As there are many methods of building confidence, there are many reasons to have low self esteem. I mentioned before that low self esteem can stem from a lesser viewpoint of ourselves and/or our abilities. That much is true, but they can take the form of various things in our lives.
Because the list of sources is practically endless, I’d like to point out some of the common starting points. If you are in any of these situations, chances are likely you have low self esteem and need to take action. It’s this reason why I’ll share a couple of pointers for what you can do in these situations.
If you read my list of methods to building confidence, a few methods revolved around our physical appearance. I’m definitely familiar with this one as this was one reason for why I was depressed so long ago.
While my health is still a problem I wish to fix, I know other people aren’t at the point where they are trying to fix this situation. It’s this sequence of events that can lead to us criticizing ourselves and lowering our self esteem.
How you can start changing this is simple on paper. Of course, one tip is to get into an exercise routine, but there are other things to consider:
- Consider a half-hour walk. Working out is good but it can be intimidating for some. Going for a walk is mentally easier to do.
- Eat better food. If you eat a lot of food in boxes or bags, consider replacing them with fresh fruits and vegetables. Yes, food companies have gotten better about chemicals in foods, but you can still go for the fresher stuff.
- If you do work out, consider training videos that touch on simple exercises or exercises without equipment.
- Take the time to groom yourself and take a shower on the regular.
- Don’t stay in your housecoat/ PJs on weekends or if you work at home. Wearing something clean and nice boosts your mood in so many ways.
You’re Network Isn’t Great
Another source of low self esteem is the people you spend time with. This also applies to the people that you look up to, even if you don’t know them personally.
The people that you aspire to be and the people in your life form your network. It can be large or small it doesn’t matter. What does matter, though, is the quality of people that are in your network.
I talked about the power of association before and I’ll say it again:
Who you associate with matters.
If you spend time with people who don’t appreciate you and continue to use you, you will not have a happier life.
When you spend time with people who knock you down or make you doubt your abilities or your view of yourself, you won’t be happy.
When you associate with people who don’t care at all about your life, then you will not care about where your life will go.
On the reverse, when you have even one single person who cares about you, things start to change. So how do you find that person? You’ll need to first prepare your mindset:
- First, lower the influence of the negative people in your life. Start listening to their words less and less. Take an indifferent stance to their words. All in all, speak your mind.
- Second, start showing more respect for yourself. Put more weight on your own decisions about what you should do with your life and how you should behave.
- Third, be indifferent about other peoples opinions. We all have opinions of people. The question is whether we wear those opinions on our sleeves or not. Regardless there is no reason to be concerned about what others think of you.
These mental exercises can help you in taking active steps to change your network. When you start to cut ties with negative people, you will naturally be looking for other people who are worth your time.
These strategies work as they allow us to value ourselves higher and therefore look for others who value themselves more.
You’re Living In A Depressing Place
On the note of your network, did you know that the people you are with also determine your environment as well? It’s quite true when you take the time to consider it.
For example, when I was shy and kept to myself a lot, my environment was mainly in secluded areas. I felt uneasy about large crowds. To this day I don’t really see myself going to clubs or large public gatherings.
Anyway, I have been getting better about being in public places but I find it easier to be around a smaller crowd. The thing is, those preferences were influenced by the environments that I grew up in. I grew up mostly in my room or in a space with a small pool of people.
While that environment did affect me significantly as a person, I know other people’s environments are bleaker. This can influence them to have low self esteem as it affects peoples mindsets as I have expressed above.
At the end of the day, our personality hinges on our environment and over time we start to see personality shifts. They’re rather subtle, but they are changes nonetheless.
So how can you start changing your environment? Well, the obvious one is to change environments. When you change your network, you’ll likely be changing your own environments as well. Different people hang out at different spots after all. However, there are some other things you can do to more staple environments. Think about your room, apartment, or house.
Here are some tips:
- Have specific spots dedicated to specific activities. For example, my room right now serves as an office and my bedroom. As such, I use the space to work and to sleep.
- Set up specific items that’ll trigger specific actions. For example, to get into the habit of working out, I place my weights and my workout clothes in an obvious spot that I see. It’s a reminder for me to put on my gear and to workout.
- If you can help it, make a point of splitting up your environments. Right now my office is in my bedroom, but if I had the opportunity to have two separate and effective environments, I’d take it.
You’re Performing The Same Habits
Another source that you might not consider is the fact you are performing the same habits. While it’s easy to think this only applies to bad habits, but this is also true with even the most positive habits.
With bad habits, it goes without saying that these can destroy your life. They can ultimately lead you away from your goals and you become a shell of a person.
I can definitely relate to this as I pursued a career I didn’t care about. You could say I developed a habit of being persistent in over those years, but for pursuing the wrong thing.
What’s also important to note is bad habits aren’t always the most obvious. As I suggested, even “good habits” can be bad. How I determine a bad habit is a habit that doesn’t help you fix your life. For example, I’d consider making videos for my Youtube channel right now a bad habit.
Aren’t I trying to grow it?
Yes, absolutely. However, I don’t see much of a reason to pursue it right at this moment. As much as I want to be making videos, the fact my audience is so small and I have gained little traction (even during the days I was putting genuine effort) doesn’t make sense for me to pursue it. Especially where I’m working on publishing written content, and getting clients who are paying me significantly more than making videos.
Performing the same habits can be good in certain situations. However, these habits need to help you in moving closer to your goals. And at a pace that you are comfortable with.
When they lead you astray or not giving you the results you need, you need new habits. This can be habits that enhance other habits, or that can replace the habits entirely. On top of that, they could be new goals or new angles to tackle that goal as well.
So how do you do that?
- First, check which habits aren’t helping you. These are habits that you’ve put off.
- Ask yourself why you have stopped and assessed the gravity of your answer. Ask yourself if this is how you truly feel about it.
- If you’re genuine about that feeling, change habits, find something else that makes you excited.
- If they’re not genuine, consider looking for a new goal or a new angle that can excite you. This can be looking for other reasons to pursue it or maybe toning down the goal.
Low Self Esteem Is A Choice
Low self esteem is a state of mind. As a result, we are choosing to be in that state if we decide to let it affect us this way.
This is important to know as no matter how dire the situation, we can always find a way to get out of the situation. There will always be a way out and always a reason to never give up so quickly.
To your growth!
Eric S Burdon