Do you ever find yourself asking…
What’s the big deal about mental clarity?
Why would I even want to look for it?
I used to wonder about this myself. Then I looked at all the amazing benefits that come with mental clarity. For example:
- Decreased mental chatter
- Increased focus and direction
- Greater organization
- Ease in decision-making
- Increased ability to prioritize
- More energy
Yes, I did say that mental clarity gives you more energy!
How does it do that?
It allows you to become more aware of:
- Who you are.
- Why you are here.
- Who you are serving.
- What you need to be doing.
What does all this mean for you?
Once you learn how to gain and maintain mental clarity, navigating life becomes easier. Because as you are aware of who you are, why you’re here, and who you choose to serve, you will know what you need to be doing. And although you still need to take action, having clarity allows you to move forward with greater ease. Things just begin to flow into place.
How to gain and maintain greater mental clarity
Mental clarity can be found through various modalities and daily practices. Today, we’ll address the practice of meditation. Meditation can be described simply as, ‘the act of breathing and observing.’
You may already know that a regular daily meditation practice has many benefits:
- Easing your busy mental chatter
- Decreasing stress
- Gaining self-awareness
- Reducing negative emotions
- Finding new perspectives
Yet, you’re probably also thinking that regardless of its benefits, meditation still takes time. And if you’re looking for greater mental clarity but don’t have time for a regular daily meditation practice, you’re not alone.Today’s woman is already juggling multiple pursuits. So, with your full plate and busy schedule, devoting time to meditation may not seem practical.
As a busy high-achiever, I completely understand that adding yet another thing to your day – even if it does ease mental chatter and create greater clarity – could feel like an inconvenience or stressor. I can also honestly say that I used to struggle with finding the time for a regular daily meditation practice. Then I learned that I could receive all the same benefits from a brief meditation break as well.
How to find mental clarity without a daily meditation practice
It may surprise you when I say that meditation can be more subtle than you think. You don’t need to have a regular daily meditation practice to boost your mindfulness and mental clarity. There are ways to access clarity and self-awareness and receive the benefits of a regular meditation practice in just a few minutes or less with a simple, mini-meditation.
First, I will share how to overcome the major obstacle keeping you from finding greater mental clarity through meditation. Then we’ll look at how you can deepen the practice to receive the most benefits.
Afterward, I will give tips that helped me adopt the art of mini-meditation and provide you with a free gift to remind you of these simple yet effective practices.
Finding the time to achieve greater clarity
The major obstacle to choosing what to do during our day is a perceived lack of time. With work, appointments, and commitments, even just a few minutes may seem impossible to find within your busy schedule. Here are some ideas for how you can claim the lost moments throughout your hectic day:
1. During your commute
Look forward to red lights and traffic jams, as they can be a reminder to breathe. If your commute consists of buses, trains, or subways, consider yourself lucky to have the opportunity to use these moments to focus on your breath.
2. Between bites
You’re already eating lunch, take the time to breathe in between bites.
3. Use commercial breaks
While you relax and watch your evening program, use the commercial breaks as a time to meditate.
4. While waiting
When you find yourself waiting in line for the bank, the grocery store, the doctor’s office, or anywhere else, use that time to meditate.
5. In between tasks
When you finish a meeting, appointment, or an item from your to-do list, take a moment to breathe and find clarity before starting something new.
Now that you’ve found a few moments of time, you can make the most of those brief moments and enjoy your mini-meditation.
How to make the most of your mini-meditation
1. Focus on your breath
Take a deep breath in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth. Pay attention to the inhale and exhale. What can you smell as you take in the breath? Cooking aromas? Nature? Tune into where the breath is residing in your body.
2. Scan your body
What can you feel? What is your body touching? Search for tension within your body. If possible, give yourself a light massage to any areas with tension.
3. Observe your thoughts
Notice the thoughts that are passing through your mind. Try not to label anything good or bad, right or wrong. Reserve your judgment and just notice.
