by limiting negative thinking
The best way to truly build self-esteem is to not have negative thoughts at all.
I understand that this sounds impossible, and to be honest, it is.
We all have bad experiences in life which result in a negative mindset. What we can control however, is limiting these experiences which will result in less negative thoughts.
I dare you to start each day with thinking about three things you are grateful for.
For example, when you wake up on a Monday morning and you have to go to work (I hate Monday mornings), be grateful for this:
- That you have a job and earn money. Not everyone has a job and some people would do whatever it takes to stand in your shoes.
- That you woke up in the first place and get to experience another day on planet earth.
- That you had an amazing weekend where you did a lot of fun stuff.
By starting your day like this you are immediately in a positive mindset, which will help you to stay positive through the day.
Here are three other things that will massively help you to limit your negative thoughts:
- Surround yourself with positive people: Ever heard of the saying: “we are the product of our environment.”? Our environment and the people we hang out with can have a big impact on our emotions. If there are people in your life right now that are poison to you, and you have the chance to cut them loose then do it.If you surround yourself with positive people that have a good influence on you, you will notice that you are more positive yourself as well.
- Don’t play the victim: Playing the victim and blaming everyone and everything else for the misfortune in life is a very human thing to do. It will bring you nowhere however.You have to realize that only you create your life, so take full responsibility. If things aren’t going your way, that’s on you. You have the power to change things so don’t sob in the corner, take action!
- Help someone: By helping others you will develop better self-esteem. It feels really good to help other people (hell, that’s why I started this blog) and you will gain so much out of it. There is a huge amount of satisfaction if you help someone else succeed in something they are stuck with.
You will feel good about yourself and the other person will be very grateful for you. You might even make a new friend. This should be reason enough to help others.
If you do these three things you will not only help yourself but also the people you connect to. You will notice that you start to feel better about yourself and life and this will limit your negative beliefs and thoughts.
Can you improve your self-esteem by identifying and changing your thoughts?
Yes, you can.
It’s not easy to do and you should make it a habit to observe your thoughts from time to time. When you catch a negative thought try to immediate replace it with a positive thought. You can limit the negative thoughts you have when you make your life as positive as possible.
Try to hang out with positive people that can elevate you higher and realize that only YOU are responsible for your life!