Not good enough? 7 Strategies to building your self-esteem
Updated: May 12, 2022
I’m no stranger to that that little voice that says “not good enough” - It was there day I didn’t submit my application because the other students were “better than me”, in the meetings where my idea was “probably stupid” and , it was definitely there all those times that I dated losers for longer than I should have.
We’ve all experienced self-doubt at some point. But if your “not good enough” is holding you back then this is for you.
Contrary to what some may believe, confidence is a skill that can be learnt. We can learn to quiet the self-doubt and show up as the best and most brilliant version of ourselves - Here’s how:
1. Admit that there’s a problem
This may seem obvious but until you recognise the problem, you wont find a solution.
I once had a client who kept talking about getting a new job but never put her CV out. It wasn’t that she was lazy or too busy. She was worried she wouldn’t get interviews. The first step to finding her dream job was acknowledging the problem.
Maybe you can already list the opportunities you haven’t taken, things you thought you’d fail at, or circumstances you’re putting up with .. but if not – think about it now, be brutally honest and set yourself free.
2. Focus on what you have achieved
We are all great at pinpointing our weaknesses and failings. By shifting our focus and recognising achievements we create a balanced perspective and give ourselves permission to acknowledge how far we have come.
For me, I make a point of journaling.
Whether you write a list, keep a journal, have a star chart or an elaborate spreadsheet, make a habit of recognising what you’ve achieved.
Everything counts so think beyond the awards and accolades. Add the obstacles you’ve overcome, the people you’ve impacted, all the big and small things that make you proud. Own your success and accomplishments – they are yours.
3. Create opportunities to succeed
There is no greater confidence builder than seeing ourselves succeed - That thrill when a presentation goes well, when we land a new client or deliver an awesome piece of work. Success breeds success.
Try breaking big scary dreams into smaller, achievable milestones, conduct a “Self SWAT, gather new skills where needed and tackle projects that stretch (but don’t drown you).
Create a trail of small but meaningful wins that fuel your motivation and inspire you to keep going.
4. Accept mistakes as learnings
As a young manager, I once sent an email in a fit of anger, complete with jumbled logic, a sea of bold read text and an excess of exclamation marks. It wasn’t great (and the humble pie was even worse), but I did learn a valuable lesson... now I sleep on emails I might regret.
Mistakes are our teachers.
Forgive yourself, embrace mistakes and find the opportunities for learning. As you do, you’ll build resilience, and discover how setbacks can springboard your growth and fuel your self-esteem.
5. Build your tribe
It’s not rocket science that it helps to have people who support and encourage us. But how often have you taken a close look at who you are surrounding yourself with?
Are there people who consistently bring you down? “friends” whose social posts are nauseating? Or groups that are toxic?
We become a version of the people we surround ourselves with. So, do yourself a favour and build a tribe that has you back, that builds you up and celebrates all of who you are and dream to be.
6. Find your calm
Stress plays a huge role in how we feel about ourselves. It affects every aspect of our lives and has the unwanted effect of amplifying our negative self-talk.
Whether it’s running with the dog, meditating, joining a yoga class, painting a skyline, or taking a walk – wherever you find your calm, make it part of everyday.
Calm provides peace, sanctuary from the voice in your head and it's the source of inner bravery.
7. Celebrate and Reward Yourself
Finally, when your hard work and efforts pay off, take the time to reward yourself and celebrate. Every accomplishment is a step further and the more you reward and recognise this, the more you’ll see your worth and build your belief.
You did it! Pop open the champagne, take a moment to reflect and share your excitement with others. Go on, enjoy it! You have earned it.
And then my friends, keep going! You are brilliant and if you don’t yet believe it, these strategies will get you well on your way.