7 Day Self - Esteem Bootcamp

Growing up part of an all woman family, like I did, means there is no shortage of discussions on insecurities, we love a good heart to heart.

Most discussions start in my grandmother’s kitchen. Family get-togethers also double as group therapy events for anyone who wants it (sometimes even if you don't want it). It starts off with a meet and greet, then cups of tea all round, we discuss the latest updates in everyone’s lives, move onto the problems people are facing, progress to the root cause of the issue and this usually results in tears from someone somewhere and then we end on a motivational speech. Hugs all round.

Low self-esteem is a difficult thing to live with. It can make you defensive, doubt your decisions and excessively worry. We can become so used to having low self-esteem that we forget it’s even there. We learn to adjust our lives to avoid coming face to face with our low self-esteem demon but all we have done is allow it to grow into a bigger problem and make us feel worse.

Now, imagine a version of yourself that isn't scared of people judging you and being confident enough to stick to your opinions and ideas. Imagine not being constantly critical of yourself. It’s so relaxing!

So here is a 7 day bootcamp to help build on your self-esteem.

Day 1 - Accept Yourself

We are told not to blow our own trumpet from an early age, we don’t want to get a big head after all. But that’s not what high self-esteem is about. People with high self-esteem aren’t delusional people who think they are all singing and all dancing. They actually just have a realistic image of themselves. They know they have strengths and they know they have weaknesses and they are sure of themselves.

You need to get rid of the negative comments that low self-esteem whispers in your ear. The first step to doing that is to tell yourself that it’s ok to be yourself. You don’t need to be funnier like your friend or chattier like your sister.

So, day one is all about giving yourself a massive acceptance hug.

Day 2 - Identify What is Causing your Low Self - Esteem

Most of the time we don’t notice what negative narrative is going on in our head. Sit down and talk it out with yourself because that will allow you to be completely honest about it. You don’t have to worry about sounding silly. Whatever you feel is ok, nothing is ridiculous. Get it out in the open.

Day two is about coming face to face with your low self-esteem demon.

Day 3 - Recognise your Weaknesses

This is a difficult one. It can make you feel uncomfortable. I’m not saying you have to declare your weaknesses publicly but you should be able to recognise them so you can give yourself the chance to improve. You might not be great at a particular aspect of your job or maybe you are judging yourself because you said something you really shouldn’t have!

Don’t sit there and self-loath. When you have low self-esteem it’s all too easy to take one tiny incident and decide you are an AWFUL person based on that. That’s really not helpful or true. Rather you need to accept that you messed up. We all mess up sometimes and we all have weaknesses. 

What you have to do is adopt a high self-esteem attitude. You need to recognise the mistake, forgive yourself and know that you can improve.

Day three is all about recognising your weaknesses and accepting that part of yourself without judgement.

Day 4 - Think About Your Strengths

It’s not just about your weaknesses, it’s also about your strengths. You are trying to build a realistic picture of yourself remember. Self-confidence is an important part of that.

A lot of people with low self-esteem are really good at faking confidence. They can be the loudest and funniest person in the room. However, this is hollow if you go home and judge yourself.

True self-confidence comes from having a realistic understanding of your own abilities. Just like identifying your weaknesses, identifying your strengths can be difficult; sometimes you can’t see any of your accomplishments. There is no way you have achieved NOTHING in life. That’s low self-esteem talking.

Sit down and list your achievements and strengths for yourself however big or small.

Day four is to celebrate all the great stuff you have done and that you do!

Day 5 - Take up a Hobby

Find something you enjoy doing and do it. It will make you feel good about yourself. It could be taking up a new gym class, volunteering, or something small like trying a new recipe. It doesn’t need to be related to the thing you have low self-esteem about.

You are teaching yourself that you don’t need to be great at something to enjoy it. It’s about doing something for you. You might need to push yourself a little for this one but it's well worth it I think.

Day five is about doing something just for YOU.

Day 6 - Set Yourself a Long Term Goal

There might be something you have always thought of doing but thought it was impossible. Don’t be scared to try. If you are in the game you have a chance to win it, if you don’t try you have lost already. People with high self-esteem do fail but they aren’t scared to try.

Set yourself mini goals to help you achieve your big goal. This way you will be making a contribution to achieving “the dream” every day or every week. And enjoy the journey! This is you living the dream!

Day six is the day you decide to start living the dream, big or small.

Day 7 - Hold onto Your Values

“No man is an island, entire of itself: every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main…” – John Donne (17th century poet).

This advice is actually taken from a book on self-esteem written for children. I think it’s one of those things that are so “basic” that it’s not even mentioned to adults but this advice was a revelation to me!

Know your personal beliefs and values and don’t be scared to stand up for them.

This is a difficult one. Almost everyone is “different” in some way. On a daily basis, we have to interact with people that we have a difference in opinion with and it can feel like you aren’t allowed to have your own ideas because people can find it hard to accept differences. But you need to know what your personal beliefs and priorities are because they are part of you. Whatever they are, that’s ok, that’s you and remind yourself that you aren’t harming anyone. You hold these values for yourself.

We have to accept not everyone will agree with our ideas but giving up on our values is giving up on part of ourselves - "every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main..." Don’t let others impose their priorities on you.


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