4. Embrace your feelings
Acknowledge how you feel right now. Remind yourself that these feelings are only temporary, part of the present moment.
5. Hold a touchstone
Many religions use beads to count prayers. This might help you with focus as well. If you wear a bracelet, have pocket change, or a charm, try holding the item in the palm of your hand. It will trigger your mind to come back to the present. This is called a touchstone.
Apply this mini-meditation to your daily routine
If you’re looking to increase mental clarity and mindfulness through meditation but don’t have the time to devote to regular daily practice, I hope these suggestions help you find more peace throughout your day and bring you closer to the mental clarity you desire.
You don’t need to master a daily meditation practice to be a master of your own self-awareness and clarity. Simply consider taking a few moments for yourself in between your commitments.
For more tips on how to increase mental clarity and self-awareness, click here and claim your FREE Tip Sheet: Practical Advice for Greater Clarity & Presence.
Use this gift and:
- Alleviate chronic stress and negative emotions.
- Receive simple daily habits for greater clarity.
- Access useful self-awareness tools.
- Discover easy techniques for mini-meditation.
- Experience greater mindfulness.
Comment below with your favorite way to find clarity through mini-meditation.
Maybe you’ve been living the American dream. You have an attentive spouse, a nice house and car, two kids, a membership at the country club, and yet you’re strangely dissatisfied.
The American dream looks great from the outside, and yet what if you don’t have the time or the energy to enjoy it?
That’s what happened to me. I was living my version of the American dream. I was successful, I created results, I’d accumulated a lot, I loved the thrill of the challenge… and I was wired to do whatever it takes. I had a PhD in all that. And I still do.
However, over time, the methodology that I had used for success began to break down and fall apart. It started to impact my emotional and physical health until I reached a point of diminishing returns, in my satisfaction and my inner fulfillment. The effort required to continue getting the same level of results had increased, and I had to make choices about what I really wanted.
I no longer had the energy to do it all.
If you’re one of those women who has that ‘I’ll do whatever it takes’ attitude, you may be using the approach that I used to create your success. And, you may be:
- Noticing that it’s just getting harder to create the same results, so it’s taking more and more of a toll on you. Or
- Close to burning out and you don’t even know it. Or
- Burned out, and now as you recuperate, you’re realizing that life has to have more meaning to it… that it can no longer be substantially about creating results.
If you’re in any of those three places that I just described, then – most likely – you’ll want to know the first step I took in order to find more meaning and fulfillment in my life. This initial step led me to design and implement a new life methodology, which allowed me to heal and still create the level of results I desire without giving up my identity.
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Now, it’s likely that you’ve never given the idea of a life methodology much thought. It’s not as if it gets mentioned in school, and your parents probably never broached the subject. Yet, my methodology has afforded me the opportunity to experience greater purpose, fulfillment, and physical well-being. And it all started with that very first step, which I will now share with you…
Unfortunately, self-reflection seems to be a dying art. People either feel they don’t have the time or that it’s a waste of time. Others are afraid to take a good, long, hard look at themselves and their past actions. Yet, as I shared above, there’s so much to be gained by examining yourself and your past. Here’s how…
Mastering self-reflection to achieve greater fulfillment and success:
While this is a personal journey, that doesn’t mean it has to be solitary. Rather than starting completely from scratch, take a look at the people you know who have the kind of life that you admire most. Ask how they approach life. You might find something that resonates with you.
2. Ask yourself how you got to this point
You already have a set of beliefs regarding what is valuable in life. Who taught those beliefs to you? Did you pick them up from your parents? Friends? Movies? Teachers? Books? How was your current approach to life established?
3. Determine what you want your life to be about
Will your life be about money and success? Altruism? Adventure? Family? Personal development? What matters to you?
What do you think is most important? Can you be happy with that decision? For example, you might believe that family should be the most important thing. Yet, who do you consider family? What’s your definition of family?
Many philosophers argue that there is no inherent meaning to life, which is just a fancy way of saying that you can choose the meaning of life for yourself and be just as correct as anyone else.
