Self-esteem is one of the most underrated and misunderstood elements of our emotional lives. As with most things in life, the best way to understand something is to feel it on a visceral level, which the 5 hacks below are aimed at doing.
1: DO ESTIMABLE THINGS
This hack is so obvious it is easy to miss, yet committing to carrying out an estimable action once a day can do great things for your sense of self-worth.
This blog has outlined before the superficiality of contemporary society and how it can lead you to become consumed with glitzy ephemera, ever seeking pleasure, but oft left wanting long-term contentment.
However in doing estimable things we achieve both short and long-term benefits.
Firstly consider that nobody has to tell you what estimable actions are, you implicitly know, so we can already highlight the inner conscience that can guide us to greater self-respect.
Secondly, consider how estimable actions often involve giving, whether that giving is time to a person who needs to talk, a sandwich to a hobo, or a hand to a blind person crossing the road.
Giving is the essence of self-worth, as it is the essence of spiritual progress, which in turn is the expansion of your consciousness from the ego-driven self.
By getting out of yourself and practicing an estimable act, you spark an innate joy stemming from the pleasure of human connection.
2: ADMIT YOUR SINS
Leading on from Hack 1, no man is an island, and any residual secrets and strains in your inner core of being can deeply disrupt your ability to countenance the world and its dramas.
In order to allow energy to flow through you and energise your spirit, you must have a clean vessel to maximise your growth.
If we live our lives with residual pain from the past or shame in our hearts, it is like hauling a led weight on our backs. Like Sisyphus we push our boulder to the top of the mountain each day, only for it to fall back down once more.
The pain this can cause you is profound, as is the sense of disconnection from your fellow man that it breeds.
Secrets stem from the idea we will be rejected should they be known, and in the darkness, the ego festers to a point of pathological fear of judgement, to be free human beings with solid self-esteem, we must not fear anything, especially judgement from our fellow men.
By clearing out the inner consciousness we allow ourselves to live in the present without the chains of the past trapping our presence in its grip and tainting our perception with its hue.
Further, in sharing our secrets, whether it be with a therapist, friend, religious figure or any other person, we reunite our spirit with reality and allow the inner pain to travel out into the ether.
Getting honest is an act of emancipation and great courage. Wherever your shame lies in you, honesty means you’re willing to dispel shame and any evil you feel you’ve committed, whether perceived or real.
Having a clear conscience is the foundational building block on which solid self-esteem grows.
3: GET HUMBLE
We all know the guy who has to know everything, who just has to be right. In fact, we have all at one time or another been that guy.
In a fearful person it is understandable to fear mockery and judgement on the basis of not being enough for a given group or perceived standard, yet as people seeking solid self-esteem, who are practicing estimable acts and have stood emotionally naked in front of another person, we know such fear is the work of the fragile ego.
If you have been honest with yourself and another and can look at yourself in the mirror, vowing to learn self-esteem, you are ready to get humble.
Humility is one of the most misunderstood concepts in modern self-development. Humility is not meekness, nor is humility cowardice, humility is strength, and humility is honesty.
If you can admit your shortcomings and listen to those who are more advanced than you are in a particular area, you are primed for the growth and contentment implicit in solid self-esteem.
By practicing humility, you know the egocentric may get short-term attention by pretending to be something he is not, yet you know that wisdom and universal power is in honesty, that long-term solid growth is in your ability to listen to those who have fought for their growth.
Further, once you begin to practice humility you see the illusion of the ego, for nobody is perfect and every person has attributes and deficits in given areas. Thus, we are all the same in our imperfectness.
With humility you can grow strong, and with strength you offer serenity and unspoken authority in your demeanour. You never need brag: the action of the man who has yet to face his inner fear.
4: CREATE AND LIVE BY BOUNDARIES
Now you have estimable acts in place, and have practiced honesty and humility, you can create loyal servants to your growth: boundaries.
It is okay if you do not know your boundaries yet, a searching moral enquiry should avail you the basic structure.
In contemporary liberal democracies, religious values have been systematically stripped away from societies eager to emancipate the individual from dogma, yet in this necessary move, it has become harder for individuals to find value systems in a multi-identity landscape.
You may have fear of moral teachings such as the Ten Commandments, yet these concepts still underpin Judeo-Christian societies, so you should have no fear if these values still speak to you.
Creating boundaries needn’t be a searching task when there are boundaries in place in such majesty already. This isn’t to say you must join the church for self-esteem, but it is helpful to abide by something whether it is religious, societal or familial.
Once you begin to have a solid idea of your boundaries as an individual, how you believe humans should act to one another and what values you believe society should uphold, you must implement them not preach them.
By practicing a mode of live consistent with your inner conscience, in which you will not harm others unduly, or allow yourself to be moved from your core of being via bowing to the whims of others, you foster a safe space for your esteem and sense of self to grow.
5: PRACTICE THE 3 P’s
The 3 P’s: the personal, professional and physical are the on-going areas of development that need consistent maintenance.
These three are not the foundational blocks of self-esteem as the above 4 areas are, they are our external areas of solid self-definition.
The personal covers what your external identity is. For self-esteem it is important to know yourself, so on a personal level it is vital to know what you think about the world: what is your political persuasion and why; what are your 3 favourite hobbies; what have you learnt from your own thought and experience rather than what friends, the media or co-workers have told you?
Further, how do you intend to spend time with friends and with other people committed to growth?
Gaining an insight into these areas grants you a comfort and fluidity in negotiating today’s meretricious politics and fad culture.
The professional is your working self. Self-esteem is greatly benefitted by a sense of identity on a mission, therefore what are your career goals, when do you want to achieve them and how can you ensure you are never lazy, yet simultaneously do not overwork yourself?
The physical is your fitness life. It is nothing new to state that being in good physical condition will make you feel much better on the inside too, yet what are your fitness goals, and do you feel comfortable defending yourself physically?
You should not be learning to defend yourself physically merely to brutalise other people for goals of violence, but to be sure you feel comfortable with yourself in potentially violent situations. This allows you to feel comfortable in fractious situations, and quietens the ego’s fear of destruction.