Appreciate the person you’re with — yourself

Building high self-esteem is a process, not something you can develop overnight. The question is: are you ready to make a commitment to increase your self-esteem?” If your answer is yes, here are seven steps to get you started:

1. Stop comparing yourself with other people. There will always be some people who have more than you and some who have less. If you play the comparison game, you’ll run into too many “opponents” you can’t defeat.

2. Stop putting yourself down. You can’t develop high self-esteem if you repeat negative phrases about yourself and your abilities. Whether speaking about your appearances, your career, your relationships, your financial situation, or any other aspects of your life, avoid self-deprecating comments.

3. Accept all compliments with “thank you”. Ever received a compliment and replied,” Oh, it was nothing.” When you reject a compliment, the message you give yourself is that you are not worthy of praise. Respond to all compliments with a simple “Thank You”.

4. Take advantage of workshops, books and cassette tape programmes on self-esteem. Whatever material you allow to dominate mind will eventually take root and affect your behaviour. If you watch negative television programmes or read newspaper reports of murders and business rip off; you will grow cynical and pessimistic. Similarly, if you read books or listen to programmes, that are positive in nature, you will take on these characteristics.

5. Associate with positive, supportive people. When negative people who constantly put you and your ideas down surround you, your self-esteem is lowered. On the other hand, when you are accepted and encouraged, you feel better about yourself in the best possible environment to raise your self-esteem.

6. Make a list of your past successes. This doesn’t necessarily have to consist of monumental accomplishments. It can include your “minor victories”, like learning to skate, graduating from high school, receiving an award or promotion, reaching a business goal, etc. Read this list often. While reviewing it, close your eyes and recreate the feelings of satisfaction and joy you experienced when you first attained each success.

7. Be true to yourself. Live your own life — not the life others have decided is best for you. You’ll never gain your own respect and feel good about yourself if you aren’t leading the life you want to lead. If you’re making decisions based on getting approval from friends and relatives, you aren’t being true to yourself and your self-esteem is lowered.

The “real you” is a magnificent, unique being with enormous potential and capacity for experiencing love of yourself and extending love to others. As your self-esteem grows, this “real you” emerges. You begin to take more risks and not be afraid of failure; you aren’t as concerned with getting approval of others; your relationships are much more rewarding; you pursue activities that bring you joy and satisfaction; and you will make a positive contribution to the world. Most importantly, high self esteem brings you peace of mind... when you’re alone, you truly appreciate the person you’re with — yourself.