4. Start at the end
Imagine that you’ve lived a long life and you’re reaching the end. What kind of life do you want to look back on? What sorts of things do you want to have learned, achieved, and experienced? How do you want to be remembered? With the end in mind, how do you need to live today to reach that ideal ending?
5. Bounce your ideas off others
Find like-minded people and discuss your thoughts. When you’re open and share your ideas, you might gain an insight that makes all the difference. Feel free to tweak and experiment with what you find.
6. Give it a try
Once you’ve found a way of looking at the world that appeals to you, take it for a test-ride. See if it suits you. Have patience while you’re on this journey. It may take time to become completely satisfied with your new viewpoint.
Self-Reflection allows you to notice the detrimental patterns in your life. This is a tremendous power, because you can use this knowledge to design a more effective path through life.
When you learn about yourself, you become a more powerful version of yourself. Through self-reflection, you can redefine your life, choosing for yourself what is most important. Then, rather than pursuing the standard path to success, you create your own.
Since you’re going to work diligently at whatever approach you take to be successful, it only makes sense to spend that time and effort to create what’s most meaningful to you. So, sit down each day or once a week and apply some self-reflection. Consider all the different areas of your life: relationships, finances, work, health, and so on. I believe you’ll be happy with the results.
When you use reflective thinking, you enhance your life. So, just imagine being more enlivened when you get out of bed each morning.
To find greater meaning and purpose into your life, click here and claim your FREE gift, Success Without Sacrifice: Your Guide to Living A More Fulfilled Life.
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This gift will:
- Allow you to use the tool of self-reflection to your best advantage.
- Provide additional direction for your journey to a more fulfilled life.
- Invite you to continue to explore what is most important to you.
- Give you the opportunity to find a more effective path to success.
Click here now to claim your free gift: Success Without Sacrifice: Your Guide to Living A More Fulfilled Life.
There’s a time for work, a time for play, and a time for contemplation. Contemplation is defined as deep reflective thought or the action of looking thoughtfully at something for a long time.
Unlike the practices of mindfulness or meditation, you don’t lose yourself in the experience. When you engage in contemplation, you are thinking about an experience in words or thoughts. Contemplation is an exercise of reflection on, rather than presence with, or absorption in, an experience.
The primary advantage humans have over animals is our ability to contemplate. In doing so, we learn about ourselves, our lives, and our situation.
According to Psychology Today, “From the Greek philosopher Plato to the Buddha to modern psychology forefathers William James and Wilhelm Wundt, the value of contemplation as a means of fostering well-being and wisdom has been known for a long time.”
I only wish somebody had told me. As a Type-A overachiever, there was a time when I had no awareness that there were benefits to pausing and contemplating — on myself, my life, or my business. I believed that if I wasn’t moving forward, I was “wasting” time. I now know better, and I’d like to share what I have learned with you.
The 3 main benefits that are realized from contemplation
1.You learn about yourself
Most people are shockingly low in self-awareness – like I was. Some believe they are too busy, while others prefer to distract themselves rather than invest time in contemplation.
There’s much to be learned by taking a few minutes daily to reflect on your day and the choices you made. It can help you to face your fears or redefine your life. When you know yourself, you can make better plans that utilize your strengths, avoid your weaknesses, and enhance your life.
2. You learn from your past
If you look at the biggest mistakes you’ve made in your life, you’ll find they’re surprisingly similar. Contemplation allows you to notice the negative patterns in your life. You may have spent money you couldn’t afford, become involved with someone you shouldn’t, or made poor decisions to get away from stressful situations.
If you’ve never taken the time to review these mistakes, you’ve probably repeated them. Reflecting on the past helps you identify what works and use it to your advantage.
3. You take intelligent and thoughtful action
When you’re action-oriented, you may believe – like I did – that contemplation is a “waste” of time. Yet before jumping in with both feet, it can be incredibly helpful to spend some time thinking and strategizing. Reflect on what you actually want to accomplish for yourself.
