On one hand, self-esteem is how you feel about yourself. On the other, body image is about how you see yourself and how you believe others see you. They are closely connected because if you have a poor opinion of yourself your self-esteem will be low too.
If you have low self-esteem and a poor opinion of yourself you will have problems in every aspect of your life especially with your ability to communicate and socialize with other people. Poor social performance will negatively affect you at work and in daily life preventing you from receiving job promotions or winning the love and affection of that perfect mate as well as lowering your self confidence at the same time.
People who have low self-esteem tend to give up in the face of a challenge; feel worthless often putting up with abusive relationships; and are “wishy-washy” with their boundaries. However, someone who has a high self-esteem has a positive body image. This person will be happy, confident, and motivated to succeed.
To determine your self esteem, ask yourself these questions:
Is your job worthwhile? Do others respect what you do? Do you respect what you do?
Do you believe you are successful?
How do you see yourself (your self image)?
How do you feel about your strengths and weaknesses?
What do you think of your social status?
How do you relate to others?
Can you make your own decisions?
If your answers to the above questions were generally positive, more than likely you have a high self-esteem. If the answers were negative, your self-esteem may need a boost.
It is crucial to have a high self-esteem because it is the cornerstone of a positive attitude towards living. It affects how you think, act and even how you relate to other people. It affects your potential to be successful. In addition, it has a direct bearing on your happiness and wellbeing.
Do you need a confidence boost? Here are a few ideas…
Find someone who is self-confident to model and learn from them. What is it they do that makes them confident? How do they act? Once you know these things, you can do them as well.
Focus on your achievements rather than your failures. In “Creating a Success Journal”, I talked about writing for a few minutes each day all of your successes. So when you find yourself thinking about how you failed you can look at your Success Journal to remind yourself of your successes.
Act as if you were self confident! By the very act of doing, you will feel more confident.
Focus on who you are and what you like about yourself. Ask yourself “Why do your friends like you?” If you are not sure, ask them!
Work on your relaxation skills. Either get a massage or learn how to meditate.
Set reachable goals for yourself and break difficult tasks into smaller steps.
Reward yourself when you succeed no matter how small the achievement.
Finally, I advise you not to be too competitive or compare yourself with others. Be yourself and accept that life is not a race against others but your self confidence depends on you and your personal needs.
Here are my two favorite books on meditation and setting goals.