Benjamin Spock once said, “Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.” Healthy self-esteem is contingent upon how much we actually believe and trust in ourselves — weaknesses and all. There are certain characteristics common to the self-assured psyche, and if we focus on developing these, our own self-esteem will also soar.
1. Let Go of Regret
It’s indeed a strength to learn from our past mistakes, moving forward free of remorse and much wiser for it. This is what we need to try to implement in our daily lives –we are all human and therefore will make mistakes, the key is to not hold onto them, allowing them to taint our future. By living in the present, each moment is open to all possibilities and we are free to enjoy each experience without emotional baggage or fear.
2. Don’t Let Criticism Keep You Down
All cruelty springs from weakness, so when we receive an insult or criticism from another, we must always consider the source. These caustic words are intended to hurt, so we need to be stronger than the insecurities they reflect. Whether there is truth in the verbal barbs, we can choose to absorb only the valuable lessons and reject the rest. Internalizing negative comments and then berating yourself only demeans your self-worth.
3. Follow Your Dreams
It’s easy to get caught up in life patterns which do not fulfill us, resulting in a monotonous schedule that diminishes and drains our spiritual inclinations. In a society that tends to define people by their jobs, their income and their possessions, it’s easy to lose your sense of purpose and passion for life. The more you stay in touch with yourself and follow the path of spiritual happiness and satisfaction, the healthier your self-esteem will be. You must rediscover what inspires you, what makes you really feel alive, and pursue those things no matter what the challenge.
4. Know Thyself
A crucial part of healthy self-esteem lies in in truly knowing yourself. In celebrating your strengths, and accepting your weaknesses, you allow yourself to be comfortable in your own skin and enjoy a fundamental confidence which allows you to make peace with your imperfections as we work to improve them. Committed to your values, you will not compromise them for others — when you put another’s beliefs before your own, you belittle your importance and degrade your self confidence. Your goal is to know who you are, what you want out of life, and to never apologize for it.
5. You Deserve It
You deserve your dreams just as much as the next guy, so start acting like it. If you do not believe in yourself, you will never achieve what you want. Others intuit your self-doubt — if they think you’ve judged yourself unworthy, they can hardly be expected to believe in you when you don’t. A confident person, whose self-esteem is not based upon the approval others, is a formidable force.
6. Laughter Is the Best Medicine
It is easy to take life and ourselves so seriously that we allow little room for fun and forgiveness. Life is full of mistakes, ironies, hypocrisies and so forth, and if we don’t learn to ease up on ourselves and others, we can’t expect to enjoy the ride. To be able to laugh at ourselves is healthy — it’s a way of saying, “It’s OK that I am not perfect, I appreciate myself, imperfections and all.”
7. No Excuses!
You can always rationalize why you aren’t closer to living your dreams. If you fail to nourish the hot shot go-getter you have the capacity to become, you will be doomed to live as a lesser being. Perhaps the challenge of changing your life seems too difficult, too scary, or takes too long — the way to counteract such fears is through courage, patience, and belief in our yown limitless abilities.
8. Challenge Comfort Zones
When you function primarily in environments that you are accustomed to and comfortable with, you may exude confidence in those environments, only to shrivel up elsewhere. If life is about living and enjoying different experiences, then the more expansive your involvement in the world, the more expansive will be your own personal growth and self-esteem.