If you’ve ever felt low before, you’ve probably been on the receiving end of seemingly unhelpful clichés like ‘Peaks and troughs’, ‘Life is a roller-coaster’ or ‘Life is a box of chocolates’. These clichés are actually pretty spot on. It’s true that, unfortunately, everything can’t be wonderful all the time.
There are all sorts of set backs in life which can bring us down: mean remarks, failing an exam and your phone running out of battery, just when you need it most, to name a few.These kinds of events can result in low self-esteem. We’ve put together a list of ways to remedy this, get your head out of that ‘trough’ and fast track you back towards those positive ‘peaks’…
Don’t take yourself too seriously
Pride can most definitely get the better of a lot of people. A lot of the time this stems from being reliant on external validation as opposed to internal validation. It’s our human nature to care about what other people think of us. However, it’s also important to have the confidence that our flaws can be improved upon and to remember that absolutely everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Next time someone criticises you, try not to take it too personally, they might even be trying to help you by making you aware that you are doing something incorrectly. Whether they are constructive or not, criticisms will make the compliments all the sweeter!
The power of humour
As human beings we are unfortunately pre-disposed to be very irrational when things go ‘wrong’. Small events that take place during the day, like being splashed by an oncoming car or having the wrong sandwiches in your packed lunch (who thinks plum jam and ham go together? Bleurgh!) or forgetting to brush your teeth (ew!) can really dampen a day. However, this is the stuff that fills life with experiences, that you will look back and laugh about. Why not ditch the negativity and cut right to the laughing point?
Down with shame
Research has found that shame can be intensely painful for humans – making us believe that we are unworthy and flawed. In the future unfortunate things may happen to you; you may lose your job or say something embarrassing during a presentation. However, as much as these experiences make you feel rubbish at the time, it’s counter-productive to (metaphorically) kick yourself while you’re down. The best thing you can do is learn from these mistakes, recover and be stronger for next time!
Work out those empathy muscles
The phrase ‘do to others as you would have them do unto you’ really rings true here. Seeing the world from alternative perspectives is an amazing attribute to have and will help you make great relationships with all sorts of people. The ability to socialise, work and get along with people who have led very different lives to you, and may have a different outlook on the world, is incredibly valuable. By having an open mind and being empathetic you will open a lot of doors.
Think about the future
Self-esteem isn’t automatically ingrained in anyone’s personality. It grows over time through confidence, experience and personal achievement. One day your self-esteem may be lacking, another day you may feel full of self-esteem. Things are bound to change every day depending on surrounding factors and altering events. By thinking about the bigger picture, and realising that trivial problems are nothing but tiny specs on the canvas, you will find it easier to enjoy the journey, troughs and all!