When was the last time you went through a difficult life situation?
We all face difficult situations in our lives from time to time and most of the time they can’t be avoided.
Yet, the way we react to them CAN change.
This can make a vast difference to our wellbeing, confidence, and self-esteem. It’s also these attributes that can affect how we deal with difficult life situations.
Having good self-esteem can definitely help you through difficult situations in life. We are more positive, have a sense of purpose and are more optimistic about situations. Thus more likely to face challenging and difficult situations instead of hiding away.
What Affects our Confidence & Self Esteem?
There are many types of life events that can affect our confidence and self-esteem. From losing a job to serious illnesses. Here are a few that I’m sure most people have experienced at least one of;
- Being a teenager
- Mental illness
- Long term and multiple illnesses
- Drug abuse
- Having a baby
- Moving home
- Bringing up children
It can become overwhelming and affect our self-esteem when we're affected by many situations all at the same time.
For example, facing many health issues. Or a long term health problem can be enough to knock self-esteem.
Yes, I’m talking from experience here so I know what it’s like to have very low self-esteem and very little confidence. I had to work on slowly building my confidence and self-esteem.
Exactly HOW Can Good Self-Esteem Help Us In Difficult Situations?
Not Hiding Away
When we have low self-esteem, it’s very easy to do nothing and shy away from our problems or tricky situations. Instead, we tend to shut ourselves away, wanting the safety and security we know, like staying home.
But when our self-esteem is at a decent level it’s so much easier to tackle situations and challenges. We tend to be more at ease in stepping out of our comfort zones and taking action.
We are more likely to accept challenges and deal with problems because we have confidence in our abilities. We know we can work through it. Good self-esteem means we:
- Value Ourselves
- Take good care of ourselves
- Know we are 'Worth'
This doesn’t mean we are arrogant, always believing we’re right and deserve the absolute best, above and beyond anyone else. But it does mean we look at the possible outcomes and know that even if it doesn’t work out for the best - we can handle it.
Easier to Overcome Failures (Real or Perceived)
When things do go wrong, which they will at times, we may get down but by having a good level of self-esteem we won’t stay down. Nor be as down as we were when our self-esteem wasn’t so good or when our confidence took a knock.
It’s about getting back up and carrying on, having another go and not being a quitter.
Focusing on the positives and the best outcomes which will motivate us to keep plugging away.
I’ve lost count of the times I haven’t succeeded in some business ventures. Yet, I refuse to give up on the general idea that I WILL succeed at a business in time.
So I continue to put in the work and focus on what can go right and what it can become, which provides me with motivation.
It’s also worth noting that when our self-esteem is low, not everything that we believe is a failure - actually is! Due to the low mood brought on by low self-esteem many things we believe at the time can be ‘perceived failures’.
This means it’s just our current incorrect thinking giving more of a pessimistic view of things. Often when we stop and think through the problem or situation - it isn’t a failure at all.
Believe in More Positive Outcomes
When our self-esteem is good we believe in ourselves and abilities.
We see the positives more than the negatives. This motivates us and gives us the determination to attempt the things we wouldn’t have attempted before.
Having faith in ourselves and our actions makes us more optimistic that things will turn out for the best.
The pessimism felt when our confidence and self-esteem was low, shrinks, while the optimism grows.
Think about a situation like losing your job.
In a state of low self-esteem, it’s very easy to feel negative and down about it, so rule out possibilities of other jobs or interviews. Sinking worse into anger, depression, and doubt. Being closed off and inactive.
Compare that to having a healthy self-esteem.
Although losing your job is tough and inconvenient, it’s far more likely that you’ll brush yourself off and get out there. In search of a replacement job, sending off applications for interviews and being open to the possibilities.
When we believe in our abilities and actions more through building our self-esteem, we aren’t afraid to be assertive wherever necessary.
How often have you allowed people to either walk all over us, or let too much slide, without speaking up or having the confidence to just say ‘No’ occasionally?
Look for the Solution
I know when my self-confidence was low, I would focus on everything that was going wrong. Even listing the negatives, which provided proof to my mind, that my negative thinking was correct.
This (wrongly) made me think I was validated in moaning and whinging about everything that was failing in my life, believing other people should feel sorry for me and see my point of view.
This also made situations worse because it made me feel anger. Anger towards everyone involved in my situations. Anger at me for my inactivity in finding solutions and allowing things to get so bad.
It was a continuous cycle of negativity until I started to make changes and take action to find solutions.
Then I worked slowly towards better outcomes, which in turn built my confidence and self-esteem back up again.
Knowing Your Good Qualities
When you have good self-esteem you see and recognize your good qualities easier and more often.
A good technique for building confidence and self-esteem is to write down every good quality and good experience about yourself.
These can be absolutely anything from any time at all.
By reading this on a regular basis we remind ourselves that we do have good qualities and experiences to draw on. It proves we can be happy and succeed again.
Facing a difficult situation, it’s much easier to draw on these qualities and experiences when our self-esteem is good. Compared to when our self-esteem was low all we kept thinking about was the things that didn’t go well.
In Deborah Plummer's Book - Helping Adolescents and Adults to Build Self-Esteem, she states;
Someone with healthy self-esteem is more likely to be self motivated and self reliant.
A person who has developed healthy self-esteem will be more able to make informed decisions. They will usually be more willing to try new ways of doing things, learning from mistakes and building confidence for future challenges. Being able to recognize and develop specific strengths and cope with changes successfully
Prepared to Learn
Good self-esteem keeps us open-minded and prepared to learn. This enables us to gather information necessary to overcome any challenge we’re facing.
Whereas when we’re in a less confident state and lacking in self-esteem, we don’t ‘feel like’ learning and believe it’s not necessary. Or we simply think ‘what’s the point’?
Asking for Help and Building Relationships
We are more likely to reach out to others’ for the help and advice needed. This could be family, friends or professionals
I know that when I’ve felt my self-esteem lacking, I didn’t have the confidence to ask for help. Nor did I want to bother anyone else because I believed I was a nuisance. I thought other people wouldn’t be interested or be far too busy to listen to me.With good self-esteem, we value ourselves, as we value others’. So we don’t put ourselves down and believe we are worth listening to, and we deserve to be heard and get answers.
Can Self-Esteem be Improved?
Absolutely YES, you’re self-esteem CAN be improved. There are many ways and ideas you can use to give your self-esteem and confidence a boost. Some are fairly quick you can start straight away and others will take time and practice.
Take a look at this post which is all about building your confidence, for the best complete resource.
If you’re looking for one tip to get started right now I would highly recommend you get a pen and notebook and start writing down all your good qualities and things that have gone well for you in the past, and read this before you start every day.
With a healthy and good level of self-esteem and confidence, you can reach your full potential.
Please leave a comment below sharing your thoughts and feedback.