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How To Boost Your Self-esteem By Drawing On Your Past
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How To Boost Your Self-esteem By Drawing on Your Past

If you’re someone who has looked at different strategies on how to boost your self-esteem, you may well have been encouraged to be forward thinking and look at the future rather than the past. However, your past will be full of experiences and achievements that you can draw on to help improve your self-esteem and confidence.

I have a friend who is happily married, has two gorgeous children (and an equally beautiful dog) and is successful in her career. She is pretty, slender and an amusing companion and good friend and yet she is always struggling with her self-esteem. In the past four years she has been made redundant a couple of times, which has knocked her confidence, but although unpleasant, it is a common occurrence in the field in which she works, and after a couple of months break she has just started a new job.

However, although she has successfully held senior posts at work for many years now, she continues to put a great deal of unnecessary stress on herself by worrying about whether she has the skills or ability to do the job. She then applies extra pressure by pressurising herself to be ultra successful from the outset. It's unncessary stress because she will be successful.

My friend's problem is a common one and I have worked with many clients who struggle with their self-esteem in this way. When something goes wrong they often forget to draw on their experiences and prior successes, recognise why they were successful and realise the skills that they used to be a success, they will use again albeit in a different context.

So here are my three top tips for how to boost your self esteem and self-confidence by drawing on your past.

1. Identify your skills Write a list of 20 skills that you have. It doesn’t matter whether you actually use all these skills at the current time. Go write back into the past and find them. It might be a rusty skill, but it’s a skill never the less. If you find you have more than 20 write them down. Pin it up somewhere visible and make a commitment to read it daily.

2. Acknowledge your achievements Write a list of 20 things that you have achieved. Some people find this incredibly difficult – but it’s important if you are to boost your self-esteem to be able to acknowledge your achievements. Don’t say to yourself that you haven’t achieved anything, because everybody has. Again keep the list somewhere where you will see it and you can remind yourself of what you have done, particularly if something has gone wrong.

3. Identify what you have learnt. Take 10 of your achievements. Look at each of them in turn and analyse why they were a success, what you did, what you learnt, what skills you used and what was the impact. Take time over this and it will really remind you of the skills you have and have used. When you’re trying to boost your self-esteem, it can’t come from other people, it has to come from yourself. That’s why it’s so important that you acknowledge what you will have done. You may not want to pin this up, but it’s good to keep it close and remind yourself of the impact that you have had on yourself and others through your achievements..

Summary:It’s not healthy to look into the past and constantly think ‘if only’, but it is important to look back for lessons you can learn and achievements that you've had. Acknowledging your successes will boost your self-esteem, particularly in difficult times and have an impact on your self-confidence. Use these three tips and the lists as positive reminders.

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