How do I break this cycle? I have low self esteem.
Activities and interactions that are perfectly mundane for other people are a real struggle for me.
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When I’m in them, I wonder what the other person is thinking about me. Which emotionally sends me tumbling down a spiral staircase.
It’s a terrible cycle.
To break it, we recommend trying any of these 3 self esteem activities.
Journaling is the Most Underrated of all self esteem activities
If you’re on Facebook or LinkedIn, you’ve probably seen people share blogs and infographics about the most important habits of successful people. Keeping a journal seems to be there just about every time. Why is that?
Well, first of all, it’s cathartic. You can literally feel like you’re pulling the thoughts out of your head and putting them down on paper, so they will stop moving around and around and around inside.
Here are two types of journals you may consider.
A thought journal is where you keep a log of your thoughts. Some significant, some completely insignificant.
The most common objection we hear is that “I don’t have time to keep a record of all my thoughts.” Of course you don’t. Nobody does.
You can, however, keep a journal of recurrent thoughts, or thoughts that you feel might be unhealthy or triggering in any way. That’s far less of a time commitment. And you will find the time to do these things, once you start to feel the benefit of them.
Another objection is, “My thoughts are too stupid to write down.” Sure your thoughts may be illogical, but that doesn’t make them stupid.
This journal is JUST for you. You don’t have to share it with anybody. Besides, seeing your thoughts down on paper and realizing that they are not reality is a sign that you’re growing.
A Compliments Journal
A lot of people have low self esteem find this one even more difficult than the thought journal.
A compliments journal is exactly what it sounds like. You will write down three compliments about yourself, every single day.
People with low self esteem struggle with this activity. Not simply because they can’t think of three nice things to say about themselves. But, obviously, that’s a big part of it.
The truth is a lot of people with anxiety or self esteem issues are uncomfortable thinking about themselves in a positive way.
Their thought patterns are extremely well-established and they’re used to blaming themselves for everything. It’s the most comfortable and logical solution to everything for them. A thought journal is a way of trying to break those habits and build new thought patterns.
Yoga or Other Group Exercise
We know. On the surface, yoga or exercising in a group seems like the most counterintuitive of all self esteem activities. But hear us out.
The first thing yoga will do is get you actively seeking self-care. It’s hard to express how important that is. The first step is the hardest and trying something new like this is a huge win.
Yoga will also help you let go of your need for perfectionism. So much of low self esteem is holding yourself up to impossibly high standards.
And finally, yoga will help you feel better and sleep better at night. This will help you properly recharge your battery, and put you in a better position to deal with day-to-day stresses.
This leads to you feeling better about yourself and finding new victories in everyday life. All of a sudden, you’re able to handle a previously devastating scenario with a relative amount of ease. You handle it, instead of freezing up or shutting down.
Of course, just about any exercise is good for you and helps you feel and sleep better.
Those other activities are amazing. And you should be proud of yourself for stepping out of your comfort zone and trying one. But the lack of competition in yoga may be exactly what you need right now.
A big part of self-care is finding activities that you can do, with absolutely no expectation or outcome in mind. That’s what yoga can be for you.
The 60 Seconds Game
This is less of a game and more of an exercise.
Try this when you’re in your next social situation. If there is a big, intimidating group of people, take your focus off the mass of people and focus on one person. Now go over and introduce yourself to that person within 60 seconds of entering this room.
We know. To an introvert or somebody with low self esteem, this sounds like pure hell. “Being in this room is bad enough, now you want me to initiate social interaction? That’s madness.”
We hear you, but try to think of it this way.
Try to imagine being in this room and interacting with people, BEFORE your anxiety can take over and trap you inside your own head. Imagine how it would feel if this went well. Imagine feeling pride swelling up inside yourself for once, instead of fear.
This exercises designed to force you out of your comfort zone, obviously. But it’s also intended to get you there before you start toxic thought patterns or start to doubt yourself.
Some people recommend trying this in a public place, like a coffee shop. That might not be ideal. You can’t always control the mood that the other people will be in when you approach them.
However, if you try this in another setting, where a certain level of socialization with people you don’t know is expected (like a party or conference or business meeting) you’re going to see better results.
What self esteem activities do you find helpful? What has helped you to step out of your shell and find new confidence? We would love to hear from you.