No matter how much confidence you have, there are times when you need a little pick-me-up. Life has a way of wearing you down, so it’s no surprise that your self-esteem can take a hit from time to time. It’s important to take steps to build yourself up so that you can have a healthy sense of self.
“Self-esteem is essential for psychological survival. It is an emotional sine qua non — without some measure of self-worth, life can be enormously painful, with many basic needs going unmet,” said Patrick Fanning and Matthew McKay in Self-Esteem: A Proven Program of Cognitive Techniques for Assessing, Improving, and Maintaining Your Self-Esteem.
One tip: limit your time on social media if you’re having a particularly trying day. People have a tendency to use their social media accounts as a means for bragging about how absolutely perfect their lives are. Don’t feed into this potentially harmful activity when you are not feeling your best.
Here are five quotes that will give your self-esteem a boost.
1. You are enough
“Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It’s about cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, ‘no matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.’ It’s going to bed at night thinking, ‘yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging,’ ”
2. You are not powerless
“My experience is that most people underestimate their power to change and grow. They believe implicitly that yesterday’s pattern must be tomorrow’s. They do not see choices that — objectively — do exist. They rarely appreciate how much they can do on their own behalf if genuine growth and higher self-esteem are their goals and if they are willing to take responsibility for their own lives.”
3. You don’t have to live up to unrealistic expectations
“Remember when you were a child and you used to have pretty unrealistic dreams? They were lovely dreams to have, but they weren’t founded in reality…Perhaps you dreamed about living in Hollywood as an actor…Everything seems possible when we’re children…We join basketball teams and firmly believe that we are the next Michael Jordan. The problems begin to arise when you take your unrealistic expectations with you into your adult life. Once these expectations are not realized, your esteem can become damaged…You need to be humble about your expectations and align them to reality. This will reduce the risk that you will be disappointed and feel like a failure.”
Angelika Chance, How to Build Self-Esteem: Start Loving Yourself — and Life — Today
4. You impact others
“A key element of self-esteem is to know you have a place in the world and no one else could fill it in quite the same way as you. Right now, make a list of all the people in your life—past and present—whom you have somehow touched. This can range from close family to someone you helped with math in the third grade; from your truest friend to the security guard you greet at work. Write down every name you can think of. Next to each name, list one or more ways you have given that person something positive. It doesn’t matter whether it’s big or small, yesterday or 40 years ago. It doesn’t even matter whether they’d acknowledge or remember it. What matters is that you remember it. Somewhere amid the routines, the struggles, the failures, and the moments of great pain, you can find that yours is a wonderful life.”
Patrick Fanning and Matthew McKay, The Self-Esteem Companion: Simple Exercises to Help You Challenge Your Inner Critic and Celebrate Your Personal Strengths
5. You are worthy of self-care
“The mind and body are connected. If you want to feel your best mentally, take good care of your body. This only stands to reason. So often people who feel stressed, fatigued, and mentally ‘down’ are under-exercised, undernourished, and under-rested. Often they assume that tending the body takes too much time or is too difficult. So they hope for a quick fix that allows them to ignore their basic physical needs, while their mental health and performance suffer. The point is important enough to restate: You can’t ignore your body and expect it to feel good. Time invested in physical health is a wise investment indeed. It saves time by sharpening your performance. More importantly, it improves mental health.”
Glenn R. Schiraldi, The Self-Esteem Workbook