Having low self esteem stinks. Plain and simple. The thing is, it’s hard to move past having low self esteem because simply having low self esteem makes us dislike ourselves even more than we already do. We place ourselves into a vicious cycle where we want to get out of our low self esteem, but we sink deeper.
The first step to surviving low self esteem is accepting your low self esteem. I’m not advocating having self esteem – I’m simply saying that accepting your low self esteem will help you like yourself a bit more. This helps in tough situations, like when someone says, “You’re so nice, you shouldn’t have such low self esteem!” First of all, it’s not their business. Yes, they’re just trying to be nice, but how does someone telling you that your feelings are wrong help? Answer: it does not. So, accept your low self esteem. It’s shaped your personality and it’s helped to form some of your great qualities. So, embrace it. When it gets better you can analyze it more. But until then, accept it and make jokes if anyone says something about it. If you act like it doesn’t bother you, it will bother you less, and your deflection will give you strength.
Next, find something that you’re good at doing. This sounds hard, but it’s really not that bad. If you’re like me, this will take some time…and some time to accept. For the longest time, I truly believed that I wasn’t good at anything. Then I started writing, and I really enjoyed it. Am I the best writer ever? Absolutely not. But am I good? I’m at least pretty good! I also got into jewelry making, which I enjoy. The best part about both of these things is that I can use a pseudonym when doing them. I can sell jewelry without anyone knowing me, and I can write under a fake name. So, am I cured of my self esteem? No. But do I love what I do, and does it make me feel good? Absolutely.
Find a good friend. Don’t be afraid to approach a coworker or meet someone online. A good friend will help you better understand yourself and will love you for who you are. Everyone needs a good friend, and a good friend has the magical ability to make you feel better about yourself.
Do nice things for yourself. Buy yourself nice clothes. Get manicures and pedicures. Buy expensive makeup. If it makes you feel better, go for it! You might be masking some insecurities, but if that’s what it takes, do it. Obviously, don’t do anything you can’t afford, but if some $1 drugstore nail polish or a $60 pedicure helps you, get them.
Admit that you do like something about yourself. Even though you might feel like the worst person on earth (which you’re not), there’s always something – even something trivial – that you like. If you like your skin tone, great! Wear makeup to accentuate it. If you like your singing voice, sing at an open mic night several miles away where you won’t know anyone. Allow yourself to enjoy what you like about yourself. It may not be much at first, but once you become open to liking yourself, you’ll like yourself more and more.