by Casey Tiernan, Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences Well-being Leader
February is Boost your Self-Esteem Month. Self-esteem is defined as the confidence in one’s own worth or abilities.
It is important to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself, because it influences your choices and decisions and your overall well-being. Self-esteem also influences your motivation because when you have a positive view of yourself, you have a better understanding of your potential and feel inspired to take on new challenges. Another term for self-esteem is self-worth. On the contrary, low self-esteem is linked to feelings of insecurity within one’s skills and leads to doubts with decision making. It can also result in low motivation to try new challenges. Individuals who experience this may have issues forming healthy relationships with themselves and others, making them feel unworthy.
I struggle to this day with my own self-esteem. However, this year has led me to step out of my comfort zone and learn more about myself. I have gained confidence in my skills within my major and it allows me to be my best self. The smallest thing I did to change my low self-esteem was to be aware of my thoughts and to be kind to myself. I stopped telling myself negative thoughts and had a new outlook about myself. I also recommend expressing your needs. It allows you to be open and honest with yourself. It is also key to know you are allowed to say “no” when you want to. This skill took me time to master because I always felt bad, but once I started saying “no,” I felt in control of myself again. The last thing I did was accept my strengths and weaknesses. I originally picked a major that was heavy in math and sciences (which yes, is my weakness), so I switched to Public Health which allowed me to see my strengths in a new light.
Having a healthy self-esteem can motivate you to reach your goals and accomplish anything you put your mind to because it allows for setting appropriate boundaries within relationships. “When you find yourself engaging in negative thinking, try countering these thoughts with more realistic ones (Cherry, 2022)”. With February being Boost your Self-Esteem Month, every morning when you wake up, search for a daily affirmation. It allows you to start your day off with a positive mindset.
I’ll give you one to start:
I value myself as a person.
Now it’s your turn!