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Build Self-Esteem For Self-Appreciation and Greater Life Satisfaction

Self-Esteem and Self-Appreciation
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Do you appreciate yourself? How is your self-esteem? Is your self-esteem high or low? Do you see the value of who you are? Are you experiencing life satisfaction? We ask these questions because each question indicates where we are on our self-awareness and personal growth journey. To investigate these questions let’s begin with self-appreciation

Self-Appreciation And Valuing Yourself

So what is self-appreciation? As a life practice, self-appreciation is the act of recognizing and valuing yourself without judgment or restraint. Self-appreciation can lead to several benefits including:

  • Increased happiness and life satisfaction
  • Greater self-care
  • A better outlook on life
  • Increased motivation and productivity
  • Stronger relationships

However, self-appreciation is directly proportional to your self-esteem. The higher you value yourself, the greater your sense of self-worth and self-love will be. And there is no doubt about it, we love what we value, and we value what we love. 

Can you see the correlation here?  Appreciation means to “increase in value.”  The more you show appreciation to yourself the more you bring value to your life.  

But what causes you to not appreciate yourself? One of the main reasons why we don’t appreciate who we are is that we lack self-esteem. 

And yet, what is self-esteem? 

What is Self-Esteem?

First, self-esteem is a person’s predominant feeling of self-worth or personal value. Self-esteem identifies how you emotionally gauge your belief about your worthiness as a person including: 

  • your physical appearance, 
  • personality, 
  • Talents, skills, and abilities, 
  • And accomplishments. 

Depending on what you value the most will determine your overall perception of your self-worth.

Your self-esteem is a crucial component of your mental and social well-being. It influences your aspirations, personal goals, and interaction with others. 

In this manner, your self-esteem is the evaluative and affective dimension of your self-concept and is the equivalent of self-regard, self-estimation, and self-worth. 

Hence, self-esteem is a continuum, ranging from high to low.   On one end of the spectrum, you may have high self-esteem, while someone on the other end of the spectrum may struggle with low self-esteem.

And evidence suggests that the higher your self-esteem is the better your health and social behavior will be. 

Conversely, poor self-esteem can result in a broad range of mental disorders and social problems, both internalizing problems (e.g. depression, suicidal tendencies, eating disorders, and anxiety) and externalizing problems (e.g. violence and substance abuse).

Is Your Self-Esteem Based on Internal or External Factors?

Moreover, self-esteem can be based on internal or external sources. When self-esteem is based on external sources such as appearance, approval from others, or even academic performance, it can have negative consequences for mental health

For example, a study conducted by the University of Michigan determined college students who based their self-worth on external sources reported more stress, anger, academic problems, and relationship conflicts, and had higher levels of drug and alcohol use and symptoms of eating disorders.

However, when self-esteem is based on internal sources such as: 

  • personal traits (personal self-esteem), 
  • relationships with significant others (relational self-esteem), 
  • relationships with larger groups (collective self-esteem),

it can have positive effects on subjective well-being

For instance, high personal self-esteem and relational self-esteem results in greater life satisfaction, positive affect, meaning in life, happiness, and subjective vitality.

Therefore, the impact of self-esteem on one’s ability to appreciate oneself can affect many factors associated with your happiness and well-being. 

When your self-esteem is based on internal factors

When an individual has high self-esteem based on internal sources such as personal traits or relationships with significant others, they are more likely to have a positive view of themselves and their abilities. 

And as a result, you have greater confidence in your abilities and greater self-appreciation for who you are.

When your self-esteem is based on external factors

Nonetheless, if you have low self-esteem or base your self-worth on external sources such as appearance or approval from others, you may struggle to appreciate yourself. You will experience negative thoughts about yourself and a lack of confidence in your abilities.

That being the case, you need to focus on building your self-esteem from internal sources to foster a positive view of yourself, your work, and your gifts and talents. 

So, how do you build self-esteem in a way that maximizes your self-appreciation and life satisfaction?

Self-Esteem and Self-Appreciation Maximizes Life Satisfaction

Self-esteem is the foundation of your ability to appreciate yourself and find life satisfaction. It is the belief that you are worthy of love, belonging, and joy. Life satisfaction and living a life worth living requires that you build self-esteem along your self-awareness and personal growth journey. 

As such, how do you build self-esteem? To answer this pertinent question, let’s explore 7 ways you can build self-esteem while practicing self-appreciation.

