How to Rebuild Your Self-Esteem

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Do you find yourself feeling really, really low? That you just can’t do something because you’re you, and “you could never do that?” Self-esteem and confidence can be difficult concepts to grasp but can present new challenges if you have been affected by low self-esteem and confidence for a long time.

In this article, you’ll learn how to rebuild your self-esteem and start to grow your confidence on a solid foundation. Both of these topics go hand in hand, but without self-esteem there is no confidence.

If you’ve been battling a low self-esteem for a long time, this article is for you!

In my own journey, I have battled with very, very low self-esteem. At times, I don’t think there was any inkling of self-esteem left in me, if there was any at all! With self-esteem, you’re unaware of how low it actually is until it starts to present problems in your everyday activities and feelings.

For me, I asked myself: “why do I reach out to people for their constant approval?” This simple question sparked a whole, eye-opening experience of how low self-esteem was running my life into the ground.

If you ask yourself that question and find that you are built on a shaky foundation of low self-esteem, it’s time to start putting measures in place to get you on track!

Rebuilding your self-esteem takes time, and the hardest part is believing that you are enough, that there is no scale to measure yourself versus anyone else.

But what else causes low self-esteem? That’s always a major question asked when that realization happens. Let’s take a look at what causes us to lose our self-esteem:

External Negativity

Self-Esteem is affected vastly by external forces if the right tools aren’t in place for a deep sense of self. There could be a negative person in your life who is dismissive or condescending towards you. Or, you’re in a career that is negative for your personality. Both can peck away at your self-esteem over time.

Not only are people and activities a contributing factor to low self-esteem, but even the type of media and entertainment we engage in. If you’re constantly looking at comparison articles or shows, you will begin to internalize that feeling of “I’m not good enough like they are.”

Internal Negativity

Along with external negativity, internal negativity is a whole other concept to wrangle. Of course, with external negativity comes internal thoughts and doubt of self, but what about the negativity that was already there?

This internal negativity comes from doubt. Doubt that you can’t do what you want to do because you’re you. External factors feed into this doubt, but we already planted that seed before we unknowingly invited others to water it.

Lack of Support

This is huge and one of the main reasons why we continue spiral down into even lower self-esteem: lack of support. With external and internal factors digging a deeper hole, having little to no support is something that will keep you thinking lowly of yourself.

Without support, you won’t have that positive affirmation that you are great, just the way you are. That the constant ebb-and-flow of your personality is welcomed and you shouldn’t be ashamed or conceal some aspects of your personality for others.

Support can be hard to find, especially if you are surrounded by negative people in your life already. As with most of our mindsets, your brain is hard-wired to look for people who are similar to those around you, who you’ve had experiences with. Regardless if they are positive or negative experiences.

Use of Negative Results from the Past

This is one of my biggest struggles that I always fell into. Using your experiences from the past to foretell the future can be devastating to your self-esteem. This doesn’t mean to not use your wisdom from the past, this is for those (myself included, big time!) who say:

[pullquote width="600" float="center"]“I failed at (barely related topic) before, I’ll fail at (current project) because of it.”[/pullquote]

With low self-esteem, you are predisposed to pick yourself apart, and with using negative results to foretell your future outcome is apart of that circle. Sometimes, it can be done unknowingly! When you don’t realize you have low self-esteem, this comparison of outcomes can be very, very deep-seated in your mindset.

Hyper fixation on Flaws

Again, this trait of low-self esteem goes back to Internal Negativity but can present itself as a hyperfixation on your own flaws. With any personal development, this can snowball if not corrected. With low self-esteem, this constant picking at flaws, that are usually not even flaws, and trying to “fix them” leads us down a path to failure.

This cycle of “try to fix this, see, you failed” is what low self-esteem will always do to you. Planning big goals and not having the tools leads us to “prove ourselves right” that we’re not good enough. This constant setting ourselves up for failure is ingrained in us.

Rebuilding After Low Self-Esteem

I’m sure you have been through some, if not all, of those characteristics of low self-esteem. And I know, it’s hard. It’s hard to find strength, let alone start the pushing the wheel to even begin to change. But it is completely possible and starts with laying the patchwork to good habits.

Below, you can start these today to begin that patchwork. We all have to start at zero, and with these, you can begin your rebuilding with positivity!

Positive Hobbies

Finding positive hobbies is monumental. If you’re in the depths of low self-esteem, you know that negativity can creep into your daily life and hobbies. Take a look at what you enjoy or look back at what you used to enjoy. If you are finding a lot of your hobbies to be negative, or maybe have negative people in the same hobby, it may be time to branch out.

Starting a new chapter in your life comes with many changes, and adding in new, exciting things can be the kickstarter to start rebuilding.

Everyone’s hobbies are different, and what makes them positive is that they don’t knock you or others down in the process. Of course, all hobbies have a bit of elitism in some circles, but avoiding those people can still let you continue your hobby.

Find a Supportive Community

With a supportive community, you won’t believe how beneficial it is to have people who like you for you. I touched on this in the low self-esteem trait of “lack of support” but having someone to affirm that you are good enough is huge.

Along with positive hobbies, a supportive community can build you up and give you that positivity that shines on your new self-esteem foundation! Like-minded people who enjoy your time and you for being you are quintessential to your journey to rebuild your self-esteem.

Setting yourself up for Success

This will be difficult at first, but with any new habit, you have to consciously think about it before it becomes second nature!

When you take on tasks, think about the outcome and how you will get there. Map out what that journey looks like before setting yourself to that goal. Motivation is a huge part of this foundation, so your journeys towards your goals will become more planned out. However, this will lead to realistic expectations and milestones, where failure is not an option!

Affirming that you are enough

Shifting your mindset to focus on what you like about yourself, what you’re good at, will need to be done every day during the beginning stages. Keeping a journal with one positive thing about yourself each day will rebuild that relationship with you.

With any rebuilding, it will take time to see the effects and there will be days where it's easier just to give up. But when you give up, you're allowing yourself to fall back into those negative traits. Change is hard, but what's harder is allowing yourself to go back to the way things used to be.