Are you lacking self-esteem and need tips to unlock confidence? We ask experts how to switch our mindsets and lifestyles for a confident and fulfilling life.
Our self-esteem is a moving feast. What we do know is that people with high self-esteem generally feel good about themselves, their personalities and how others view them. They also have an easy time making decisions and building relationships. On the flip side, people with low self-esteem might often feel self-critical, negative, or even depressed. They also might struggle in decision-making, and building fulfilling relationships and tend to be hypersensitive to the world around them.
For many of us, our sense of self-esteem is pegged in our external reality. We feel strong and confident when we receive validation, attention and affirmation from others, or when events or situations go our way. However, as many of us have also experienced in times of our lives, this is shaky ground. We feel our confidence wane or wobble when these external factors are not forthcoming.
Over 85% of us suffer from some sort of diminished self-esteem during our lives. Many factors play into our sense of self – including our life experiences, age, diet, insufficient affection, praise, love or encouragement, and failure to meet other people’s expectations, and genetics.
So, given the moving nature of our self-esteem, how can we grow it and stabilise it within ourselves and our lives?
How to cultivate self-esteem: Experts share
In my own work as a reiki master and coach, I have observed that our self-esteem is vastly boosted when we keep well and cultivate present awareness. It is when our un-present minds track down negative thought patterns that our self-esteem can take a dip. With a regular inner practice of meditation, journaling for introspection and cultivating higher resonant states like gratitude, awe and loving-kindness, we can find an inner peaceful state that we can dwell in from our centre, regardless of external circumstances.
Psychologist and coach Dr Glenn Graves identifies some common factors when it comes to negatively affected self-esteem. “A key factor which affects self-esteem is how a person’s concept of self was formed in the early years. This sets them up for a lifetime of responding to their own perception of self and in relationships with others. Other factors take effect when someone is badly hurt through life experiences. Life experiences can twist and reshape one’s perception if it’s not solidly established in the formative years.”
Dr Glenn’s top tips to bolster self-esteem
- Playback self-empowering mantras. These can be personally written or borrowed from a good source.
- Connect with people who you value and value you.
- Connect and nurture your spiritual side, with self-care, ritual, expressive arts, movement, energy work, prayer/meditation
Fashion designer and wardrobe curator Biek Speijk works with others to align their style with conscious choices and their personal truth. “I think women are so overloaded with information, all the time, on any platform. My clients often feel confused because they see so much confidence in others, yet feel frustrated when they’re in front of their wardrobes. It is an overload of information where it seems like everyone else is getting it right, except themselves. I help them connect to their inner confidence, where they know how they want to feel and what that looks like. It’s about trusting and growing confidence from the inside out so that the outer noise will be reduced to a whisper compared to the inner voice.
Biek’s top tips to bolster self-esteem
- Trust yourself and how you want to feel, and get clear on what your lifestyle looks like – only then are you less influenced by outer information. When you radiate from the inside out, there is nothing and nobody that can take you off that level of confidence in style.
- Reduce the ‘noise’. Sign out of newsletters that make you consume mindlessly, Mute or unfollow accounts on Instagram that make you feel ‘less than’. Leave your phone outside the bedroom and avoid screen time before going to bed.
- Stop wasting energy and precious time on events and people that don’t make you feel good. Get closer to who you want to be, how you want to live life, and how to dress for it.
Suparna Kapoor is a personal trainer and coach who works mainly with women to help them feel their best. “Engaging in strength training is much more than just a physical journey. It’s a transformative process where you start from doubting yourself to witnessing your body’s capabilities and conquering challenges, big or small. This journey boosts confidence and self-esteem. Apart from the obvious benefits like improved posture and muscle tone, I also observe subtle changes in my clients’ demeanour. They start carrying themselves differently in the gym, making more eye contact, smiling more and confidently gazing at themselves in the mirror. It’s not just about lifting weights, it’s about lifting your spirit and self-worth.”
Suparna’s top tips to bolster self-esteem
- Stay present and focus on your form, posture, and movements
- Use your breath to push your limits
- Reflect on your progress, from where you were once to how far you’ve come. This sense of achievement profoundly impacts your self-image, confidence, and self-esteem.
In a nutshell, our experts agree that the solution to achieving self-esteem is right in our hands. Now that you are up to speed with these tips, why not work on them and step into your day feeling good about yourself? Go forth and live your best life.