How do I increase my self-confidence

About healthy self-worth and how to achieve it

Positive self-esteem is an important and protective pillar of psychological well-being. Even if we cannot always influence our happiness, with a healthy self-esteem we manage to cope better with crisis situations and to develop more easily in quieter times. Learn more about your self-worth and learn valuable tips about what inhibits self-worth and how you can consolidate this important anchor within yourself.

What does self-worth mean and how is it shaped?

People attribute self-worth by evaluating their personality and skills. This self-esteem is very complex: It is closely related to the trust a person has in himself, how well he can accept himself and how aware he is of himself.

What the aspects of self-worth, self-confidence, self-acceptance and self-confidence have in common is that they are strongly shaped by one's own self-confidence. And how self-confident a person becomes depends in particular on two early childhood experiences. Firstly from the self-efficacy experienced and secondly from the appreciation that was shown to the child. A child who is noticed and taken seriously learns to have an impact. It becomes safe of itself. If it is treated appreciatively and lovingly, it can satisfy its need for social recognition and love.

Anyone who was valued as a child and was able to gain self-confidence has a good chance as an adult of remaining able to act even in crises instead of being powerless to face problems. However, it is normal for self-esteem to fluctuate. Even those who are normally self-confident must learn to deal with the fact that self-esteem in times of emotional crisis or physical exhaustion is usually lower and more unstable than in strong and happy phases.

Our self-esteem affects the core of our personality and thus radiates into our thoughts about ourselves and our behavior. So it pays to recognize self-esteem traps and avoid them as much as possible.

What is inhibiting self-worth?

1. When attention is drawn to one's own weaknesses, self-esteem drops very quickly. So if you emphasize your inadequacies and deficits and concentrate on what is not there or what does not work, you leave self-doubt and self-reproach the field.

2. Closely related to this is getting stuck in negative beliefs such as “I can't do this”, “I'm not worth it”, “I'm not good enough” or “Don't be so selfish”. They were often internalized in childhood and consolidated over many years. Such beliefs, as whispered again and again by an inner critic, ensure that self-confidence continues to decline.

3. Those who want to be perfect fail easily. The demand to be perfect or to do things perfectly builds up enormous pressure. For fear of making a mistake or not getting something perfect, perfectionists often don't even try to take on challenging situations. As a result, their self-esteem is uselessly diminished.

4. Comparisons are another self-esteem trap. You are sure to always find someone who is very good at something or has something that you want for yourself. If you value that as better and more beautiful, i.e. more valuable than your own abilities, possessions and qualities, self-devaluation is already in full swing.

5. A complex self-esteem inhibitor has to do with expectations of others: Anyone who expects others to make one feel valuable becomes dependent on outside attention and affirmation. If you don't get enough of it or even receive criticism, your self-esteem collapses like a house of cards. Constantly paying attention to one's own behavior and how it is assessed by other people also costs an unnecessary amount of energy.

How do I increase my self-worth to a healthy level?

Basically, it is important to move from the feelings of lack and inadequacy on which all these barriers are based, to a state of abundance. The following measures help to change perspective and (again) to increase self-esteem to a healthy level so as not to fall into self-esteem traps in the first place:

1. Focus on your strengths rather than emphasizing your weaknesses. What are you good at that can help you in the current situation or emotional state? What specifically did you do in similar moments? What helped you out of self-doubt and uncertainty?

2. Identify the negative beliefs you mentioned above that devalue and make yourself small. If you are aware of the often deeply anchored patterns that are blocking you, you have already taken an important step. After that, you can begin to change those negative beliefs and turn them into positive ones. Are you really worth nothing or not enough? Check this sentence against your everyday life. You will surely find a lot of things that you are good at, have done well, where the following applies: I am valuable! So transform the negative to a positive belief. Saying goodbye to negative and longstanding beliefs is often a process that requires a clear decision and a lot of practice. If necessary, let yourself be accompanied so that you can get rid of inhibiting imprints in the long term.

3. Embrace who you are instead of comparing yourself to others. If you notice one thing or another that you dislike about yourself, try to change it or embrace it. When we have self-doubts, we tend to compare ourselves to people who can do something better or are in a more comfortable situation. The fact that there are countless others who can do less or whose situation is more problematic than their own is wrongly ignored.

4. Allow yourself to make mistakes. We learn from mistakes. If you do not admit to doing something wrong, in the worst case you will do nothing at all and thus render yourself incapable of acting. Instead, act to the best of your knowledge and belief. If you are satisfied with the result, it will build your confidence. If in retrospect it turns out that you would no longer make the decision like this, you can make a new decision. Instead of remaining stuck in the block, you gain life experience.

5. Practice appreciation. Take a moment every day to perceive what you find valuable in yourself and in your life, what you are happy about and what you are grateful for. You will always find something that shows you the richness of your life and you will always find it easier to see how to make it yourself.

6. Make yourself independent from the appreciation of others and take care of yourself. That is certainly not that easy, because it is a nice, affirming feeling when we are valued and loved by others. However, if you value yourself sufficiently, you can take good care of yourself. In this way, even in times of crisis, you are able to stabilize yourself again and again on your own and to take responsibility for your life. If there is also recognition from outside - all the nicer.

Self-worth and self-love - a strong team

The desire to achieve a comfortable self-esteem should not degenerate into stress. Those who always have to be self-confident and full of self-confidence are putting themselves under unnecessary pressure. Instead of developing a healthy self-worth, you run the risk of bending over in the hunt for supposed self-optimization.

How can that be avoided? With self-love. Because what happens with love and comes from the heart is joyful and easier. So practice treating yourself lovingly, which is probably the most beautiful form of appreciation.

That won't save you from life's challenges, but you can face them more calmly and confidently. Virginia Satir (1916-1988), systemic therapist and mother of family therapy, put it in a nutshell: “In my practice and in my life I find that people who experience themselves as a whole and have the feeling, something themselves to be worthy, able to deal creatively and appropriately with all challenges of life. "

With this in mind: Be worth it!

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