Wednesday March 21, 2018

From Me to Myself : How Working On These 7 Concepts Can Build Self-Esteem

Successful people radiate self-esteem. But what to do to build confidence in your own self? Read on to know how the author worked on her own beliefs to establish faith in herself

self esteem
An increasing number of people believe they are 'not good enough' and fail to realize their true potential because of low self-esteem. Pixabay

– by Soha Kala 

August 21, 2017 : When I was growing up, my parents always told me that I am the ‘smartest kid’ they had ever met. My friends thought I had an appealing face and for my grandparents and their friends, I had the prettiest heart.

I was curious and had questions about the world I was growing in. I had ideas that could have solved problems I encountered in my life. I could hold interesting conversations, and charm people with my compassion.

But I did not live up to my potential. There was always something holding me back.

For the longest period that I can remember, I did not believe that I could do most of the things I wanted to do.

I wanted to learn the ballet but I felt I would not be able to perform with my extra kilos and would be reduced to a laughing stock.

I wanted to be a writer but I felt my expression was too weak and my thoughts far too amateur to share with another person.

I wanted to be in a relationship but I felt I was not good enough to have somebody interested in me.

At one point or the other, we all question ourselves, which is usually followed by self-doubt.

Am I doing enough?

Am I making enough money?

Am I successful?

Am I good looking?

A major part of my job today is spent fiddling with an application called Google Adwords. So, this morning, as I sat with my mind clouded with questions and a new story to write, I decided to begin with a search in the application. I quickly punched in the words self esteem and happy.

I discovered that about 1-10 million people search for the word ‘happy’ every month whereas just over 100K search for the word self-esteem in a month

(Alternatively, I also searched for ‘Beatles band’ and found only over 1,000 people search for them every month)

Everybody has a loving family, a few friends who care, somebody to talk to; we all have classes to attend, and work to do in our respective lives; TV shows to watch and places to go to. Why then are 10 million people still searching for ‘happiness’ on the internet?

The problem in not with us, but inside us. It lies in our belief in our own self.

Low self esteem restricts you from recognizing your potential and living your life to the fullest. Irrespective of how hard you work or how far you push yourself, your efforts fail to be fruitful.

As a teenager, I used to think I was not pretty enough. Not thin enough. Not smart enough. Not fair enough. I used to believe that I was just that; NOT ENOUGH.

Self esteem
An increasing number of people suffer from a feeling of worthlessness. We need to understand that this is not normal. Pixabay

All of this because I struggled to accept myself; I failed to forgive myself whenever I did something wrong, not realizing how hard I was being on myself. I worked harder and harder but was always one-mistake away from success – the fault was never in my efforts, but in my attitude. Changing my attitude about life and about me played a key role in developing my confidence that was no longer dependent on any worldly sign of success.

In the process of owning up to be the person that I am today, I discovered 7 concepts that I was struggling with. Over the years, I tried to re-examine and re-discover my own self-limiting beliefs and alter the way I interpreted these concepts. Working upon them helped me instill faith in my own self and boost my confidence,


Do you ever get distracted while doing some work by that little voice inside your head telling you you are not good enough? Do you fear beginning something new because you are uncertain of yourself? Do you choose to give up on some activities because you fear you might not do them correctly?

Because I have done that, too.

I have been so unsure of myself in the past, wanting to be so much but terrified to start because I feared making mistakes. It was because of this fear that instead of talking to people and working on myself, I chose to shut myself down completely. I was so afraid of being rejected that I decided to reject opportunities and people first.  That is how I let go of tremendous opportunities to learn new things and meet unique people.

I have now grown to believe that man makes mistakes, and those mistakes in turn make man.

It is a continuous cycle. One can only learn when he knows what he is doing wrong. You can either choose to traumatize yourself over failure, or allow yourself to make mistakes and instead of looking at them as disappointments, embrace them as opportunities to grow.


As a kid, I remember falling off a bicycle because I told me friends that I knew how to ride a bike when I obviously didn’t. I was an anxious kid who worried that people would judge me if I told them that I didn’t know something.