And even if you have an idea where you want to go, you may want to consider regular reflection to ensure that you remain on the path toward success. When you’re on the right path, you’ll find greater peace and joy in your life.
An essential tool for change
Contemplation can be incredibly rewarding, because you can use your experiences and knowledge to discover a more effective path through life. You can learn about yourself, solve challenges, and become a more powerful version of yourself.
Contemplation can be a potent tool for change. You can choose to get different results in your life. All it takes is a little directed thinking each day to clear your mind, relax, and find that peace and joy you crave.
10 Strategies for applying the power of contemplation in your life
1.Make contemplation a priority
If you’re anything like me, you’re a busy person. You won’t spend time contemplating on a regular basis unless you make it a priority. So, decide that you’re going to spend some time each day reflecting. You can learn a lot if you take the time to examine your life on a regular basis.
2. Plan the time and purpose
You most likely have a specific time for meals, going to bed, or watching TV. So, it’s important to choose a specific time for contemplation, too. Because, if you don’t plan contemplation into your day, it probably won’t happen.
Also, before you begin, plan how you’re going to use your reflection time. Otherwise, you may find yourself staring out the window and daydreaming.
3. Examine your day
Ask yourself: What went well today? What brought me joy? What am I grateful for? What didn’t go according to plan and how can I receive it as a gift? What did I learn today? How do I want to move forward based on what I learned today? What specific actions do I want to take? What will bring me greater joy?
4. Examine your challenges
Ask yourself: What are the challenges in my life? Do I view them as problems or opportunities? How can I shift my mindset so I see problems as opportunities instead? What led me to this point? How are these challenges impacting my life?
5. Reflect on how to move forward
Ask yourself: What are some possible action steps I can take to address the challenges in my life? What can I do right now? How can I move forward with a joyful outlook? Rather than distract yourself from your challenges, see them as opportunities you can choose to engage with more joyfully.
6. Search for answers
Maybe you’re not sure why you’re so insecure in your romantic relationships. Perhaps you have unresolved issues from your childhood. Why do you spend too much money? This can be a great use of your contemplation time. When you focus your attention on a specific question, you’re more likely to find the answer you need.
7. Use affirmations
Write a list of affirmations that embrace what you want to achieve and what you want to become in your life.
Write them in present tense, because It is important to focus on the things that are occurring now that will lead to your future success. And be sure to use the word “I” throughout the list. For example, “I am always good at my job.”
You may hear words in your head such as, “But you messed this up the other day” or “You weren’t as productive a few days ago.” If you are hearing things like this, then banish those negative thoughts. It can take some time to get used to positive thinking, but it’ll be time well-spent.
Repeating your affirmations aloud will enable you to reprogram your mind with positive thoughts.
Take a few minutes and catch your breath. If you have a busy life, it’s important to rest your body and mind each day. A little time alone can be better than a therapist.
9. Write and reflect
Purchase a journal and write in that journal every single day. Each day, first write down something positive that occurred that day. Next, write down a question for yourself. Don’t answer that question then and there. Reflect on that question and write your answer the next day as a part of your journal entry.
10. Visualize creatively
This is a fun way to self-reflect! Make yourself a box to show your hopes and dreams. Or you can create a vision board. Place pictures and words that represent you and your thoughts into your box or on your board. The more details you include, the better it works! Imagination is the key… and the sky’s the limit!
Your guide to the past and present
Life isn’t only about going to work, watching TV, spending time with family, and chasing your goals. When you practice reflection and introspection you can live a more peaceful life and continue to grow each day. Even just 15 minutes a day can make a big difference.
Use your contemplation time however you like. You might reflect on your childhood or the meaning of life, review the last year, plan the future, or consider your spirituality. You could even practice your ability to focus. It’s your time to use as you like.
Contemplation is a useful tool that’s free to learn and apply. Imagine being able to leverage your strengths, minimize your weaknesses, and avoid repeating your mistakes. A session of reflection each day will help you become the best version of yourself. And over time, contemplation can enable you to achieve the peace and joy you deserve.
