The Fastest Way To Increase A Person’s Self Esteem

The challenge of undoing years of criticism.

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The words we think and speak make our mind, body, and psyche act in a way that makes those thoughts become our reality.

The Loop

Our thoughts control and dictate our feelings. Our feelings control and dictate our actions. Our actions control and dictate our events. And loop back to prove the original thoughts.

Where Did It All Start?

It can seem difficult to find a starting point when you are unsure as to where these thoughts began initially. That being said, the most practical starting point for each of us is our childhood — the time before we learned the socially-sanctioned art of self-deprecation. Children have an innate tendency to accept the compliments that they receive without batting an eye. You tell them they are the ‘prettiest, smartest, and most pleasant’ child in the room and they will accept the statement as true without hesitation.

Over time, we began to add weight to the words being spoken to us and influence the malicious intent behind them, specifically the negative ones. How often do you hear a person unintentionally challenge a compliment being given to them?

Here’s an example: “Oh, I love that shirt on you!” “Oh, this? I’ve had this shirt for so long. I need to do laundry.” or “You did a really great job on that presentation!” “Oh no, I felt completely underprepared and kept messing up throughout the entire thing.”

We became so used to the idea that there is something wrong with us and that we deserve the criticism, that we fail ourselves by failing to correct the inaccurate internal dialogue. Kind words and compliments begin to feel foreign. Why? Because our mind is only used to the criticism we allow from others and is perpetuated by our own internal dialogue.

Happiness is an inside job.

Though you may find it to be a difficult task to simply turn ‘off’ the switch that has been in the ‘on’ position for as long as you can remember, there is hope and you can still undo years of criticism and lack of love with self-love and self-praise.

The happiest people aren’t those who have been loved and praised all of their lives, but those who have mastered the art of praising themselves. Most people think that praise has to come from external forces, but they would be wrong. Praising yourself holds tremendous power and the world’s most successful people all employ this as a tool.

Think of it this way: When a person praises you, they often have an agenda. Though it might not be malicious, they perhaps are trying to flatter you to be their friend or are hoping for an exchange of some sort. However, when you praise yourself using direct and relevant language, your mind has to believe it. It knows you are not operating on any sort of agenda that it should be distrustful of.

“Criticism withers, praise builds.”

This isn’t about being narcissistic but about praising yourself for who you are as much as you need to for the thoughts and words to no longer sound like they belong next to someone else’s name. After all, self-esteem isn’t about what others think of you, but about what you think of you.

Over the next few days, pay attention to the way you talk to yourself, listen to the words you use when you are chastising yourself and then change them to words that have less meaning. Dilute ‘moron’ or ‘idiot’ to ‘silly goose.’ Replace the harsh, critical, hurtful voice with one of kindness. If you wouldn’t speak the same way to a friend as you do to yourself, then stop.

Written by

Writer. Poet. Philomath. Dog Mom. Traveler. Creator. Wanderer. Teacher. Empath. Author of “Unapologetically Human” - available on Amazon

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