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Self-Esteem, Tips & Tricks
June 10, 2022
Your core beliefs about ourselves are formed and updated by the experiences we face throughout our lives. These can be positive, negative, or somewhere in between as well as constructive or toxic. These experiences are never going to be completely within our control, but one important thing we can always remember is the importance of examining ourselves and recognizing our growth.
We can all point to past occurrences where we made a mistake, missed the mark, or let someone down. Perhaps when you were young you would run from problems when life got a little tough instead of facing them and putting in the necessary work toward resolution. Many people struggle for years with their self-esteem based on this type of negative past experience as well as countless others. These past events and the way we tend to internalize them in the present can have consequences concerning who we are and how we view ourselves today.
What we cannot do is change past experiences. However, we can better understand our failings, what they meant, and what they mean to who we are today. We can check in with ourselves and analyze whether we are that same person who failed all those years ago or if we may have perhaps had some real growth in a particular area or across many facets of our lives.
An important tip for this process of examining past failures and evaluating our progress is to remember to do exactly that. Instead of comparing ourselves to someone else today, we must keep in mind our growth is based on comparing who we are today to who we were yesterday. When we notice past failures that continue to haunt us and affect our perception of ourselves, we need to confront those thoughts and ask: Am I that same person today?
That answer, by the way, is most likely going to be no. The truth is you have likely been slowly progressing in those areas that bother you and keep you up at night. It may not seem obvious at first, especially if it is in an area where you don’t intentionally put in work, but progress nonetheless is probably there. At the very least, an honest assessment of where you are in terms of those negative experiences and self-perceptions will give you a rough estimate of where you are today so that you are better prepared to run the same comparison in the future.
Recognizing personal growth is crucial to our mental health. One reliable way to do that is by comparing who we are today to who we were yesterday. Ask yourself if you’re the same person you were five, ten, or more years ago. Think about the adjustments you’ve made over the years. Try to remember how many critical mistakes you made in your worst year and compare that to the past twelve months. What you find will likely be encouraging. Start a journal and record these critical thoughts and meditations. Perhaps you will discover the growth you were previously blind to. Even those who find no growth or negative growth will find themselves on the path toward a better future because they are going through the necessary process of self-assessment and changing their minds in the meantime toward the positive.
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