And for additional ways to increase your joy, click here and claim your FREE gift, Happiness 101: A Modern Guide to a More Joyful Life.
This gift will:
- Allow you to use the tool of contemplation to your best advantage.
- Provide additional direction in your journey to a more joyful life.
- Invite you to explore the things that give you joy.
- Give you the opportunity to experience joy with greater ease.
Click here now to claim your free gift: Happiness 101: A Modern Guide to a More Joyful Life
Do you feel ashamed and annoyed by your imperfections?
If so, I can completely relate.
In my last article, I mentioned how I was driven to prove that I was good enough, lovable enough, and worthy enough for my father’s attention. I had such an intense need to be flawless, because I truly believed it was impossible to receive the love that I craved unless I first reached a state of perfection.
It was my life coach who helped me to see that my imperfections are part of my authentic self, and they actually make me more interesting, special, and unique. I began to realize that people find me even more lovable when I screw things up, since it invokes my humanity. Others like to see that we’re only human because, let’s face it, who wants to be around someone who’s perfect all the time?
This has been an important lesson for me. And now I want to share it with you…
Because, if you’re anything like me, you probably tend toward being too hard on yourself. And it’s much easier to make your way through the world if you love yourself. Perhaps our greatest struggle is to accept and love ourselves in spite of our many flaws. Since we tend to be programmed with a desire for perfection, this isn’t something that’s likely to happen without some work.
Self-Acceptance is key to self-love
You can’t experience optimal well-being and unconditional love if you’re always pursuing perfection. The notion of perfection is flawed, it’s an illusion, a human construct that creates more pain and angst than joy. It’s also exhausting, and will distract you from being fully present. So, if you truly want to be happy, try striving for excellence – not perfection.
When I finally acknowledged these truths, I was able to accept my flaws, instead of fighting them. And through a process of self-acceptance, I learned to love myself no matter what by healing the core belief that I have to be perfect if I want to be loved.
Self-acceptance is steady and unconditional. Once you are able to accept yourself despite any perceived flaws, failures, and limitations, you will be able to see yourself and your imperfections as “perfect” for you. You’ll also be more self-forgiving, letting go of self-judgment and perfectionism.
A transformational metaphor for life
In Japan, there’s a centuries-old tradition – known as kintsugi – of mending broken ceramics with gold. Instead of dismissing broken pottery as junk, the Japanese consider it more beautiful and authentic for having been broken.
Literally meaning “golden joinery”, kintsugi is the art of repairing cracked pottery with gold-painted glue. The golden seams that join the broken pieces together accentuate the imperfections that make the object uniquely beautiful.
The philosophy behind kintsugi is to value an object’s imperfections, as well as its beauty, and celebrate them equally. By embracing these flaws and imperfections, you can create an even stronger, more beautiful piece of art.
As I see it, this ancient concept doesn’t just apply to broken things— it’s a metaphor for transforming the broken, flawed, painful parts of the self so they may radiate their unique golden beauty.
Kintsugi holds valuable lessons about life and self-love. Its principles help you mend your mind and heal your body by nourishing mind, body and soul. Here are tips on how to do this…
Embrace your imperfections and discover greater self-love
1.Accept your imperfections
Many mental health professionals believe that self-acceptance is necessary before change can occur. And, if you’re feeling stuck, accepting your flaws may be the first challenge to overcome.
The key to a fulfilling and happy life is accepting yourself. Once you acknowledge that your imperfections are a unique part of you, you can move on to loving yourself.
2. Appreciate your uniqueness
Be grateful for your body, mind, and uniqueness. You are better than you think. The most valuable parts of you are those that are different from others. So embrace your qualities, skills, or abilities that are unique. Appreciating what you have makes it easier to love yourself.
3. Detach from your parents’ behavior
Some parents are better than others. Overly critical parents don’t have bad children, they’re just lousy parents. There’s little to be gained by giving your parents a hard time for their inadequacies. The solution is to forgive them and release yourself from the past. Avoid judging yourself based on the parenting you received. It’s a reflection of them, not you.
