Friday, December 20, 2013

Raise Your Self Esteem--in eleven easy steps

I have come across many individuals who are qualified,competent,hardworking and honest but they have not been able to achieve much due to low self esteem.What's more,they know what drags them down but are unable to mend it.

Is it so difficult to raise your self esteem?I think it is easy;provided you recognize the need to do so, believe you will be able to do so and take the necessary steps towards that end.Let me confess at the outset that i too have suffered from this malaise and (as i think) put it behind me.Perhaps what worked for me will work for you too-so let me pontificate a little.

1) While preparing the groundwork for a higher self esteem,it is essential to first recognize that your present opinion of yourself is a fallacy(built up over the years by many stimuli), which is redundant and counter productive.

2) So you feel inadequate and are now ready for a makeover.In which sphere do you think you lack?Is it your personal relationships?Are you a pushover?Start by asserting yourself.Say what you feel,what you think is right.Most important of all-stand up for your rights.Nobody is going to give you them on a platter.Don't be scared of voicing your dissent if the occasion arises.Believe me,the very first time you voice your honest opinion you will start feeling capable and confident.The feeling of inferiority will subside considerably.

3) As you begin to say what you feel and not what others would like you to say, you will have to give up the habit of people pleasing,which,incidentally,is very detrimental to a healthy self image.

4) A feeling of inferiority often spawns self deprecation.If you want to augment your self esteem you will have to discard this habit of always belittling yourself.You are not the only one who has a flaw or a shortcoming.So quit saying-'I am no good at this','I am ugly','Nobody loves me' etc.

Most people would not even notice these things about you if you did not proclaim them from the roof tops.It is a person's temperament and behavior which attract others,not his/her physical characteristics.It is even possible that your perceived flaws are merely the result of an over-active,unrealistic self analysis.If you really think that your body structure or personality have a glaring fault then take some positive steps to correct that fault-merely lamenting about them will not accomplish anything.And just keep quiet about your weak points.

5) Peep into the secret chamber of your heart.Is there any somnolent desire lurking there?Any skill which you would love to master but dare not attempt because of a fear of failure ?I would suggest that you learn the ropes and then go for it.You are no less capable than anybody else and if you give it a try you are likely to be pleasantly surprised, as i was,when I first touched my pc at the age of 65 yrs.

6) Self deprecation can easily slip into self-bashing.Do not be too hard upon yourself if you fail-in fact be as kind to your own self as you would be to another person.

If it is a joint project or an official assignment which has gone wrong, you might be held responsible by others because there is no dearth of people who will pin the blame upon those who are not likely to rebut or retaliate.People can have exterior motives.Those who suffer from a meager self opinion lambaste themselves even if they are not at fault.

Even if you have failed or committed a blunder, you are not the only one to have done so.It is honest and upright to own up your mistakes but avoid capitulating to false accusations or flogging yourself.It is a review of the whole process which is called for and not guilt, because your method and intentions were the best according to your judgement at that point of time.There is always the next time.

7) Low self esteem comes up as a huge boulder when the time comes to take up an important assignment in hand or to take a personal decision which can have grave ramifications.As a result we often shelve taking a decision or ask for someone's advice or let a momentous opportunity go by.If you really want to strengthen your image it would be better if you consider all the pros and cons of the situation and then--if you are sure of what is good for you--just go for it independently.This will increase your confidence in your own abilities.

8) When you are unsure of what to do it is of course necessary to ask for expert advice and even help;if you do not have the requisite resources.But if this is not the case and you only want additional force behind you, then it is time to let go of those crutches.Take your decisions,use your resources and bask in the adulation and self-satisfaction which will follow.

9) We all want to be loved and for this very purpose we often put up with a lot of insensitivity or indifference from others.But if you want to assert yourself then begin by ignoring such individuals if they do not belong to your inner circle.Do not give them more than you receive.If you fear that they will be hurt by this change in your behavior then think--how long have they been hurting you.Your needs are no less important than others' needs.If you ignore your own happiness then who will care for it?

10) Self esteem cannot come out of a vacuum.If you want to value your own self then make yourself worthy of your respect--stick to your values and standards of behavior,pursue goals which are upright and noble according to your thinking,and don't be secretive about your achievements.

11) Look around you and consider the person you hold in high esteem.What is it that attracts you to him/her?Is it possible to inculcate that quality in yourself?If yes then there is no harm in trying,but it should not devolve into aping.This suggestion needs a caveat--very often it is not because we are inadequate that we feel insignificant;rather we have been made to believe thus by unthinking or uncaring others.Every person is unique and has special attributes.What you are and what you can do,no one else can.So believe in yourself and cherish yourself,all the while learning and evolving. 

In the end I would like to repeat George Elliot's words;
'It is never too late to be what you might have been'

The image is from google.


  1. Very nicely shared, Induji. Agree with all your points!
    You have a new follower :)

    1. Thank you Anita for everything.
      Happy New Year to you and your own.

  2. No post could have been truer than this one Induji

    You have pinpointed the reasons leading to a feeling of inferiority , and the dos and the dont's to overcome this feeling Every para has some gems to offer .I would like to add that voicing your displeasure is also a very important factor which helps in improving relationships --what I mean is that let the other person know what has hurt you only then will he/she understand you and improve themselves or let you understand their point of view thus creating a bridge and filling the gap .
    loved this post of yours as it deals with the problems faced by many of us .
    some people do have the knack to belittle the other and make them feel miserable ---it requires a lot of strength to stand up and stare them right in the face :) but once you do it you have won the battle

    thank you so much for this one



    with warm regards and Lots of Love

    1. Rajni your comment made my day,i am glad you found it useful.
      And your addition to this post is also very important.Yes we do shrink from voicing our displeasure, fearing a sullying of the atmosphere or spoiling relations but it helps to clear the air and strengthen the ties.You have explained it very nicely,i have been guilty of this.

