“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Self esteem is really the beliefs you have about yourself, it has much less to do with others initially. However, how you feel about yourself is reflected in how others treat you. In general, women experience on average about 13 negative thoughts about their body a day. This means we have our work cut out in trying to maintain a healthy self-image. The good news is, the only person you can change is yourself, on the other hand the only one who can do that heavy lifting is you.
Here are 6 tips on maintaining a healthy self-image:
1.) Don’t let other speak poorly of you and don’t do it yourself. Share with your family and friends when what they say pulls you down; give them a chance to realize how they are impacting you and to choose to support you. Surround yourself as much as possible with people who build you up. Fill your life with people like singer John Legend who will love “all your curves and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections.”
2.) Make a self inventory – list the 5 most destructive things you say to yourself and 5 things you most appreciate about yourself (think of positive things others say to you if you have a hard time coming up with the list). When your inner critic throws one at you from the destructive side of the list, combat it immediately with one from the complimentary list. Be on your own side; if you won’t, then who else would?
3.) Be compassionate with yourself – if you can’t think kindly of yourself, it won’t matter what others think. Say “stop” to your inner critic. Replace that destructive thought with something more productive immediately and give yourself some credit.
4.) Choose a pump-yourself-up, confidence anthem and play it when you need a boost and a reminder of your value.
5.) The comparison trap: Don’t spend time comparing yourself to others, you know only what you can see. Each of us our own struggles with imperfection that you can’t see when you first look at us. Perfection is a myth, don’t perpetuate it.
6.) The only way you will feel differently is to focus on self acceptance rather than comparison. Make a conscious choice about how you want to spend your energy – feeding inadequacy or feeding self-confidence. Whatever you feed will grow.
You don’t have a choice in how you were born, you do have a choice about what you do with it and how you feel about yourself for the rest of your life.
Be unapologetically yourself.
Thrive on Purpose.
Dr. Sahar Bhaloo is a Doctor of Psychology from the US, a leading expert of Global Mental Health. She is currently working on improving mental health care access and services in Mumbai. She will be a part of our extra special #ChicksRule Google+ Hangout with the Khoobsurats Sonam Kapoor and Adhuna Akhtar on September 5th at 5pm, so make sure you enter the contest to dial in here – you can ask her questions live and find out more. Because, after all, chicks really do rule, and we want you to remember that. :)