Building a healthy self-esteem is essential in order to have a full and satisfying life; it helps you develop a positive relationship with yourself, face challenges with resilience, and have fulfilling relationships. It’s a process worth undertaking in order to improve your well-being and quality of life.
Healthy self-esteem refers to the establishment of a solid and balanced foundation of personal value and acceptance. It’s a continuous process that begins during childhood when the set of perceptions, thoughts, evaluations, emotions, and behavior trends are built. Let’s learn more about the subject in the following article.
What’s considered healthy self-esteem?
Healthy self-esteem doesn’t mean always being in a state of euphoria or never facing doubts or insecurities; It’s normal to have emotional ups and downs. Healthy self-esteem is distinguished by a positive and realistic assessment of oneself. There are several aspects that make up this perception. In principle, it involves confidence in oneself and in the ability to face challenges is essential.
In the same way, accepting your virtues and defects influences good self-esteem. Self-respect, healthy boundary setting, and a sense of dignity are added. Prioritizing physical, mental, and emotional well-being also favors healthy self-esteem; which is reflected in the individual capacity to handle failure and criticism, addressing them constructively.
In turn, a healthy self-esteem also influences the ability to persevere, recover, and adapt in adverse situations. As a Frontiers in Psychology post highlights, resilient people are less prone to low self-esteem, and empathy toward oneself can’t be put aside; Be kind and compassionate toward yourself.
How to build a healthy self-esteem
Having a healthy self-esteem is a process that takes time and effort, but it’s possible to achieve. We’ll offer you some tips that you can take advantage of.
Recognize your achievements
One of the essential recommendations to nurture healthy self-esteem is to learn to recognize and value your successes, however small they may be. Take pride in your skills and talents.
Spend time taking care of yourself. This involves eating a healthy diet, exercising, getting enough rest, and maintaining good personal hygiene. Taking care of your body and mind is essential to strengthen self-esteem, as indicated by an article in the International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology.
Be aware of your thoughts
Pay attention to your thoughts and replace the negative ones with more positive and realistic ones. Avoid excessive self-criticism and focus on your qualities and strengths.
Set achievable goals
Setting realistic and achievable goals leads to feelings of security and satisfaction. One strategy to achieve them and enjoy the process is to divide these goals into smaller steps so that you celebrate each progress.
Surround yourself with positive people
Choose companies that support you and make you feel worthy. Avoid people who constantly criticize you or make you feel bad; on the contrary, it’s best to surround yourself with those who inspire and help you grow.
Learn to accept yourself as you are
Nobody is perfect, and we all have areas for improvement. Understand your strengths and weaknesses, work on acceptance, and cultivate compassion towards yourself.
Seek help if you need it
If you’re dealing with emotional issues or your self-esteem is affecting your quality of life, consider seeking professional help. Psychological therapy offers tools to strengthen self-esteem.
Is there an unhealthy type of self-esteem?
- Low self-esteem: When a person has a negative and devalued opinion of themself, they feel incompetent, unworthy, or worthless. This leads to feelings of inferiority, insecurity, and difficulties in accepting and valuing oneself.
- Inflated self-esteem: You have an exaggeratedly positive opinion of yourself. They’re arrogant, narcissistic people who seek constant appreciation and admiration from others. This self-esteem can be fragile and dependent on external approval, leading to inconveniences in dealing with criticism or failure.
- Comparative self-esteem: This involves constantly comparing yourself with others and valuing yourself based on how you perceive yourself in regard to others. You always end up feeling inferior or superior to others, which leads to envy, resentment, or a frequent search for external validation.
- Conditioned self-esteem: This is based on achievements such as professional success, physical appearance, or the approval of others. These people feel good about themselves only when they meet certain standards, which can generate a feeling of constant dissatisfaction and difficulties in maintaining a stable and solid self-esteem.
It’s important to recognize these types of unhealthy self-esteem in order to work on their improvement and to promote a balanced and positive self-esteem.
The difference between building a healthy self-esteem and increasing your self-esteem
The approach and process involved make the difference between building a healthy self-esteem and increasing your self-esteem. When building self-esteem, you work on developing a solid and balanced foundation from scratch or from a low point.
It’s a deeper process that involves addressing limiting beliefs, learning to accept and value yourself, and cultivating a positive attitude toward yourself. Building a healthy self-esteem requires internal work and changes in personal perception and valuation.
For its part, increasing self-esteem refers to raising or strengthening existing self-esteem, but which may be affected by external or internal factors. The objective is to improve and reinforce confidence and self-esteem.
Increasing self-esteem leads to focusing on the recognition of achievements, fostering resilience, seeking personal improvement, and strengthening one’s own abilities and talents.
Both building and increasing self-esteem are relevant processes and can complement each other depending on individual needs and circumstances.
How do I know if I’m building a healthy self-esteem?
Building a healthy self-esteem is a subjective process, but there are signs and positive changes that you can observe. Some ways to assess your progress are listed below:
- Greater satisfaction and well-being: You feel happier with yourself and experience inner peace.
- General feeling of worth: You begin to feel more valued and worthy in general, without depending too much on external approval.
- Confidence in yourself: You begin to have more confidence in your skills and abilities, you feel confident when facing challenges, and you believe in your ability to overcome obstacles.
- Acceptance of your imperfections: You become more compassionate with yourself and you recognize that we’re all human beings in a constant process of growth and learning.
- Less self-criticism: You reduce negative internal dialogue. You speak to yourself with kindness and compassion, acknowledging your achievements and efforts rather than focusing only on your failures.
- Resilience: You learn to handle failure and mistakes constructively. You’re not easily discouraged and you see yourself as a person who’s capable of learning and growing through challenges.
- Healthy Boundaries: You set healthy boundaries in your relationships and in the way you treat yourself. You’re aware of your needs and make sure to meet them without neglecting yourself or allowing others to treat you disrespectfully.
When is it advisable to seek professional support to address self-esteem issues?
It’s advisable to seek professional attention when low self-esteem significantly affects your quality of life and emotional well-being. You can sense it if feelings of self-hatred and worthlessness prevail, you have an inability to set limits, and negative and self-critical thought patterns persist.
Other signs that it’s time to request support from a specialist are difficulties in accepting and valuing oneself, problematic interpersonal relationships, and anxiety or depression resulting from the above aspects.
A psychologist helps explore and address underlying self-esteem issues and provides strategies for developing it in a healthy way, as well as working on emotional management. If previous attempts to improve self-esteem on your own aren’t effective or if the emotional challenges become overwhelming, don’t hesitate to go to the specialist.