4. Pay attention to what you say to yourself
Notice if you use negative self-talk that’s humiliating or demoralizing. Does your inner dialogue make you feel inferior, ashamed, or guilty? You don’t want your words to create more pain and suffering. There is a direct link between self-talk and your health and mental wellness.
So, eliminate negative self-talk. Because it’s difficult to love yourself if you’re constantly insulting yourself. Speak to yourself the way you would a good friend. Be a friend to yourself. Be more gentle with yourself. Each time you say something negative, say “cancel clear” immediately and change it to words of love and support.
5. Practice forgiveness
Forgive your past self. Sure, you’ve made some mistakes and probably done and said a few awful things along the way. Who hasn’t? But why drag the past into the present? Learn from the experience and move on. Let it go. You can make a fresh start each day.
If you’re harping on your past transgressions, self-love will be in short-supply. There will be moments when you’re less capable than others, and vice versa. Give yourself a break. Forgive yourself for your flaws and mistakes. You would do the same for someone you care about, so do it for yourself. Know that you are doing the best you can.
Plus, keep in mind that the ability to forgive yourself is proportional to your ability to forgive others. When you practice forgiving others, you’ll find that self-love comes much easier.
6. Be authentic
You may hide your brokenness, because you don’t want to seem weak or incompetent. Yet the art of kintsugi teaches you to honor your broken parts as they are testaments to your unique journeys and to your ability to grow and heal. So, authentically own your scars and celebrate the experiences that taught you the greatest lessons.
In addition, when you put on a persona for the world, you’re not giving others the opportunity to love you as you are. So how will you be able to love yourself? When you’re authentic, the love you receive feels infinitely more meaningful. Living honestly is scary, but surprisingly easy. People admire and respect those with the strength to be authentic.
7. Evaluate your relationships
Toxic people can make it harder for you to accept and love your imperfections. Odds are that at least one of your relationships is poisoning your life. It might be a friendship, romantic relationship, or a relationship with a family member. Reduce contact with those who consistently make you feel bad about yourself. Value yourself enough to avoid negative people that drag you down.
Instead, focus on those relationships that are healthier for you. Spend time with those friends and family who build you up and bring out the best in you.
8. Reframe hardship as opportunity
You may have days that make you feel amazing and on top of the world. You’ll also have days that make you feel defeated, sad, and tired, especially when life takes a turn you didn’t expect—a job loss, a relationship breakup, sickness, the loss of a loved-one. This rollercoaster of life is normal. The key is to avoid letting the difficult days affect you long-term. Regardless of what you’re struggling with or recovering from, look at reframing this hardship as an experience that can help you come out even stronger.
Challenges are a part of everyone’s life. There isn’t something inherently wrong with you because you have obstacles. Turn your focus to brainstorming a solution and taking action on your new approach to each issue.
Celebrate your imperfections!
“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places.”
~ Ernest Hemingway
Your imperfections make you the unique person you are. So, use the tips above to learn to love yourself inside and out. Then you’ll boost your self-confidence, increase your charisma, and gain greater peace as you pursue a life you’ll love.
You have many wonderful qualities that you’ve been overlooking. Believe that you deserve love from yourself and those in your life. A little self-love will enhance every part of your life.
Yet loving yourself, imperfections and all, doesn’t mean you won’t still have goals for self-improvement. You can strive to strengthen your good qualities and develop skills and characteristics that you desire, while loving the person you are.
A gift for loving your imperfections
We know that life can be messy, always changing and rarely perfect. And that’s okay. We can embrace imperfection, finding beauty and authenticity in it. Thus, we acknowledge the perfection of imperfection. In Japan, this idea is known as wabi-sabi.
Earlier I spoke about the Japanese art of kintsugi, which transforms broken pieces into an even more beautiful new object. Kintsugi is a part of the concept of wabi-sabi.
