Your self-esteem
Self-esteem refers to how much a person loves, trusts and takes pride in himself/herself. Many people see life in a two dimensional manner and they have difficulty finding redeeming qualities in themselves. In the extreme, some people find life meaningless. When life becomes meaningless, it soon becomes hopeless. With hopelessness comes no hope. The reality is - there is hope.

Don’t Doubt Yourself
Many people doubt themselves (in certain aspects of their lives) and the only way to conquer this self-doubt is to fight through it. For example, if you go out to a nightclub, or to a party, you can get into a state of anxiety or insecurity because you feel that no one there will acknowledge you or talk to you, and you may end up in the corner by yourself the entire night. Everyone has these feelings. If you are a professional, you could be affected by feelings of underachievement, or lack of encouragement, therefore you may be unwilling to push through and reach your potential.

The good news is it is possible to change this attitude and start believing in yourself. You can achieve anything you set your mind to.

You are Worth Something
Low self-esteem results from many different circumstances. In social settings, it can come from being with people who continually look down on you. Your physical appearance can affect how others see you and this can be unnerving. A low self-esteem may also come from your upbringing or lack thereof.

If you were never made to feel special as a child, you may not have had emotional support when growing up. As a result, you could feel unappreciated and unloved. This causes you to lack confidence and reflects on your self-esteem. It may be time for you to realise you are worth something and you can achieve great things, just like anyone else. It may be time for you to learn to appreciate yourself.

How to Appreciate Yourself
If you are tired of constantly feeling down and lack confidence in your life, here are 5 suggestions that may help:

  1. Stop putting yourself down:
    Try and recognise your worth as an individual. You are special and you need to realise this. As the saying goes, “there is only one of you”. A particular person may not find you interesting, but that’s their problem. There are plenty of other people who like you and want to be around you. Try and stop putting yourself down.

  2. Don’t compare yourself:
    Everyone is different. No one looks or acts the same. Each person was created to be unique. That’s why you will never find the same set of fingerprints, or the same eyes or the same shaped feet. There is no one shape or look that is the unique or the standard. It’s the reason why many beautiful people who are models or film stars are unhappy with some of their features. If you start making comparisons with others, you will only tire yourself out and nothing will be accomplished. Develop you, so that you are you.

  3. Look at your accomplishments:
    If you sit down and make a list of some of the things you have done, or some things you believe are quite special - you may be amazed. There is too much negativity around. Everyone has some hidden talent or gift that has never been brought to the fore. You may have a gift of kindness. You may have compassion when you see a hurt animal, or an old lady struggling to cross the street. You may be a good listener and people may like talking to you. If you are asked, you may like to help out and you never refuse. Whatever, you will have some wonderful, special aspects that are you. If you look back at your life’s accomplishments, some are big and some are small. You have passed school. You may have completed university. You have landed a good job. You have become reasonably independent financially. And you’ve made changes that have affected others in a good way. If you make a list of your accomplishments you will be surprised at how much you have achieved over the years.

  4. Work with positive people:
    Surround yourself with people who are positive. Keep away from cynical or negative people. These people do little to raise your spirits and will probably be bad for you. Stay with those who make you happy. Surround yourself with good friends and family members who appreciate you and trust you. Remember, there are people around you who will always be there for you and will never let you down.

  5. Seek professional help:
    If you feel you need to, seek professional help. They say that group therapy under caring and expert people helps boost self-esteem, as well as develop your confidence. There are many motivational books and tapes available that will encourage you to reach your potential.