8 Steps To Feel Better About Yourself When Low Self-Esteem Hits Hard

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8 Steps To Feel Better About Yourself When Low Self-Esteem Hits Hard

There are some days you feel on top of the world, and other days you feel like dirt. You’re not alone.

Low self-esteem is a major issue that a lot of people face, and according to some studies, it can even take up to 60 year to finally feel your best regarding your self-esteem.

In other words, it can take some time to get off the roller coaster of self-esteem and actually like yourself!

RELATED: 3 Small Steps You Can Take Every Day To Learn How To Love Yourself

What is low self-esteem, and how do you know it is hitting you hard?

Low self-esteem is an overall negative view of yourself. You may have a general negative belief that you’re just not good enough, or it may be more specific and tied to certain attributes about yourself.

Some examples of low self-esteem are:

  • You hate your appearance or your body
  • You feel stupid
  • You constantly compare yourself to others
  • You don't think you're funny enough
  • You’re not athletic enough
  • You’re not rich enough
  • You’re not brave enough

You get the point. You can fill in the blank: "I’m not _____ enough."

Low self-esteem paves the road to depression and anxiety. 

When low self-esteem hits you hard, it’s normal to want to isolate yourself and lose your voice. You may think if you’re not enough, then why would anyone even care or want to hear what you have to say?

This easily leads to depression and or anxiety. It’s a horrible way to have to live your life.

You attract the wrong relationships and people. 

“The way you treat yourself sets standards for others.” This quote by Dr. Sonya Friedman describes how low self-esteem also creates a pattern of negative or unhealthy relationships in your life.

In the book The Perks of Being a Wallflower, there's a famous line: “We accept the love we think we deserve.” A powerful statement, and so true.

It becomes a vicious cycle of low self-esteem when you accept love into your life that perpetuates the negative beliefs about yourself. For instance, if you continuously choose people who treat you poorly, you could be subconsciously choosing what you believe you deserve.

So, how do you raise your self-esteem?

To combat low self-esteem, you need emotional resilience, which is the ability to recover and push through emotional problems.

Resilience is also the ability to recover quickly if you’ve taken a hit to your self-worth. When you know who you really are, you can bounce back after a setback of sorts. Like water off a duck’s back, you learn to merely let things go.

In order to build that resilience, you need to start being aware of your thoughts, feelings and reactions. Ask yourself, “Is there room for higher levels of coping and self-care?”

Starting to explore these areas of yourself communicate you matter and deserve better in life.

To build resilience, follow these steps and see how you can feel better about yourself especially if low self-esteem is hitting you hard.

RELATED: 8 Ways To Lift Yourself Up When Struggling With Low Self-Esteem

Here are 8 steps to feel better about yourself when low self-esteem is ruining your happiness.

1. Stop the comparisons.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to stop comparing yourself to what you see with social media, friends, and family. You are your own person, and you only need to be you.

Comparing does nothing but make you feel horrible about yourself. Make a commitment to stop this behavior.

2. Life is messy, accept it.

If you feel shameful or regretful about past mistakes, then own it and let it go. You learn from the mess. You grow from mistakes.

Every mistake is an opportunity to learn and grow and be a better you. It does not have to be more complicated than that.

3. Challenge your negative thinking.

Find the opposite of what you’re hearing in your head, and ask yourself what purpose the negative thinking serves. If your thoughts don’t create growth, then I guess it’s time to learn how to change the negative into positive.

4. Learn how to say "no."

Boundaries are crucial to self-esteem. If you’re a yes person, also known as a people pleaser, then you only end up feeling used, bitter, or resentful.

If you’re only saying yes to have people like you or because you feel obligated in some way, it will always come back and bite you in the butt. Value your time and energy, and learn the word "no."

5. Surround yourself with positive people.

Who you hang out with is very powerful in life. If you hang around critical people or other people with low self-esteem, guess what? You’ll feel bad about yourself. If you hang out with people who are uplifting and positive, this good stuff is contagious!

6. Know yourself.

The good parts and the not-so-good parts. If you’re human, then you have both. No one is immune.

There's no shame in having areas of your life you want to work on. Own it and work on it, instead of trying to hide or pretend it’s not there.

Everyone has room for improvement. It doesn’t mean your worthless, it simply means you are mature enough to know what areas have room to grow.

7. Know who you are intrinsically.

Make a list of your qualities and values that make you who you are.

These qualities are not dependent on anything external, like your job, weight, car you drive, or amount in your bank account. Qualities such as, loyal, funny, kind, generous, thoughtful, intuitive, friendly, caring, etc.

Any of those ring true for you?

8. Practice self-compassion.

Brene Brown says, “Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.” Practice this all the time, every day!

Following any or all of these steps will change your life. You will finally get off the self-esteem roller coaster and be grounded in your true self, the self you get to love and appreciate.

The goal is not perfection. The goal is to know and feel you are good enough. Guess what, you are good enough, right now, in this moment!

RELATED: 15 Make-Or-Break Ways Your Self-Esteem Affects Your Relationship

Lesley Goth, Psy.D., works with women who struggle with low self-esteem that negatively impacts their relationships, body image and overall mental health. For more information, check out Lesley’s website.