      Thanks a ton for your greetings i too wish you & your family a very Happy & Prosperous New Year!

  3. The biggest problem which gives rise to lack of self-esteem is the way we talk to ourselves. When you lose at something, instead of saying "I lost at this" people tend to say, "I am such a loser". If things do not work out in our circumstances instead of thinking, "Well! Bad Luck this time", people tend to say, "It always happens to me". Thus, instead of seeing a negative result as a one-off thing, people generalize it into a lifetime script. THAT kills all initiative and enthusiasm.

    Apropos of self-deprecation, Indu, I do hope that my so-called 'self-deprecatory humor' does not give you the impression that I am lacking in self-esteem :)

    1. Yes Suresh you are bang on.

      As for the last bit-faaaaaar from it!

  4. hmm indu,all the words you have said will work when people around and society is ideal.lets take example of myself,whenever i speak straight or truth or about righteous life,i face lots of criticism and people around me become hostile and i end up alone getting separated from regular crowd.

    one's self esteem can create hostile atmosphere around and people don't like your presence coz one's righteous behavior causes inconvenience to what kind of self-esteem are we speaking about?behavior that pleases majority society or behavior that makes you stand alone from regular crowd.

    if one's self-esteem is very high,you end up friendless and alone coz you hardly find people who are honest and truthful.when you have self-esteem high and alone,people will find fault with you that being alone is not normal,should we compromise our values to make friends.its hard to find such like-minded people as counselors recommend.

    in the end,am scared to be myself coz its creating lots of hostile atmosphere around and taking away peace of mind.i have seen this from my childhood and i came to conclusion that i should remain calm and can't fight everyone.though i din't give up my character or values,i stopped talking or interacting with people coz it takes me few seconds to read people minds.its really useless to be positive when you know whats coming.


    1. 'if one's self-esteem is very high,you end up friendless and alone'

      Rohan there is a vast difference between very high self esteem & valid self esteem--withe the former people think that he considers all others below him and naturally they take offence.
      Be upright but don't give the impression of being self-righteous-it irritates people and you lose friends.
      Be yourself but don't expect others to be like you.All have their own agendas and you don't know what drives them-let them be.Such is life.

  5. i never said that i look down upon people.i said anyone who is frank, honest and morally right will end up friendless and said self-esteem is to be what you you don't raise your voice when someone is cheating you or doing something wrong that is going to cause loss or hurt to others.

    in real life,people don't have any acceptance to above said qualities so you will be a hurdle to most of them.

    1. We can live by our values and protest against wrongs without being offensive.
      Kejriwal is a fine example of someone who is honest frank and upright but he does have friends.

    2. hmm,this reply brought smile coz i was expecting you to quote dunno kejriwal in person or kejriwal is not writing in your blog.we should not come to conclusion through media hype.i might have agreed with you if you have said same thing after loksabha elections and few months into administration.traveling in a metro is same old politician style to please people and cameras like rahul gandhi visits poor people huts.

      like you said in the above comment,its kejriwal who made sweeping statement that his party and party men are imandari log or honest people and bjp ,congress are chor or thieves.kejriwal branded everyone outside his party as thieves or chor and in the end he has compromised to make alliance with same chor congress.kejriwal is not honest or frank or morally right coz he got votes by saying that he will look into all corrupt practices of shiela dixit.later he got support from same thieves and he has stopped raising his voice what he said before election. kejriwal is same as any other politician,since he is new to politics,he is learning compromising lil bit late.
      with loksabha elections around,all political parties are calm and every politician is behaving like lord ram .congress is supporting kejriwal only for one reason to check the modi factor and to send a goodwill gesture to people that it is supporting imandar party.once election is over,bjp and congress is going to tear AAP into bits and pieces through horse trading coz AAP is big threat to congress than to bjp.

      in the end,kejriwal will be scapegoat of congress and kejriwal will regret for taking congress help.he is going to audit power companies like tata power,does anyone in india have guts to black list companies owned by tata or ambani,i don't think so.the brand TATA won't be silent if someone wants to damage its brand image.kejriwal has to make lots of compromises if he wants to stay in power coz he din't get clear mandate.AAP don't have strong foundation with thousands of morally right people,they came into power by accusing others as thieves and since they are new to politics,the educated and elite of delhi voted for kejriwal coz since delhi is capital with good educational institutions and people dream of obama or america like administration.there was always space for new party but problem is delivering the administration that people are expecting.

      in the end, we should not come to conclusions without analysing things.whenever i do something,i do it complete otherwise i don't comment. thats the only reason why i type lengthy comments to make conversation complete.hope people don't consider it as abnormal.

    3. Rohan whether kejriwal is honest or not is not the issue here....i merely said that even though he talks of honesty and values-he has plenty of followers.....may be it is because he is not arrogant and is also tactful to a large extent,although he cannot go forward without pointing out other parties' lapses.

  6. I've been suffering from low esteem since my school days, I don't know why I think low about myself. Your post clearly explains how to get rid of these feelings. Thanks Induji for this wonderful post! Your blog is best counselor :)

    1. Happy New Year Sri Valli-you are such a fine motivator-God bless you.
      I hope you get out of this trough fast-just try-every day.


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