How to Cultivate Self-Esteem to Always be the Best Version of You

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How to Cultivate Self-Esteem to Always be the Best Version of You - Introvert Whisperer

Being the best versions of ourselves can seem like an overwhelming, anxiety-inducing feat that is full of “should have’s” and “have to’s.” In reality, learning to love yourself, listen to your heart, and cultivate your self-esteem should be an excellent opportunity to get to know yourself better and experience a fantastic journey.

One of the hardest things to do is to learn to listen to your instincts. Your instincts are who you are at your core; they are what will make you happy and listening to them will lead you down a path of self-discovery where you will find out just how far you can go.

Finding self-worth and having it even in the lowest of times is a hard act to follow through with. The idea that we have been given, for the last eighty years (at least), is that material possession can be the way to happiness.

Unfortunately, that only provides us with instant gratitude that fades away quickly, especially when we see the next thing, which is usually right around the corner.

Take a moment to reflect and listen to the small voice inside your head, heart, or gut, which will give you an idea of what you want.

Gathering the initiative to chase after it is a different story but is intertwined. Taking action is where you will begin to make strides toward cultivating your self-esteem. And even when the strides feel small, taking them is an essential step on your path to becoming the best version of yourself.

So, what are a few steps to take? How do you move into action? What do you do first?

Start small.

Permit yourself to start small. Having one small goal for a few weeks and being able to complete it will give you some clarity on how goals work instead of setting the lofty goals when the habit of cultivating hasn’t been set yet.

Take your time.

How many times have you set yourself up to experience something fantastic in an unrealistic timeline? Working at a dream job, finishing up school, learning about yourself—these all take time. When you rush to finish something, you miss the journey. And you can also get burned out quickly. When we burn out, chances are we will get stuck in the cycle of “we can’t do it.” Instead of realizing that we can do it, but the timeline we created for ourselves was unrealistic.

Learning how to run a marathon and come in first doesn’t happen in a few weeks. First, you have to build up the stamina and endurance to go the distance. Then, you build up your speed.

Use Positive Affirmations.

Having daily, positive affirmations to say to yourself is a great way to start small. The problem is that if you think you are going to feel comfortable doing it at the beginning, you’re wrong. It takes time to learn to say nice things to yourself, and also, in the beginning, it feels bizarre to say these things (even when writing a note).

The reason it feels so weird is that our brains are hard-wired to tell us the bad things about ourselves before realizing the best in ourselves. A good trick to implement is to catch yourself in the act of saying something negative. In other words, if you wouldn’t say it to your friend, don’t say it to yourself.

Again, make sure that your affirmations are something attainable and real. “I’m going to love myself today” is a great starting point, for example.

Find What Your Passions Are and Take Action.

Nothing is harder than taking action. Doing something that you want to do when you want to do it is one of the hardest steps a person must take, and it is one of the fewest roads taken.

So many people get stuck in the idea of “can’t” that they never realize that they can. Just because something seems hard doesn’t mean that it is hard. The practice of taking action, even if it is a small step, is one more step toward your goal.

You want to go to school for music but are afraid to put all your eggs in that basket? Take a fall-back major and begin by taking a few music credits to get your feet wet. Then figure out how to incorporate it into the fall-back course and marry that career together. You can be a musician, but figuring out how to make it work for you is the key.

Something to remember is that there will always be people telling you that you “can’t.” These are the people that are telling themselves that they can’t as well. The word “can’t” is fear-based. Fear is something that screams in our head, but when you challenge it, you’ll see how small it really is.

Remember that you can if you truly want to. Everyone can.

Find Self Compassion.

Another hard thing to do, besides take action, is to be nice to yourself. Giving yourself daily and realistic affirmations, learning that “failure” is not a bad word, and realizing that success will come to you if you keep going are tough habits to get into.

When you fail, you learn. Learning is how we find out new things about ourselves and how we figure out how to do things right. Failing is not a bad thing, but being kind to ourselves when we do fail is tough.

Being kind to yourself when you are down, have failed, or are learning something new is one of the best things you can do for yourself, your esteem, and the people around you. When you get into the practice of saying kind phrases to yourself like “It’s okay,” “I’ll get it soon,” or “This is what I learned” when you fall is a great way to start accepting who you are.

Conclusion

Finding the best version of you takes years of training yourself to start small, be patient, act kindly, and take action. It isn’t something that will come to you overnight.

Realizing the negative thoughts and fears that come with being human are only thoughts and concerns is something that needs to be erased with positive affirmations and kindness. Going for your goals and listening to your instincts is a great place to start. The most wonderful thing is, once you get on the ball, fall of the ball, and get on the ball again, you will be able to pass along the knowledge you learned to others. And that will be the greatest gift you can give to yourself.

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Kara is a professional writer, editor, and graphic/web designer. She spends her days working from home with her husband, two children, a dog, her cat, and her hedgehog Chester Copperpot. Nothing makes her happier than when she can burrow under the covers at an insanely early time of day to read a book.

Resources:

Psych Central, TED Talks

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