1) Self-compassion: giving yourself grace

Yes, self-compassion is a form of self-appreciation.  You need self-compassion, especially when you make mistakes. There is no need to beat up on yourself when you make a mistake.  Instead of beating yourself up, you can acknowledge your mistakes, honor your imperfections, take the lesson, and extend some kindness and grace to yourself. 

When you can honor your imperfections and mistakes you open avenues for radical self-acceptance which is accepting yourself as you are, without judgment or criticism.

Duly, self-compassion produces many positive outcomes, including:

  • lower levels of anxiety and depression, 
  • greater emotional resilience, 
  • more accurate self-concepts, 
  • and more caring relationship behavior. 

Extending kindness and grace to yourself when you make mistakes or experience failure, reduces the negative impact of these events on your mental health and well-being. 

Therefore, if you refrain from beating yourself up or engaging in harsh self-criticism, you can learn to accept yourself as you are, without judgment or criticism.

Stop and think about your self-talk and ask yourself questions such as:

  1. Would I talk this way to a friend?
  2. Would I remain friends with someone who spoke to me this way?
  3. What have I learned that’s useful to me in the future?
  4. Can I resolve this mistake? (Most times you can)

Another way to extend compassion to yourself is practicing mindfulness, which involves being present in the moment.  So often, you ruminate over past mistakes or things you think you should have done better.

Just as ineffective is catastrophizing your future. You know, thinking you’ve ruined your life or the project will never come together because you’ve made a mistake.  

Mindfulness brings you back to the present moment and you can be compassionate to yourself in the present moment.  You can take a breath, turn off the inner chatter, and hear your soul say, “Everything will work out.”

With a solid mindfulness practice, you can build self-esteem, calm down, and enjoy your life. You can enjoy life because you’re not stuck in the past. Nor are you fearing your future. This compassion helps you appreciate who you are and your life much more.

2) Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable

Additionally, practice open-mindedness knowing that you will have to be vulnerable to do so. Vulnerability is the willingness to show up and engage with others in life without hiding who you are. It takes courage to be vulnerable, but it is also the birthplace of love, belonging, and joy. 

When you are vulnerable, you open yourself up to deeper connections with others and a greater sense of self-worth. And greater self-worth and life satisfaction go hand in hand.

Studies show that open-mindedness and vulnerability are two important traits that lead to personal growth. Open-mindedness means being willing to consider new ideas and perspectives. As such, you consider new ideas even if they challenge your existing capabilities or even your personal beliefs. 

When you allow yourself to be vulnerable, you open yourself up to deeper connections with others. Vulnerability is the openness to affect and be affected by another (idea or person, for instance), while closed-mindedness and epistemic invulnerability are characterized by a refusal or resistance to be affected. 

Deliberately, showing up vulnerable and open-minded can help you develop stronger relationships. And though surprising to some, showing in this manner can improve your self-acceptance.

To this end, here are some ways to practice open-mindedness and vulnerability:

  • actively seek new experiences
  • engage with people who have different backgrounds or beliefs than your own, 
  • try new activities or hobbies,  
  • expose yourself to new ideas through books, podcasts, or other media
  • maintain a non-judgmental attitude towards yourself and others, 
  • be willing to listen and learn from those around you. 

3) Live authentically

Practicing authenticity is a crucial step toward building self-esteem and achieving greater life satisfaction. When you are authentic, you are true to who you are and live in alignment with what brings you joy and peace. This means embracing your unique strengths and weaknesses as you live your life in a way that feels true to who you are.

What’s more, rather than conforming to societal pressures or pretending to be someone else, you focus on becoming the greatest version of yourself.

Research has shown, when you are authentic, you can connect with your innermost values and desires, and live in a way that is fulfilling and meaningful. This can help you to develop a stronger sense of self-worth

In this manner, you can practice authenticity through self-reflection and introspection. This can involve taking time to explore your thoughts, feelings, and desires, and identifying what truly matters to you. You can accomplish this as you engage in a mindfulness practice and journaling daily.  

By embracing your authentic self, you can live a more fulfilling and enriched life.   And that’s great for building your self-esteem and maximizing self-appreciation.

4) Intentional living helps build stronger self-esteem

Intentional living is a powerful way to amplify self-esteem and appreciation for life and who you are. When you choose to live with intention, you focus on your purpose and core values, thus, building your life around what truly matters to you. This can help you to achieve greater clarity, freedom, and fulfillment, as you align your actions with your deepest beliefs and desires.

