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Building Blocks of Confidence: Cultivating Healthy Self-Esteem

This week, let's dive into one of the most fascinating topics in the realm of personal development: self-esteem. It’s like the magic ingredient that shapes how you view yourself and navigate life's twists and turns. It's the voice in your head that says, "You've got this!" when faced with obstacles, and the warm hug of self-acceptance that reminds you that you're worthy, just the way you are. However, self-esteem can change day by day and moment by moment. There are moments when you may be standing tall, radiating with confidence, ready to take on the world. Soon afterwards, your mind may be flooded with negative thoughts, and that is okay.

In reality, maintaining high self-esteem requires daily effort, which may be draining. Furthermore, studies indicate that it is unhealthy to constantly strive for high self-esteem. However, having low self-esteem can be detrimental to your mental health, and may contribute to depression and anxiety. Negative thought patterns can impede attempts to build confidence or self-worth, and can also hinder efforts to adopt a growth mindset.

Therefore, as you may expect, a healthy level of self-esteem serves as the foundation upon which we build our sense of worth, competence, and value as individuals. It influences how we perceive ourselves and interact with the world around us. In this blog post, we explore what self-esteem is, why it matters, and—above all—how to cultivate it to unlock your full potential and live your best life.

What is Self-Esteem?

Self-esteem refers to the overall subjective evaluation of one's worthiness, capabilities, and value as a person. It encompasses feelings of self-respect, self-acceptance, and self-confidence. Individuals with high self-esteem tend to have a positive self-image, believe in their abilities, and approach life with a sense of resilience and optimism.

Now that you know the concept of self-esteem, here are some practical strategies for your self-esteem toolkit when you need it:

  1. Be Kind to Yourself: Treat yourself with compassion and understanding, especially when facing hardship or failure, just as you would a close friend. Kindness, empathy, and unconditional support go a long way. Tip: List three things that you like about yourself.

  2. Embrace Who You Are: Try to focus on your goals and achievements, rather than comparing them to someone else’s. Acknowledge your differences with others, but keep in mind to not compete with anyone else’s progress. We are each on our journey. Tip: List three aspects of yourself that you would want to improve.

  3. Cultivate Supportive Relationships: Surround yourself with a circle of people who lift you and believe in your greatness. Tip: Make an effort to spend more time with people who make you feel good about yourself.

  4. Flex Your Strengths: What makes you shine? Lean into your strengths, passions, and talents—they're your allies! Tip: List three qualities you admire about yourself.

  5. Appreciate the Little Things: Break down big dreams into bite-sized goals, and celebrate every win along the way. Progress, no matter how small, is your ticket to self-esteem paradise. Tip: List three things you did well at the end of each day.

  6. Do What Brings You Joy: Treat yourself to a little TLC—whether it's for your body, mind, or soul. You're more likely to think positively when you spend time doing the things you enjoy. If it makes you happy, make time for it. Tip: List three activities that bring you joy and commit to doing at least one of them every day.

Self-esteem is a key component of psychological well-being that affects how we think, feel, and behave in various spheres of life. Through self-compassion, nurturing relationships, realistic goal-setting, and daily gratitude, we can foster a deep sense of self-worth and self-confidence that serves as a solid foundation for personal growth and fulfilment. By cultivating these habits, you're not just building self-esteem, but a life you love, one bold step at a time.

Xin Yi Ng (Michelle)

Research & Development Lead

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