You can only fool some people some time, not all people all the time. Above that, you cannot fool yourself. When people find out that you had been pretending all along, that can possibly shatter your confidence and relationships like nothing else.

In order to have a healthier self-esteem, you must first accept that nobody knows everything, and not everybody is good at everything. You might be a good writer, but that doesn’t mean you will necessarily be a good orator. Stop being pretentious in an attempt to please others.

It may be one of the hardest things to do; you may feel exposed and vulnerable to let go of your inhibitions and show your authentic self to the world, you may even feel feeble for some time, but it will be your first step on the path to resumption and growth.


As a teenager, I lived in a perpetual state of fear and self-doubt; I doubted myself to the extent that I was always doing things that others wanted me to do, rather than taking decisions for my own self.

It has been rightly said that you live the life you create. Hence, you must also believe in your capacity to make changes.  Believing in your competence does not happen overnight, and it does not happen naturally. A good start would be to list down your strengths and weaknesses and then work on them.

self esteem and self belief
You are responsible for your happiness and success. In fact, you create it if you believe in yourself. Pixabay

If someone criticizes you, see it as a chance for you to improve. If someone does better than you, take it as an opportunity to learn from their action. Do not let these experiences shake your trust in your own self.


Take 100% responsibility for your actions. Do not let things happen to you, instead make things happen for you.

You are bound to make mistakes and let people down; do not fear that. Quit making excuses when that happens, and accept failures as an outcome of your own actions. Do not indulge in self-loathing and be open to accept responsibility when you are at fault. I have grown to maintain a ‘I am sorry, how can I fix this?’ attitude and that has been incredibly beneficial to my confidence.

It might seem hard initially, but confidence stems from an understanding that YOU are doing the right thing.


One mantra that I believe in with all my heart is – Either do something. Or completely quit thinking about it. Stop second-guessing and devoting extended amount of time to the ‘what-ifs’.

ALSO READ Why Worry? These Techniques will Teach How to be Happy!

If you want to paint, pick up a paper, some brushes, and a color palette and draw what your heart desires. If you want to learn a sport or a dance form, enroll yourself in a class and enjoy every session you attend. Don’t worry if it will turn out good. Don’t worry whether you have any previous knowledge about your new interest. Don’t worry about what people will think. Don’t worry if you will be better than your friends or your colleagues. Just immerse yourself in the moment, and move on.

Worrying about what others think of you or seeking confirmations for your actions will only keep you from doing something good for yourself.

Your self-esteem is a measure of what YOU think about yourself and how worthy YOU think you are. Do not look for external affirmations. Set expectations for yourself, fulfill them for YOURself, and be somebody you can be proud of.


I realized that I doubt myself the most when I compare my life with what other people are doing.

Believing yourself and building self esteem
If we continue to compare our life with others, it will only fetch us discontentment. One must make comparisons with self, it brings improvement. Pixabay

In order to have a healthier self-esteem, you have to understand what works for you and what makes you feel good even if it is different from what someone else desires. No two things can be similar, and that goes for life, as well.


I realized that I was continuously (and blindly) chasing targets- I wanted to score better than my friends in the exams, have a better job than they do, find a bigger house than theirs, have a smarter partner. In an attempt to come first in this rat-race, I forget how hard I was being on myself.

Practicing self-compassion is not as difficult as you may perceive. I can break it down to a two-way process,

  1. Care about yourself and be kind instead of being cruelly self-critical
  2. Do not exaggerate or ignore problems or your mistakes, and look at them with a clear mind.

An important step to develop confidence in yourself is to be kinder to your own self. Remind yourself that you’re doing your best, and even when that may not seem enough, tell yourself that you are willing to learn. Surround yourself with compassionate voices, and your own voice should be in that list – make sure that instead of being extremely critical and judgmental of your actions, you are highly receptive and appreciative of your efforts.

