I do not believe in regret but when I think back of this moment, I still want to bitch slap myself in the face. The moment is not about love but being in love. To tell you this story, I have to travel back to my 16 year old me. To be precise, I have to travel back to a summer holiday in Spain. I was in the middle of my puberty and I could not care less about culture and nature. For three weeks, I spent my days at the pool on the camping site. Chatting with the friends I made and of course, trying to find my summer love. That is what you do when you are 16.
One day, I spotted a beautiful girl. Truly gorgeous! For some reason I found the guts to walk up to her and we started talking. She was Dutch too. Not really a surprise because everyone is Dutch on Spanish camping sites. She was blond, tanned and she had a wonderful spark in her eyes. I fell in love with her. For the next weeks, she was part of our group. We hang out at the pool during the day and we went out for drinks in the evening. We had fun, she let me hold hands with her and she allowed me to come close.
She never became my summer love. In the end, I was too chicken to make the real move. In my mind she was too beautiful for me. Although the signs were different, I thought she would never fall for a guy like me. I was afraid for the rejection. Every night I walked her home. It was always just the two of us. Every evening I promised myself that I would kiss her and every night I did, but only a swift kiss on the cheek. I am almost sure that if I tried, she would not have rejected me but I will never know for sure. I was too busy rejecting myself.
Yes, this is just a sad teenage story but these things happen when you think that you are not good enough. Not only with love but with everything in life. You will never be able to create happiness if you think you are not worth it. You will never be able to follow your dreams if you do not truly believe that you can! You will never be the great person that you are without choosing to be it.
Insecurity is equal to denying existence. Wonderful things may already be in your life. You just have to acknowledge them and they are within reach. But if you think you do not deserve them for any reason, you are the one that is pushing them away and denying their existence. Great people do great things because they believe they can. They are not creating ‘no’, they are creating ‘yes’. The hero is only the hero because he chose to be the hero.
I am not saying you have to change the world but you at least owe it to yourself to try to become the person that you want to be. I know, it takes courage and a high level of self-esteem. Of course, I have to learn my lessons as well. On the road to a happy, peaceful, free and fulfilling life I am determent to clear every obstacle, especially the ones I am creating myself. I have practiced, tested and observed and I have found ways that help me creating a healthy self-esteem. Maybe they can help you as well! Here are 12 ways to improve your self-esteem and to wake up the lion in you!
1. Make yourself proud
Create the habit of making yourself proud. Create beautiful things, overcome fears, finish things you are postponing, do something you always wanted to do but never did. Anything that makes you feel good about yourself. Important, say before you start that you are doing it to make yourself proud.
2. Practice skills you want to be good at
When you are getting better at something, your self-esteem will automatically grow. You are giving yourself proof that you can achieve things. Instead of telling yourself that you are insignificant, you can give something useful to the world. You can become an expert in anything but of course, you have to be willing to make an effort first.
3. Write down a list with things you like about yourself and repeat them on a regular base
Everything you focus on, gets priority in your life. They will become your reality. So every time you focus on positive things about yourself they will grow. It is a rule, it will happen. Therefore it is important to see these positive things and to acknowledge them. Give them room to exist and grow. Nothing steady gets build in a day so keep repeating them to yourself. Preferably daily until they are a conscious part of your life.
4. Write down a list of things you do not like about yourself and actively change them
Perhaps there are things about yourself you do not like. Things that makes you wonder why you keep doing them. Things that make you feel bad about yourself. Write them all down and promise yourself to change them. This time for real! And if you fail, you try again for real. Make sure you will set yourself the right goals. Do not focus on the negative, focus on the positive. When you want to quit smoking, do not set yourself the goal to quit smoking. Focus on living a healthy life!
5. Spoil yourself from time to time
Yes, you are worth it! Spoil yourself from time to time. Do something nice for yourself, give yourself something nice. It does not have to be big. Give yourself time for a warm bath and a good scrub. Get your favorite food which you do not buy so often because it is a little bit more expensive. It is the small things that matter.
6. Push yourself out of your comfort zone from time to time
You can do a lot more than you think. Try it! Do not let fear stand in the way. You will see the world is not so bad. And every time you overcome a fear, your are making room for self-esteem.
7. Read and learn about things that interest you
If you have knowledge, you have a story to tell. If you are an expert, you know more than others. If you know more than others, you can teach others. How is it possible not to feel good about yourself if you are able to teach others? I am just saying.
Exercising has a lot of benefits. It creates more energy, it makes you look better, it makes you feel better, it improves your physical skills, it builds up a better stamina, it learns you to reach the next level. Everything gets better when you exercise. Also your self-esteem.
9. Be good to others and help them
Is it not much nicer to know that people think good about you instead of knowing that they think you are an ass? And worse, to know that they are right. You cannot think good about yourself if you are not good to others. Some people think they can but they always will have a dark shadow chasing them. You do not want that. To know that people appreciate your existence is a major boost for your self-esteem. Plus and plus makes a bigger plus!
10. Live up to your promises
You can neglect a promise to yourself once, you can do it twice but there comes a time when you are going to think that you are a worthless piece of shit. You are going to think: ‘If I cannot even live up to my own promise, what can I do?’ And then it gets worse. So if you want to build up your self-respect, live up to your promises. Just make what you want to achieve reality. Because you can!
11. See more of the world
Ask any traveler, traveling makes you feel a better person. You can go to the university for years but you learn more valuable things when you travel. It puts things in perspective, it forces you to deal with the unfamiliar and it fills your memory with great experiences. Once you have traveled, you know that you are able to deal with the world!
12. be social and create the right universe around you
It is important that you acknowledge yourself but it is also important that you get acknowledged by others. We are social creatures, we need each other. