Most advice that claims to help elevate your self-esteem eventually falls flat for the same reason that, as Sancho proclaims in Cervantes’ Don Quixote, “Many words will not fill a bushel.”
In addition, successfully remedying deficits in your self-image can’t be done linguistically.
What works? Pro-active behaviors that function to validate a positive perspective of self. In addition, actions that serve to verify that your inherent value is real. Truly liking and respecting yourself grounds you in a pattern of behaviors that demonstrate your competence, lovableness, and worth.
Furthermore, much of what’s been written about positive versus negative self-evaluation is “the natural consequence.” “Of [your] tendency to consistently cope with, or avoid, that which [you] fear.” (R. L. Bednar, M. G. Wells, and S. R. Peterson, Self-Esteem: Paradoxes and Innovations in Clinical Theory and Practice, 2nd ed. (link is external). Washington: American Psychological Association,1995).
As well, this post elaborates on how to significantly increase your self-confidence and feel better about yourself.
As already suggested, self-affirmations alone, regardless of frequency, fails to get the job done. It’s no coincidence that a couple of decades ago, books offering daily affirmation were strikingly popular. Yet over time they disappeared from bookstore shelves. Moreover, in my own clinical experience, I discovered that when favorable self-statements sound false to clients, they feel even more demoralized than before. Also, being able to move from telling yourself, “I’m not good enough,” to believing, “I am good enough.” This requires a fair amount of committed personal work. And this endeavor has almost nothing to do with endlessly repeating phrases about what you’d prefer to think about yourself.
In addition, it may be of limited value to systematically review your past so as to recognize that you were more worthwhile. Or capable than your parents ever made you feel. True, re-perceiving your past may help change the way you appraise yourself.
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