Is self-esteem the foundation of happiness? Or vice versa? Could the road to strong self-esteem be persuaded by deliberate efforts to shift to thoughts that bring happiness? No wonder getting to what gives you pleasure can be so elusive. Whereas, happiness is complex. Add self-esteem struggles to this complicated mix, and it makes it even more daunting.
It is okay to have days where you do not feel as confident as usual, where you do not feel as good about yourself. All of us have those days. But when this becomes a recurring cycle, it is problematic. You may be suffering from low self-esteem, which can go a long way. From impacting your mental health to the different spheres of your life, the consequences are endless – depending on how low your self-esteem is.
Once you increase your self-esteem, happiness comes with it. Now, let’s examine the link between self-esteem and happiness.
How Is Happiness Linked With Self-Esteem?
Negative thoughts and emotions can lead to unhappiness. So, is happiness linked with self-esteem in any way? Yes, in a way, but not necessarily. You may feel happier because with high self-esteem comes a more positive approach to life in general. You feel more confident taking the risks that you would not take if you had low self-esteem. You just feel comfortable in your own skin. You accept yourself for who you are and feel more content in life.
Despite that, there are some similarities between self-esteem and happiness. Both are a result of your thoughts and self-talk. For instance, being unhappy can trigger self-esteem issues or vice versa. Self-esteem and happiness are more than just about money, power, fame, or what others think of you. Happiness comes from within. Healthy self-esteem has to come from you, as well. Both are possible to possess, devoid of those factors too.
Is Happiness the Key to Self-Esteem?
Happiness is not the solution to boosting your self-esteem. Happiness is subjective. It can come from many different factors – not necessarily from self-esteem. Happiness is not a prerequisite to build self-esteem as self-esteem can be built in numerous ways.
So, before it is too late, let us dive into how to build self-esteem by taking control of your happiness.
How to Build Self-Esteem?
The balance is super important – self-esteem that is too high or too low is not good for you. First, let us talk about how high self-esteem is beneficial for your whole being. It can make you look at failure and rejection from a positive lens, as a learning experience, rather than something to justify your low self-esteem by feeding it. Having high self-esteem can also make you less prone to feeling anxious, upset, or frustrated when surrounded by challenging situations. However, having self-esteem that is too high can make you extra sensitive to criticism – even constructive criticism, which can make you have an adverse reaction to it, which is detrimental to your self-growth.
Ask yourself: did a life event make you feel bad about yourself? Did someone say something negative to you, and did that stick around with you? Are the people you are surrounded with constantly bringing you down? The first step to build your self-esteem is to find out what triggered that in the first place.
Recognize Triggers of Low Self-Esteem
- Are job applications not going well?
- Did you fail a class presentation or an exam?
- Are you having trouble connecting with a loved one, and blaming yourself for it?
- Are you having a hard time transitioning into a new phase of life, or to a sudden change in life circumstances? For instance, transitioning from student life to work life, losing a job, or your child moving out of the home.
These are some of the common triggers of low self-esteem. Identify them. Challenge them. And redirect your thoughts and reactions, from negative to positive.
Know Your Real Worth. List Your Accomplishments.
Think about it. Why do we focus on the negative comments more than the compliments we receive? Why do they stick around more? Remember your worth. Know your real worth, not the one that is determined by these comments that are meant to bring you down. Start viewing rejection and failure as a learning experience. See it as you being one step closer to achieving what you want. Failure and rejection is just part of the package, and part of the journey to the final destination.
Make a list of everything you have accomplished in life, no matter how big or small. Whether it is securing the job of your dreams, passing an exam, or sustaining a relationship that was having a rough patch, write it down. Read it every time you begin to focus on the negatives again. Rebuild your self-esteem by reiterating the truth about yourself to yourself, in writing, out loud and in your head, till you actually begin to believe it. Use that to help someone else out too. Ask yourself: Would you say such a negative thing to a friend? If not, then do not say it to yourself either.
What Other People Think Does Not Matter
Prioritize what you want to do, without taking other people’s values, opinions, and potential judgments into account. Identify what your values are. Do what aligns with that. It will help build confidence, and make you feel happier in life, boosting self-esteem. Do not be afraid to be yourself. Get out of your comfort zone, and be yourself 100%. Ask yourself, why do you want to surround yourself with people who will not like the real, authentic version of you? Why would you want to fake being someone you are not to impress others? It is impossible to impress everyone all the time. It can get mentally exhausting.
Dress to Impress Yourself
Do you feel more confident when you dress up? When you look good, you feel good. Wear that confidence on your shoulders. Let the self-esteem boost come through that.
Do Something Creative
Creativity is a great exercise to stimulate the brain. It gives you that adrenaline rush. Make time for that hobby. Do something challenging. It will give you a sense of accomplishment and potentially boost your self-esteem. Try to get out of your comfort zone. Meet new people. Put yourself in different situations that you would usually avoid. That is a great way to build confidence.
Let your past go and gain self-esteem again. People who have no positive energy to contribute to your life or do not respect your boundaries, let them go. Build your self-esteem with the help of a Mental Health Therapist. Individual therapy is the best one recommended to help you regain the confidence you need to have to live a happier life. Talk to your Therapist about your past, discover what brought you to this low point of self-esteem, and tackle it once and for all!
How to Get Professional Help?
Low self-esteem can go a long way and impact your life negatively. So before that happens, let us get to how you can seek professional help, and move past this issue once and for all. Our Mental Health Therapists at MindShift Psychological Services can assist you. You can also look for “Therapist Near Me” on the internet to find licensed Therapists near your area.
Always remember that your circumstances do not define your persona. With the help of MindShift Psychological Services, our professional Mental Health Counselors can help you discover the root of low self-esteem, and let you learn to differentiate your life events from your self-esteem.