Living with intention can also help you experience abundance and peace in your everyday life. Though to live with intention, you will have to practice mindfulness, what you will find is that living in this way eases your path in life. I didn’t say things would be easy, but intentional living can reduce stress and anxiety so that you can enjoy greater well-being. 

Consequently, taking values-based actions promotes lower daily distress and greater daily well-being. Intentional living can also help you to develop stronger relationships, improve your self-acceptance, and become more resilient in the face of life’s challenges.

One way to practice intentional living is to prioritize your well-being above anything else.  We call this radical self-care.  List your priorities and the things you value in life and most importantly, develop healthy living habits that put your well-being at the top of your list.

5) Stay grateful to build stronger self-esteem

Gratitude is a powerful tool that can help you build stronger self-esteem. When you practice gratitude, you focus on the good in your life and appreciate what you have. This can help you to feel more positive about yourself and your life and find joy and satisfaction in each moment.

Gratitude prevents you from taking people, resources, and opportunities for granted.  And when you start being grateful, you are more likely to find joy and satisfaction in life.  As you see the good in your life, you also see the beauty, which can be wonderful for your self-esteem. Gratitude can help you to develop a stronger sense of your value and worth, as you intentionally notice the ways that other people are good to you.

With this in mind, one way to practice gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal, where you write down things that you are grateful for each day. Writing what you are grateful for in your journal affects your day in positively productive ways.  

Because you are writing down what you are grateful for daily, you begin to “look for things to be grateful for.” This will help you to focus on what you appreciate in your life.  

Furthermore, as you look for things to be grateful for, you are expecting good things to happen in your life.

And yes, focusing on the good in life will certainly boost your self-esteem.

6) Positive and productive self-talk for confidence and affirming who you are

Speaking of manifestation, changing your self-talk, or intrapersonal communication, can greatly transform your self-esteem and improve your self-worth. Your inner dialogue, the words you speak to yourself, can shape the way you see yourself and the world around you. 

Practice being mindful of your self-talk and make an effort to speak life into your living.  

Correspondingly, one way to change your self-talk is by building affirmations. Affirmations are positive statements that are repeated to yourself to boost confidence and align with your goals and values. 

To create productive and positive affirmations, take note of your automatic negative and nonproductive thoughts. Write a list of your negative beliefs. 

Then, turn them into positive and productive statements. The key to affirmations is repetition. So, you need to write affirmations that you can easily remember and say at any moment in time. Make them direct and focused on your goals.

Evidence shows that positive self-talk can help to increase self-confidence, improve occupational performance, and enhance relationships. Opposingly, negative self-talk can lead to self-esteem issues and a sense of worthlessness. 

Be mindful of your inner dialogue and make an effort to speak to yourself positively and encouragingly, you can improve your mental health and well-being. Remember that your soul takes in the words you speak about yourself and reflects them to you in life. 

7) Harnessing the power to manifest your dreams

Harnessing the power to manifest your dreams can have a profound impact on your self-esteem and overall life satisfaction.

When you believe in your ability to create the life you want and are willing to put in the mental, spiritual, and physical work required to make your dreams a reality, everything changes. Your self-esteem improves as you take proactive steps towards achieving your goals and living the life you were born to live.

Wherefore, there are many effective ways to manifest what you want in life. Some of these strategies include focusing on self-improvement, setting goals, and engaging in activities that lead to successful manifestation.  Skills that aid manifestation include creative visualization, initiative, intrinsic motivation, a desire for self-improvement, passion, commitment to your goals, and believing in yourself.

To this end, as you develop these skills and take inspired action to manifest your dreams, you will increase your self-esteem and experience greater life satisfaction.

The Goal is Life Satisfaction and Feeling Good

Feeling good about who you are, practicing self-love, and living a life of joy and peace are all essential components of a fulfilling and satisfying life. 

And that’s the ultimate goal, fulfillment.

Finally, many powerful tools and practices can help you to build stronger self-esteem and achieve greater life satisfaction. These include practicing self-compassion, being open-minded and vulnerable, living authentically and with intention, expressing gratitude, and harnessing the power of manifestation. 

When you execute these practices, you can develop a stronger sense of self-worth, improve your relationships, and live a more fulfilling and satisfying life. 

Indeed, everyone has the potential to grow and thrive, and by taking proactive steps to achieve your goals and dreams, you can create the life you were born to live.