Wabi-sabi is the practice of coaxing beauty out of unexpected places, from a broken vase and teacup to upended plans and unexpected setbacks. An ancient philosophy rooted in Zen Buddhism, wabi-sabi is sometimes described as appreciating beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete” in nature.
The wabi-sabi tea ceremony is a ritual of purity and simplicity in which Zen masters prized bowls that were handmade, irregularly shaped, with uneven glaze and cracks, yet possessed an unexpected beauty in their deliberate imperfection. These antique bowls are prized because of (not in spite of) their drips and cracks.
What if you learned to prize the drips and cracks in your messy life?
For ways to bring greater self-love into your life, click here and claim your FREE gift, The Wabi-Sabi Path To Greater Happiness Checklist. Wabi-sabi is a practice easily applied in everyday life. This checklist is a gift that:
- Invites a celebration of your imperfections as potential strengths (not weaknesses).
- Inspires you to live in the present moment.
- Encourages you to recognize and treasure the gifts you have.
- Brings a sense of calm, presence and beauty into your life.
- Helps you find happiness right where you are and joy in everything you do.
Click here now to claim your free gift: The Wabi-Sabi Path To Greater Happiness Checklist.
Till next time,
Do you ever feel like you aren’t good enough?
Are you driven to achieve in order to prove that you’re enough?
The difference between healthy and low self-esteem
The word “esteem” means to regard favorably. Self-esteem is how you regard yourself. It’s your sense of self, how you rate yourself as a human being, how worthy you feel you are. Self-esteem refers to your acceptance of yourself and the value you place on yourself.
Healthy self-esteem exists when you possess a positive and realistic sense of who you are, understand your strengths, and like yourself despite your weaknesses.
On the other hand, when you have low self-esteem you are critical of yourself, focus on your negatives, and ignore your achievements. If this describes you, you’re not alone. Low self-esteem is a common challenge – regardless of age, background, or socioeconomic status.
Tracing low self-esteem to your childhood
Low self-esteem can often be traced back to childhood. It can be common if you come from a background where you were told you weren’t good enough, were made to feel unlovable, or suffered through a traumatic event.
If you experienced any of these things growing up, it’s possible that your desire for success is driven by low self-esteem. And you might not be aware of this or willing to admit it out loud, because the outside world views you as a confident and successful woman. This could make you uncomfortable admitting that you have fears or inner doubts.
When you stop long enough to be vulnerable and acknowledge what’s true, you may see that no matter how much you succeed, it’s never enough. You’re continuously striving for the next goal. And you may begin to realize that one of the reasons you are doing this is to prove something to the outer world.
If you’re wondering how I know this…
I’ve lived it. For my first 27 years, from the time I was born until a couple of years before he died, my father showed no interest in me. So, I was driven to achieve in my efforts to prove that I was good enough, lovable enough, and worthy enough for my father’s attention. And no matter what goal I accomplished, it wasn’t enough.
Of course, this made me highly successful in life. It also led me to experience burnout. And it taught me that childhood experiences can influence your level of self-esteem.
However, it’s not unusual to develop self-esteem issues in adulthood too. Any time you go through a difficult situation, it can affect the way you see yourself. For example, if you lose your job, go through a divorce or file bankruptcy, you may internalize this experience and believe it’s your fault… that you caused this bad thing to occur.
Yet regardless of whether your experience of low self-esteem stems from childhood or adulthood, I’ve learned that there’s a lot you can do as an adult to boost your confidence.
Below are twelve ideas that you can apply to your own circumstances to overcome low self-esteem. Use what resonates with you.
Build your self-esteem by embracing these tips
1. Set boundaries
Let others know how you wish to be treated. Remove yourself from relationships and situations that cause unnecessary stress and interfere with your well-being. Instead, develop stable and mutually supportive relationships. Surround yourself with positive people, including family and friends who are encouraging and appreciate you for who you are.
