By Damilola Ojo
In part 1, we shared 5 of 10 habits in your life and daily routine that are lowering your self-esteem. Here, the remaining 5 of the 10 habits lowering your self-esteem are shared.
FIDGETING WHEN NERVOUS
You are fidgeting when you continuously make small movements with your body, usually hands and feet. It is a physical habit that an individual develops over time and it reflects nervousness, discomfort or restlessness. Scientifically, it takes 30 days to break a habit. Expressing nervousness through fidgeting is something that you can manage and eventually stop.
Fidgeting distracts you and makes you appear more nervous than you actually are, thus making you seem timid and shy. Isometric exercises and relaxation techniques can help ease fidgeting and eventually help you stop fidgeting.
SEEING YOURSELF AS A PERSON WITH LOW SELF-ESTEEM
One subtle cause of low self-esteem is identifying yourself – verbally or internally - as a person with low self-esteem. Remember, a man is what he thinks of himself. Replace negative perceptions about yourself with positive ones. Also, start taking care of yourself, giving yourself the best and learning ways to improve on attitudes, behaviours and physical attributes that can be improved upon. Rather than dismissing yourself as a person with low self-esteem, acknowledge instead that you have formed habits of low self-esteem which you can break.
HAVING A NEGATIVE MINDSET
This goes without saying. If you think negatively about yourself, constantly talking yourself down and criticizing yourself, you end up being plagued with self-doubt and thus cripple your own confidence. Be kind to yourself. Choose to be your own cheerleader and live with the principle of never bringing yourself down no matter what. You live in a world with enough people that are ready to judge and criticize you based on their own experiences and worldview, the least you can do is not join them to bring your own self down.
A crow lived in the forest and was absolutely satisfied in life, until one day he saw a swan. The swan was so white and beautiful to the crow that the crow thought: “This swan is so white and beautiful, while I’m so black. The swan must be the happiest bird in the world.” The crow approached the swan and expressed its thoughts, but the swan replied that it actually did feel like the happiest bird in the world until it saw the parrot and the lovely two colours of its feathers. The swan now thought the parrot was the happiest bird in the world. The crow then met the parrot who explained that it (the parrot) also lived a very happy life till it saw the peacock. The peacock had multiple colours and was the center of attraction for everyone.
The crow proceeded to visit the peacock in the zoo and saw hundreds of people gathered to see and admire the peacock. After everyone left, the crow went to the peacock and said how beautiful it was and how lucky it was to have so many people coming to admire it. The peacock then replied: “I always thought I was the most beautiful and happy bird on the planet. But because of my beauty, I am entrapped in this zoo. I have examined the zoo carefully, and I have realized that the crow is the only bird not kept in a cage. Since then I have wished to be a crow, so I could be free and roam everywhere I want.” Comparing yourself to others is a waste of time and unfair to you.
ASSOCIATING WITH NEGATIVE UNSUPPORTIVE PEOPLE
Negative and unsupportive people leave you feeling worse about yourself. They make everything worse and paralyse your confidence and self-esteem. Avoid them, cut them off and find people who are worth it.
You don’t have to associate with the wrong people because you fear being alone. There are over 7 billion people in the world. Over 190 million out of these 7 billion live in Nigeria. You will find another person or other people that are good for you; there’s nothing to fear.