When your self-esteem is at a low point, it’s difficult to go through life feeling happy. A low mood tends to cast everything in a shade of gray where seeing the good in life becomes difficult. While you cannot ‘just snap out of it,’ as some may people suggest, there are still things you can do to lift yourself up again. Not everything will work. We’re all different, so you must tailor your response when feeling like you have low self-esteem to things that personally work for you.
Here are a few suggestions to get your mind thinking about what would make you feel happier, more confident in yourself, and your abilities.
Treat Yourself to a New Look
There’s nothing like a new look to lighten your mood. You don’t have to separate from your significant other to want a makeover! Give yourself a lift by making a modern switch to ombre hair. This hairstyle uses the balayage technique where the hair is covered and sectioned into triangles, and then the color is applied. The hair styling approach creates a gradient look that’s dark on the top of your head and gradually goes lighter all the way down the hair. The longer your hair is at present, the more dramatic the color gradient appears.
Going ombre is a dramatic change. However, the transition from dark to a light color when done correctly is extremely stylish. It also helps your hair go with many different clothing choices, in case you’re thinking about buying a new outfit (or three) to complete the new look. When you feel more confident in how you look, this translates into other areas of your life too.
Cut Yourself a Bit of Slack
One of the tell-tale signs of someone with low self-esteem is that they use negative self-talk. You may have found that you’ve started to do the same. Talking negatively about yourself – as opposed to being naturally self-deprecating, which isn’t the same thing – is kind of contagious. We tend to believe what we tell ourselves. The risk is that you create new limiting beliefs or deepen restrictive limiting beliefs that you already have if you persist in layering on negative language, either in your head or out loud to other people.
If you’re going to start feeling better about yourself, you must stop thinking and talking negatively! It’s difficult to believe in you when you’re putting you down. Before you take on new challenges or go back to basics, you must at least stop thinking and talking in a constantly negative way.
Give yourself some slack. Don’t expect the impossible. If you’re not where you want to be, allow the time to course correct, which won’t show life changes overnight. And, above all, understand that everyone makes mistakes. Stop beating yourself up for minor mistakes because everyone makes them.
Build New Confidence with Small Advances
When you’re struggling to have confidence in what you’re doing and have literally ground to a halt where self-belief is so low, this is more serious. You’ve reached a point where you’re not managing to convince yourself to continue onwards. Before inertia sets in where it gets progressively harder to start moving your life forward again, we need to simplify.
Break projects or tasks into tiny incremental steps. That’s easy to do. Write down those tiny steps and then focus on taking the first, tiny step. Whilst the step itself won’t move the needle, it will get you over the deer-in-the-headlights syndrome where you’re frozen in place. One tiny step leads to another.
The old cliché question about ‘How do you eat a whole elephant?’ is very true because breaking projects down into small bite-sized chunks is all it takes to eventually complete the whole project. To get started, you can either take the smallest tasks or a mid-size task that you can break down into bite-size pieces. Either approach works. It’s not the achievement of the task that really matters; it’s ending the inertia and showing renewed belief in your own innate abilities. To reach the point where you can say: ‘Yes, I can.’
Journaling Your Thoughts
When you’re feeling alone, it’s helpful to use a notepad to create a journal. Putting your thoughts down on paper or using a digital note-taking app gets thoughts out of your head. While some of the thoughts might come out of sad or depressive, it’s healthy to let them out in the same way that therapy is helpful to air grievances and personal issues to a therapist. In this case, the journal is your therapist.
Using a journal, it provides some eventual distance on the thoughts that were running through your mind when you were having difficulties in life. This is helpful to gain a new perspective on the challenges in life that many of us face. It’s nothing to be ashamed of and you can come out stronger for it when you have a greater level of self-esteem.
Give Back to the Less Fortunate
For many people, the ability to give back to people less fortunate helps them feel better. It’s difficult to continue to have reduced confidence when you’re capable of putting a smile on someone else’s face. It’s also harder to lack confidence in yourself when you see what some people are struggling with who clearly have tougher times than you. It puts life into perspective for sure.
Volunteering for organizations that help people who’ve had a rough deal in life or face short-term difficulties is a great way to give back to those who are less fortunate. You can pick organizations that address issues that you care about, which makes volunteering even more meaningful.
When you’re finding that your self-esteem is low, there’s isn’t a single quick fix that makes that all better now. It’s more of a slow process to work on yourself from the top down. How you think, what you feel, the things you tell yourself and other factors all play a part. Even a subtle shift in thinking can make a huge difference to the level of self-confidence and belief in self. Self-care is also very important too, so don’t neglect that either.