2. Learn to accept compliments
If you’re fortunate enough to have positive influences in your life, listen to them when they say you’ve done a good job. If you were undeserving of the praise, you wouldn’t be getting it. So, resist the urge to dismiss compliments. Instead, smile and say, “Thank you.” Accepting compliments will help you discover what you’re good at and strengthen your self-confidence.
3. Advocate for yourself
Ask for help when you need it. Be willing to say “No.” It’s natural to feel bad about yourself when you agree to do things you don’t want to do, because you’re disrespecting yourself. So refuse requests when you genuinely don’t want to do them. Give yourself the respect and compassion you deserve.
4. Prioritize yourself
Make your mental and physical health a top priority. Eat nutritious foods, exercise regularly, and sleep well. Treat your time like a precious resource. Plan your days and block time for the activities you love. Investing in yourself helps you to stay strong and maximize your potential.
5. Embrace your individuality
You’re much more interesting than the person you pretend to be. We develop the urge to conform in elementary school. But you’re not like everyone else. You’re unique. You’ll make more friends and have more influence if you respect your unique gifts and are willing to be yourself. Authenticity is the basis of true confidence.
6. Avoid “shoulding” on yourself
If you’re constantly telling yourself, “I should have done this” or “I should have said that”, you’re focusing on things that have already happened and you’re unable to change. Remember that self-esteem is a symptom of detrimental thinking habits. Anything said or done in the past is over. You only keep those things alive with your thoughts. Instead, plan for the future. Uplift your thinking and your self-esteem will rise as well.
7. Set reasonable expectations
Accept that human beings make mistakes. If you’re unwilling to accept anything less than perfection from yourself, you’ll feel discouraged when you inevitably make a mistake. Don’t let mistakes get you down. Remember that every mistake you make is a chance to learn and grow.
8. Recognize and celebrate your accomplishments
If your self-esteem is lacking, you might spend a lot of time focusing on the negative. Instead, acknowledge your accomplishments and allow yourself to be happy. It’s okay to be proud of yourself.
9. Make a list of all your best qualities
When you have low self-esteem, you focus on the things you dislike about yourself. Instead, write down your strengths, skills, talents, and positive personality traits. Taking some time to focus on your good qualities can have a very positive effect.
10. Avoid comparing yourself to others
It can be easy to get into a habit of comparing yourself negatively to other people. Instead, remember that you are unique. And know that your self-esteem comes from within. So, you can choose how you see yourself. Choose to see an attractive, thoughtful, intelligent, and caring person.
11. Use affirmations
Affirmations are great self-esteem boosters. They show your brain what you already know you can achieve. Read affirmations on subjects of your choice or write your own. Affirmations bring positive energy into the present moment.
12. Get a life coach or a spiritual counselor
These are professionals who empower you to deepen your relationship with yourself. They partner with you to create strategies that target your unique skills and gifts. They’re like a supportive friend, only better! Because they are experts, guiding you to enhance every aspect of your life on your journey toward success, so you can maximize your full potential, reach your desired results, and attain greater fulfillment. In this day and age, it is extremely common for any successful individual to have a coach or counselor guiding them, so there’s no need to be embarrassed about seeking one out.
Embrace, honor, and love yourself to healthy self-esteem
As I’ve already mentioned, there are many factors which can cause or contribute to low self-esteem. The key to overcoming your low self-esteem is to believe in your abilities and recognize the areas where you excel, so you can start feeling good about yourself again. The above tips will help you to achieve this.
As you build your self-esteem, you’ll make sound decisions and fulfill your goals with even greater ease. You’ll know with certainty that you are lovable, capable, and worthy of dignity and respect. And you will begin to love and accept yourself for who you are.
You will understand that self-care is a vital part of loving yourself, because you deserve to feel good about yourself. And as I mentioned earlier, investing in yourself helps you to stay strong and maximize your potential.
For ways to prioritize yourself with self-care, click here to claim your FREE gift, 23 of My Favorite Self-Care Activities That Take Less Than 15 Minutes. I hope this list supports you to honor yourself and block time each day to enjoy an activity you love.
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