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9 Ways to Develop True Self Esteem

Stop Dressing for Success and Dress to Express

Express yourself.  I don’t wear what other people think I should.  I wear what is comfortable.  I wear what I feel good in.  I wear things that express who I am as a person.  If you live in a situation where you are not free to express who you really are, you may need to make some different choices.  Living a lie, maintaining a facade everyday also sucks a lot of energy and reinforces in your mind that you are not “O.K.”

Challenge Yourself

If there is something in your life which is plaguing you, grab it by the horns and change it.  I used to be horrible at managing my money.  But I made some tough choices and some tough changes.  My money is now in  much better control and it makes me feel more mature and self confident.  If there is some behavior which bothers you, i.e. procrastination, money management, being on time, being better organized, etc. tackle it.  Getting a handle on something which has been handling you will increase your self esteem and make your life more manageable.

Face a Fear

I used to be terrified of guns.  So I found an instructor who specialized in teaching women how to shoot.  I now have a very healthy respect for the damage a gun can do, but I do not fear one, because I know how they work.  I know how to disarm them and make them safe.  I once knew a woman who was terrified of palmetto bugs.  (If you’ve never seen one, imagine a giant cockroach, which can fly and is very aggressive.)  Her fear became so bad it was running her life.  She decided not to give in to it and signed up for exposure therapy (where you are slowly and carefully exposed to the thing you fear until you no longer fear it).  It worked and she feels quite proud of herself for no longer being at the mercy of a bug.  I had another friend who was terrified of speaking in public, so he signed up with Toastmasters.  Now, giving a speech to a room of 500 people doesn’t even daunt him!

So often we are taught to run from or medicate our fears.  This may work in the short term, but it doesn’t develop self esteem.  Self esteem comes from overcoming something, from fighting your way through to the other side and knowing you beat it.  Be sensible about the fear you choose to overcome and be reasonable in how you choose to overcome it, but try it and see if you don’t stand a little taller.

Read more: Mental Wellness, Self-Help, Spirit, ,

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11:19PM PST on Feb 3, 2015

Just feel whatever you are feeling, without judging it or judging yourself for feeling it. Let go of the story you have created around it and just be with the feeling. Embrace it. Explore it. Feel it. All any feeling wants is to be felt fully. This can only be done when you let go of your resistance to feeling it, which is kept in place by the story and the judgment around it. Without the story and the labels, feelings are inherently neutral. Feel the feeling fully, then just let it dissolve. learn from them. Avoid making the same mistakes again but don't limit yourself by assuming you failed before so you can't succeed this time. Try again, you're wiser and stronger. Don't be trapped in the past!

6:09PM PDT on Jun 16, 2014

Thanks for Sharing.

1:34AM PDT on Aug 1, 2013

Thank you :)

12:57PM PDT on Nov 1, 2011

Thank you for this - I'm keeping it!

2:45AM PDT on Oct 31, 2011

Good article, but I disagree about work needing to be something you love doing. I've had jobs that were engaging and fulfilling, but had pay that was too low to live on and/or had toxic environments, and I've had jobs where I really didn't like the job (didn't completely hate it, but disliked it), but had a good environment and paid a living wage. In all cases, I've been happier at the job I disliked. In fact, those are the only times when I've been happy and optimistic about my life.

I believe that there are some people, like myself, who need security and a positive work environment more than they need fulfilling work. Sure, it would be great to have all three, but that's just not possible for everyone.

9:12AM PDT on Jul 25, 2011

Keep on trying! That's it and change something for the better as often as possible!

11:06PM PST on Mar 10, 2011

Ek weet niet waarom

1:08PM PST on Mar 10, 2011

Aw what a beautiful article :) thank you

12:26PM PST on Feb 20, 2011

i've been battling with this all my life, and i recently tried writing positive things in dry-erase marker on my mirror, so when i wake up i'm "forced" to read something nice about myself. :)

8:41PM PST on Feb 19, 2011

Thank you

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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