I know today that I am not perfect, and I do not even have to try to be that. Perfection to me is a myth. I am far from perfect but I am happy. You can be too.
Be human, and that should be enough.
And above all, hold on to the thought that you are capable.


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Not Afraid To Fail, Asserts Deepika Padukone

Deepika said while people suffering from depression were not expected to identify the symptoms and reach out to a psychiatrist, those around them have to understand it

Deepika Padukone opens up about her mental health and related concerns in an interview. Twitter
Deepika Padukone opens up about her mental health and related concerns in an interview. Twitter
  • Deepika Padukone is undoubtedly one of the biggest superstars of Bollywood
  • She recently revealed that she is not afraid to fail
  • She also opened up more about depression and other mental conditions

Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone said she was not afraid to fail and not afraid to talk about the way she feels.

She believes that success and failure are all part of life and everybody fails at one point in their life. “I am at a stage in my life where I have been through everything.”

Deepika Padukone speaks about not being afraid of failures. Wikimedia Commons
Deepika Padukone speaks about not being afraid of failures. Wikimedia Commons

She was speaking on ‘Making mental wellness a boardroom priority’ at the World Congress on Information Technology and Nasscom India Leadership Forum here on Wednesday.

In a packed hall at ‘global influencer session’ on the last day of the three-day event, Deepika, the founder of The Live Love Laugh Foundation, shared her experiences with depression and gave tips to technologists on how to overcome it.

Also Read: Padmavati and The Modern Time’s Playboys

In a chat with Nasscom Vice-Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer Wipro Rishad Premji, she said that depression is going to be the next big epidemic.

She said it was important that the persons suffering from depression speak about it with his or her near and dear ones and approach a counsellor and psychiatrist.

Deepika Padukone advised all IT companies to have counsellors and psychiatrists to help the employees who may be suffering from depression.

Deepika requested all IT companies to hire psychiatrists. IANS
Deepika requested all IT companies to hire psychiatrists. IANS

She said the employers should also ensure that such employees are not treated differently, noting there is a lot of stigma attached to mental illness and such people don’t speak due to fear of losing their job.

She believes technology can help create awareness on depression but personal touch and feel is important to help the person. “Personal feel and touch, physical proximity, one-on-one is important which technology in some way is taking away from us.”

On whether social media is adding to the problem, Deepika said while it has been a boon in a lot of ways, she believes that everything should be in moderation. She observed that people on social media sometimes present a glorified version of life.

Recalling her fight with depression, the actress said she was not afraid of being judged when she opened up about the problem. “It’s okay to have moments of weakness, okay to break down and okay to cry. It’s okay if you don’t look great all the time,” she said.

Deepika Padukone is taking up many initiatives involving mental health.
Deepika Padukone is taking up many initiatives involving mental health.

Replying to a query from the audience, Deepika said when she was suffering from depression, she used to feel like not getting up from bed and going for work.

“There was no motivation and drive. I was not able to think straight. You feel a burden. You feel clouded and don’t feel like yourself.”

Also read: 7 Bollywood Celebrity Lehenga to Flaunt in the Upcoming Wedding Season

About the many episodes of breaking down, she said one day when her parents were returning to Bengaluru after visiting her, she broke down in front of her mother, who understood the problem and reached out to a counsellor.

“If my mother had not understood the problem, I would not have got the intervention.”

Deepika said while people suffering from depression were not expected to identify the symptoms and reach out to a psychiatrist, those around them have to understand it.

The actress said frequent sessions with counsellors, medication, lifestyle changes, spacing the work, adequate sleep and the right kind of food helped her overcome the problem.

Deepika Padukone also opened up about her struggles with mental illness. Instagram
Deepika Padukone also opened up about her struggles with mental illness. Instagram

She stressed the need for people to come out and speak about mental illness. “You are not alone. One in three or five persons feels depression. It’s going to be next big epidemic to hit our country,” she said.

On the activities of her Foundation, she said it was working to create awareness in Karnataka’s Davangere district. “If I am able to save even one life, I will feel my job is done.” IANS