10 Ways you Might be Unknowingly Poisoning Your Self-Esteem

1. You Don’t Reward Yourself

Rewarding yourself for good work reinforces the belief that you’re capable of achieving great things. It stimulates the feeling that you’re on the right path and that you’re a skilled, talented person, worthy of the experience of success.

What many people fail to realise is that succumbing to constant busyness, without allowing any time for reward or relaxation, gives force to negative thought patterns. “I’m always busy,” “I can never get anything done,” “I’m bad at time-management!” – these are all thoughts that can settle themselves into your psyche if they’re not broken up by intentional periods of positive self-reflection.

2. You Mindlessly Give Energy to Negative Thoughts

The ability to question your internal dialogue is one of the most powerful gifts you have. Low-self esteem works in quite an unusual way. It filters and interprets the world according to its own rules. Somebody that believes deep-down that they are ugly will notice all the things that support that belief (the fact they don’t match up to the beautiful people on advertisements, their low success on dating websites etc.) whilst ignoring the things that don’t.

There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with this, it’s just how the human brain works.

One simple way of overcoming the tendency is by becoming more aware of your reactions through the practice of mindfulness. When you deliberately shine awareness on your responses to the things around you, you are in a better position to challenge them. This might not be possible to maintain all the time, of course, but even a small effort can pay huge personal dividends.

3. You Surround Yourself With Negative People

It’s likely that your self-esteem was shaped by the opinions of those people that surrounded you in early life – parents, high-school classmates, peer groups. If you’re like most people, you took on their views at a time when you didn’t have the discriminatory faculties to see them as nothing more than opinions.

But this is also true to an extent now. Human beings are in many ways products of their environments. If you surround yourself with people that are constantly feeding back their glowing opinions about you, then you’ll naturally start to adopt positive thoughts about yourself. To the contrary, if the people close to you are negative, insulting or unappreciative, the opposite can occur.

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