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We all know that self-esteem (sometimes referred to as self-worth or self-respect) can be an important part of success. Too little self-esteem can leave people feeling defeated or depressed. It can also lead people to make bad choices, fall into destructive relationships, or fail to live up to their full potential.
A grandiose sense of self-importance, on the other hand, can be off-putting to others and can even damage personal relationships. It can also be a sign of narcissistic personality disorder, a mental health disorder characterized by an excessive need for admiration and lack of empathy toward other people.
Self-esteem levels at the extreme high and low ends of the spectrum can be harmful, so ideally, it's best to strike a balance somewhere in the middle. Let's see how:
When you have a negative outlook, it can be difficult to see your own positive attributes. This exercise requires you to actively seek out your positive attributes so that you can improve your self-image. When you list them, also write a quick note for each attribute, outlining what it is that you love about it.
If you find more than 10 attributes, keep going. You are a unique and wonderful human being with so much to offer the world - it is important that you take the time to realize this.
Recognizing the many skills you possess allows you to see that you have great value and worth to offer. For each skill, write a brief note explaining how others might benefit, or have benefitted from this skill.
Again, if you find more than 10 skills, keep going.
The reason that this simple exercise is so powerful is that it forces you to look at your skill set from a perspective that you are not currently considering.
When you are shrouded in negativity, it is easy to forget about the things you have achieved in the past. Recognizing past achievements helps you realize that you are capable of achieving more in the future. Write a detailed account of each achievement.
If you find yourself moving past 5, keep going until your inspiration runs dry.
One of the biggest factors in self-esteem is understanding that you have the resilience required to cope with anything that life throws at you. Your past achievements in overcoming adversity enable you to see that you can cope with difficult times. For each occasion, write a detailed account of the adversity you faced and the skills and attributes you used to overcome it/them.
Remember that you do not have to stop at 3!
Do not just identify the 5 people; write a detailed account of how they have helped you. Doing this allows you to realize that other people value you and see worth in you. This is why they are motivated to help you. If you’re comfortable, send it to them - good vibes!
As always, when you hit 5, you can keep going.
When you have low self-esteem, you may feel that you offer little of value to other people. This exercise helps you to see that you offer a great deal more than you ever realized. For each person, highlight how you helped them and how they benefited from your help.
If you do not want to stop at 5, don’t.
Many people confuse gratitude and appreciation. Gratitude is simply letting the other person know that you are grateful for their help. Appreciation is taking the time to understand how you benefited from the help you received. When you take the time to appreciate, you start to realize how fortunate you are and view life in a more positive light.