Self-esteem has nothing to do with your looks or popularity. It is a wrong belief that a great physique will assist you to gain self-esteem or you will need to accomplish something to build better self-esteem.

In simple words, self-esteem means appreciating yourself with all your strength and weaknesses. Sometimes, people feel low, which is normal, but if this feeling lingers all the time then it is a sign of low confidence. Low esteem means having negative feeling about oneself as a person.

Signs of low confidence

• Being very critical about oneself
• Concentrate on personal negatives and ignore one’s accomplishments
• Compare oneself to others
• Negative self-talk
• Ignoring received compliments

Causes of low self-belief

Before you step forward to build your self-belief, it is crucial to figure out the reason of why it is down.

Factors that trigger low self-esteem

• Loneliness
• Bullying
• Poor education performance
• Abuse
• Neglect
• Being unemployed
• Feel like you are being left out
• Some intense emotional disturbance

It can be difficult to detect the cause of low confidence, at times. You may not have thought about it or it is hard to decide, when it started first. It does not matter, what the causes are exactly but there are some steps to follow and regain your self-esteem.

Conduct a self-esteem inventory

To fix something, you need to identify it. It is even the main component of CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy, where you need to detect irrational thoughts and more.

Same concept applies for self-esteem. Your belief about yourself is so low that you always try to get away saying, ‘I can’t do it’. Everyone sucks every now and then, which does not mean you need to practice negative thoughts. It is crucial to challenge negative thinking and move forward.

Make a list of your ten strengths and weaknesses. Use this self-esteem inventory to know a lot about you. You will need to work on your weaknesses one at a time. Certainly, things cannot be changed overnight. Therefore, never set unrealistic expectations like making changes in a week.

Set reasonable expectations

Unrealistic expectations can surely kill your self-esteem. For example, Anna had made up her mind to open her own coffee shop, when she turned 30, but when she reached that age, she was deep in debt. Her expectations were not reasonable, so her self-esteem took a bang, when she turned 30.

Sometimes, expectations may be very small but still not viable. For example, Anna wished that her dad stopped comparing her academic grades with her brother. He often criticized her in front of others. Remember, parents never will stop criticizing, but it is up to you to not let their scorn affect your opinion about yourself. Therefore, set practical expectations from life and stop berating yourself for not achieving some impractical goal.

Never strive for perfection

Perfection is unattainable, so let it go. There has been no perfect life or perfect body or perfect relationship or perfect home or perfect children. The idea of perfection gets rooted due to watching a lot of media. Everyone forgets that it is an artificially created society, which does not exist.

Instead of perfection grab your accomplishments. Keep an accomplishment journal to note down your small goals and progress. Mistakes in life do not mean you are a bad person. It just means you are a normal person, who makes mistakes, learns, and develops. Avoid the self-pity talk and evaluate it from friend’s eyes.

Discover yourself

Knowing about your weaknesses and strengths is not enough. It is necessary to open yourself to new thoughts, new opportunities, new perspective, and new friends.

When you are down with a bang in your self-confidence, you feel there is nothing to give the world or anyone else. Everyone has something to offer, but have not considered. Several businessmen gained popularity because they took risks and tried doing uncommon things.

Willingly regulate your personal self-belief

Self-esteem is futile, if it is on the basis of your old version that does not exist. For example, I played guitar very well in college but no longer. It’s okay. Overtime you have learnt to adjust your personal belief and don’t sit around lamenting, ‘I wish I can play guitar like in college!’ Instead evaluation of what’s occurring in life at present is done rather than your past version. It is wise to keep tweaking your personality and confidence in accordance to your existing skills and abilities, but not the past.

Avoid comparison with others

Unfair comparison is hurtful. For example, Ralph gets more salary than me. Maggie got selected but I did not, even though I played best. It is hard to stop comparing oneself with others.

You think you know everything about them, but actually you may not be aware about the fact that Maggie has been in sports training for last four years. Ralph has more experience than you. Therefore, comparison is inequitable, which only hurts your self-esteem.

Changes in self-confidence take time and patience. Make an attempt to be more realistic and fair with yourself and you may be in for a pleasant surprise!