A few years ago I was working with a beautiful Eastern European girl. To me, she was perfect. She had long blonde hair, gorgeous blue eyes and a cute smile.
However, at that time my self-esteem had hit it’s lowest point.
My first thought when I saw her was, “Wow, she’s beautiful.” My immediate next thought was, “You’ll never be worthy enough to get her.”
So, in the space of about two seconds, my low self-esteem had taken over.
As much as I would like to give this story a happy ending, I never once spoke to her. In my mind, I would never be good enough.
A lot has happened since that day. I started to focus on building self-esteem and changes happened – though it was slow going. I’ve had a lot of time to think and I’ve learned so much since then.
Though I am nowhere near perfect, I have learned what I believe to be an extremely effective way to begin the process of building self-esteem.
So today I am going to show you my simple 4-step method to boost your self-esteem.
I should make this clear, this is not a short, overnight process. Anyone who promises you overnight results on your self-esteem is almost certainly lying to you. This method will take time and conscious effort to make work.
It is simple, but it’s also long-term.
My 4-Step Process for Building Self-Esteem
Before you start the process, you should grab yourself some paper and a pen. I don’t recommend using a word processor for this. Physically writing it down will provide a greater connection between you and what’s being written.
Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed.
Take a few deep breaths and try to clear your mind of any thoughts of magic self-esteem cures.
As much as possible, do not filter yourself when completing this exercise. Let what is on your mind simply flow on to the page. Don’t worry about neat handwriting, staying within lines or complex grammar rules. Just write and don’t think.
Step 1) Write Down Everything About Yourself That You Feel Contributes To Your Low Self-Esteem
Write down everything that has ever brought down your self-esteem.
Just writing about this exercise right now has brought several things to mind immediately:
- I’m too fat
- I’m a crap writer
- I have bad teeth
- My sense of style is terrible
- My hair is awful
Get every fear, insecurity and anxiety down on paper.
But, be warned. This part of the exercise will not make you feel great.
Having to consciously bring up what you believe are the worst parts of yourself will be painful. So, when you finish this part of the exercise I want you to stop and go do something to bring your energy up.
Go for a walk. Listen to some uplifting music. Watch a motivational video.
Do something to get yourself out of the negative state of mind. You don’t have to get into a positive frame of mind – that can sometimes just make things worse. Just get out of the dark side of your mind.
When you’re back, move on to Step 2.
Step 2) Rank Your Low Self-Esteem Contributors
Again, using your gut feeling and relying on your instincts, mark each low self-esteem contributor on a scale of 1 to 10.
Of course, ‘1’ is the least problematic and ’10’ is the most problematic.
You have to make these judgements based entirely on how you feel. In the example above, being a crap writer would probably be a ‘5’ whereas being too fat would be a ’10’.
Go through and fully connect to your feelings.
Be aware though that not everything can be a 10.
Once you’re done, take another break and then come back for Step 3.
Step 3) Fix The Easiest Things On The List
By now you’ll have a complete list of ranked contributors to your low self-esteem.
It may be worthwhile to put them in a table on a word processor now so that you can see them in their ranks.
All you have to do now is work from the bottom of the list – the ‘1’s’ – all the way up to the top one by one.
Sounds simple enough right?
Yes and no.
Some of them will be easy fixes. For example, in my example list I wrote that I had a terrible sense of style. This would be a 1 or 2 for me and is easily remedied by either beginning to purchase a new wardrobe, getting a friend to go through my clothes and throw out the non-stylish ones or seeking help from a professional (though this might be an expensive option, so I probably wouldn’t do that).
On the other hand, having bad teeth is a somewhat difficult fix and is a 10 on my list. If I wanted to whiten my teeth I could buy a number of products, I could use hydrogen peroxide (not highly recommended) or I could go to a dental professional.
Side Note: You might find as you go through your list that some of the things on there might not even bother you at all. If that’s the case, then cross it out as completed – you’ve already overcome that hurdle.
Focus on one thing at a time. Don’t try to do them all at once.
Fix one contributor then follow Step 4.
Step 4) Work Through Your List Until Completion
If you work on one contributor at a time, it won’t be long until you’ve started making progress in building your self-esteem.
It will take some hard work and a lot of it won’t be easy.
The other popular alternative is to find a therapist, counsellor or coach to find the root of these issues. However, there is no guarantee that your self-esteem issues will disappear if you can discover where they came from.
Knowledge isn’t always power.
I believe that it is a lot more effective to simply attack the problem head-on.
Take immediate action and start to eliminate the sources of your low self-esteem.
Let’s recap the 4-Step process quickly:
- Identify Your Low Self-Esteem Contributors
- Rank Them From 1 – 10
- Pick The Easiest and Start Fixing It
- Move Through Your List One By One
Over time, you’ll start to rebuild your sense of low self-esteem and you’ll be on the road to better confidence and a better state of being.
Some things will be difficult to fix. Others things might be impossible to entirely fix and some things may be out of your control.
If that’s the case, then all you can do is reduce that contributor down to a reasonable level.
For example, it would be difficult to cut off a family member who brings you down. However, you can talk to them about how you feel or you can reduce the amount of contact you have with them. It won’t fix the problem forever, but it will reduce it to a manageable level and sometimes that’s better than a complete fix because it will teach you resilience.
Give it a try and take some positive action in your life today.
You might just surprise yourself by how simple it is to begin to raise your self-esteem.