Self-esteem issues are at the heart of a lot of unhappiness for many women and it can be difficult to see your way past the vicious cycle of feeling like you’re just not good enough or you deserve whatever is happening to you. It’s important to have pride and to address the negative beliefs that you have about yourself so that you can make positive choices and be in positive situations. Low self-esteem attracts disrepect from others who are willing to take advantage of it and remove your dignity, which further reinforces what you think anyway.

Low self-esteem can:

– Make you attracted to and attractive to emotionally unavailable men.

– Cause you to stay in a relationship where you are being emotionally or physically abused.

– Put you in situations where you may find yourself being used.

– Catch you in a vicious cycle of unhappiness in a relationship where you know things aren’t right but stay anyway.

– Make it difficult for you to be single so you seek out any relationship with a man regardless of quality.

Here are some quick tips to put you on the path of change.

Listen to your gut. It is ignoring it that puts you into situations that leave you feeling emotionally scarred. Learn to apply judgment to situations and pay attention to the one thing that is using a combination of sense, emotional ease and spirit to guide you. Never ignore red flags! If you spot them, your intuition, your gut is trying to tell you something and it’s not good!

Affirmations. This is not everyone’s cup of tea, however I know of people who have used them to remind themself of their worth and found an inner peace. Write on a Post-It and stick it on the mirror (or even write in lipstick on the mirror) ‘I am a woman of great value and deserve only the best’ and say it to yourself when you’re in front of the mirror at least ten times. Say it with meaning and like your life depends on it. If you want to stop calling a guy, use that same Post-It and tape it to the phone with a message ‘I know my worth and I’m not calling him’. Whatever it is, find something positive and empowering to say about yourself.

Read ‘Are You The One For Me? Knowing Who’s Right and Avoiding Who’s Wrong’ by Beverley D’Angelo. This could save you the cost of a counsellor and put your bad patterns behind you. This is without a doubt the best relationship book I ever read! Available from Amazon for £6.39 or $7.99

Write down every negative thing you think about yourself and beside each point, counterract with the positive reality or what you can do to change it.

Have an esteem buddy. Every woman has at least one person who makes her forget all of her troubles and will tell her all the great things about herself. Sometimes you just need to be reminded. I have a couple of friends that even when I phone them up feeling awful and thinking I’m in a dire situation, they have me laughing and remind me that I’m not what I’ve been thinking. These are the people that empower you.

Put on a happy song. I only have to hear Proud Mary by Tina Turner, Naughty Girl by Beyonce, LDN by Lilly Allen amongst other songs to instantly have a happiness boost. Create a CD or playlist on your music player that you can put on when needed.

Put your past to rest. The past is very much in the present for many women and it’s the inability to confront and deal with issues that will hold you back from a happier now and future. Get closure, vent your feelings, give forgiveness, mend rifts if neccessary and even speak with a counsellor so that you can free yourself to be happy.

Tackle things one at a time. You may feel like you want to lose weight, give up smoking, change job, move house, find love and much more but if your esteem is low, this can be highly demotivating when you feel like nothing is being accomplished. It’s better to tackle one at a time (or two if you can do it) and complete them and get the boost of accomplishment than find yourself not completing anything.

Place pictures and possessions around you that remind you of happier times and get rid of negative clutter. If you’re clinging to things that were given to you by exes for instance which keep you thinking about the past, give them to charity.

Remove yourself out of negative situations that may reinforce bad perceptions of yourself and focus on allowing yourself to be happy.

Don’t speak negatively about yourself and when you think or speak a negative thought about yourself, cut it off, change it and replace it with something positive.

Focus on the good things about you. None of us like everything about our bodies and selves but get to know you and your attributes. If you don’t like and love you, how do you expect to be around people that will?

Remind yourself of the good things you do. Most of us are not of Mother Theresa calibre (lucky you if you are) but you are doing good, positive things all the time – you just fail to look at those things.

Prayer can be a great source of peace and an opportunity to be more spiritually connected to yourself.

Dress happier than you feel. Often when we feel down, we stop making an effort which subconsciously sends more messages that we’re not worthy. I used to always ensure that I had on damn good underwear and it was an instant boost when I was getting ready for work. Likewise, have a facial, haircut, or massage for a quick lift that’ll put a spring in your step.



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