Our self-esteem comes from an inherent belief system, which is made up by what we get told, what we see and what we have modelled ourselves on.
Sue Firth is a business psychologist who looks at the relationship between “the way people think and the way they behave.
Some people don’t filter in the good things about themselves but only filter in the bad things, giving a low self-esteem. This becomes quite dysfunctional and you then have a struggle trying to get over and above it.
It is all too easy to say that the key is to not damage your self-esteem in the first place, so here are some tips from Sue, to help you shift your filter.
Three top tips to increase your self-esteem:
- Start to pay attention on a daily basis of anything that happens that was good that day … however little it is and keep a little private diary of it. The more you adjust this filter and start paying attention to the good stuff, in a month or so you will start to pay attention to the good stuff about you, your own thinking and what happened to you that day. So you begin to shift your filter so that it spotlights different things.
- Write down a few of your strengths. Ask a couple of friends who you are close to, what they think your strengths are as well. You may end up with 6 or so strengths, which you can build on each time that you achieve something. Achievement is difficult because if you have low self-esteem you don’t see anything as an achievement. You have to look hard and when you do something well, filter that event and work out what you did well. Perhaps your boss may have said that you were very capable – so write that down. Then over a few months you will end up with positive events to look at and positive events and statements about yourself.
- How you talk about yourself is the next step. If you are asked in an interview ‘what are your strengths?”, you need to talk about yourself more positively as someone with low self-esteem will be inclined to soften the statement before they have begun ….”well I think I am” or “other people tell me…” or “well I try to be…” These statements sound half hearted. Your language is very important and adjusting this over time will change the way you think, which then starts to change what comes out of your mouth.
It’s all about adjusting, taking small steps to climb the ladder and get out of the hole.
Coming soon: Sue Firth will be a guest in our Resilience Unravelled podcast series talking about self-esteem and stress.
If you would like to find out how we can help you or your team boost resilience and improve self-esteem, contact us below