Lualhati Tiu (@tatssd) - Deepstash

Lualhati Tiu

@tatssd

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Build Yourself Up

Many of us recognize the value of improving our feelings of self-worth. When our self-esteem is higher, we not only feel better about ourselves, we are more resilient as well.

That said, it is certainly possible to improve our self-esteem if we go about it the right way. Here are five ways to nourish your self-esteem when it is low: it is low:

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The Love You Need Is Within You

Self love is holding yourself accountable for the contributions you’ve made in the failure of your previous relationships, having regular check-ins with your heart to make sure it’s okay, and most importantly, saying no to things that don’t align with the person you want to be. People will call you selfish and picky, but I can guarantee that not being so accessible to people is what’ll open your eyes to things you don’t want, thus making it easier to avoid them altogether. In doing so, you not only avoid repeating old dysfunctional patterns, but you also avoid creating new ones that are equally bad for you.

Self-love is reminding yourself every day that love is a beautiful thing , and that because you are beautiful, you deserve it in its purest, most sincere form . Being intimate with yourself (not just in a sexual way, if that’s a thing for you) is probably the most important part in the self-love journey. Intimacy strengthens any bond created, and what better bond is there to strengthen than the one you have with your best self? It’s like getting to know someone new. You’re getting to know who you are, what you like and don’t like. Elevating your self-awareness to such a level is guaranteed to keep you from settling for an imitation or version of love that won’t build you.

Energy is everything, and when you love yourself more, you attract people who vibrate at the same frequency. A healthy love between two (or more) people is one where two (or more) people who love themselves wholly come together to share in that love with each other. There is little to no space for petty relationship BS that’s plaguing and destroying modern relationships when you and your person effortlessly yet intentionally give love as much as you’re receiving it. The love you need is not hard to find, because it begins with you.

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Dream On

So I get why we fear dreaming. It’s hard for us to get our hopes up that things will go the way we want them to. Yet and still, we need to put this worry as far away from our psyches as possible. You might call it madness, but I call it necessary.

Here’s the thing. Life can absolutely be a filth bucket, even for people who TRY and STRIVE and DREAM. The difference is that those people can go to sleep at night and wake up in the morning knowing that they at least tried. They can take some small solace that they did what they could. Life’s shenanigans can be off-the-chart levels for them. But they blame life, not themselves.

When our dreams come true, we’re expanding the worlds of others because now they know theirs can too.

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A Secret Weapon for Blooming

The good news is that self-doubt, odd as it may sound, is actually a secret weapon for blooming. When properly managed, it can help combat complacency and improve our preparation and performance. It drives us to question results, experiment with new strategies, and be open to alternate ways to solve problems — tactics that correlate with late bloomer strengths such as curiosity and resilience. But self-doubt isn’t only a performance enhancer; it’s also a recipe for being a wiser leader, teacher, parent and friend, because coming to terms with it makes us more compassionate and gives us greater insight into ourselves and others. The problem is that many people deal with self-doubt by sabotaging our chances of success.

To bloom, we must learn not to fear self-doubt but to embrace it as a naturally occurring opportunity for growth and improvement. The key to harnessing self-doubt starts at the very core of our individual beliefs about ourselves, with what psychologists call “self-efficacy.” And understanding self-efficacy begins with Albert Bandura.

We can improve self-efficacy through something we already do: Talk. We all talk ourselves through situations, good and bad. It’s our inner cheerleader — or our inner critic. Psychologists and researchers call this voice “self-talk.” Self-talk shapes our relationships with ourselves, allowing us to try to see things more objectively. Objectivity can be enormously beneficial for late bloomers, helping us overcome the negative cultural messages we receive from family, friends and society.

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The Real Source of Harm

The Stoics remind us that there really is no such thing as an objectively good or bad occurrence. Situations require our participation, context and categorization in order to be "bad".

Our reaction is what actually decides whether harm has occurred. If we raise our voice because we feel we’re being confronted, naturally a confrontation will ensue.

But if we retain control of ourselves, we decide whether to label something good or bad.

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