Women's hand folds wooden cubes with the words SELF ESTEEM on a gray background
What does self-esteem depend on and how to improve it?

How can training in conjunction with affirmation help you with this?

Self-esteem and self-image

Your self-esteem is closely connected to your self-image, which is a broader concept and includes more components than just self-assessment. Your self-image is your perceived truth about yourself. If I believe that I am ugly, that is my perceived truth about myself. In contrast, if I believe I am attractive, that also becomes the truth about myself. In addition, if I really believe it, it becomes a fact, just like 2+2 equals 4. This is exactly why improving your self-esteem by talking to yourself in front of a mirror – saying how wonderful, beautiful, and smart you are – when actually you think the opposite can fix your mood for a moment, but it’s not enough to actually improve your self-esteem.

What impacts self-esteem?

Our self-esteem is impacted by many things, including those over which we had little influence, e.g. our childhood experiences or relationships with our parents. Now, let’s focus on those things that we can actually influence today, as grown-ups, and on how we can use our knowledge of those things to improve our self-esteem.
Everything that I will be saying today is based on my own experience in improving my self-esteem.

What is high self-esteem?

A high self-esteem has two components:

  • Faith in your own abilities – being aware that we can, in fact, deal with everyday hardships of life. The feeling that we can face everything that life throws in our faces – finding a new job, paying rent and bills, maintaining relationships, and facing problems head-on. In summary, it’s all about being able to trust your own capability.
  • Respect for yourself – realizing that we have the right to happiness and well-being, that we are valuable and deserve what we want. It also means achieving what we think is important, and the ability to appreciate the fruit of our own hard work.

Inner experience

Self-esteem is an inner experience – something that we feel and think about ourselves, with nothing to do with other people. Only we have the power and possibility to change it, which can be done through specific, consistent behaviour. Nobody will improve our self-esteem for us, and when it becomes dependent on others, it resembles expecting to stay fit by asking somebody else to go jogging or to the gym for us.

How can affirmative exercise help us improve our self-esteem?

The first step that will help us improve our self-esteem is strength training. Through exercise, we build discipline and start noticing positive changes about the way we look. These changes make us feel better and more confident in our own bodies, as our posture changes. Knowing that we’re disciplined and good-looking, and that we’re actively working to achieve that, makes us emanate a powerful aura of self-assurance. In addition, the right affirmations can change our perception filters, allowing us to notice things that can help us realize our goals, our dreams.

With high self-esteem, we gain more perseverance in working towards realizing our goals, which further reinforces our self-esteem. It’s interesting how symptoms of high self-esteem actually improve our self-esteem – a perpetual motion machine. Healthy self-esteem protects us from the negative influence of the outside world and gives us the strength to beat adversity and keep on going. With high self-esteem, we can appreciate the success of others, support them, motivate them, and give them strength to keep fighting, because we don’t feel threatened by them. We also start to notice our own achievements and see them as valuable. This happens because high self-esteem stems out of desire and aspiration, and not fear. Self-esteem is the requirement and the effect of every success we achieve.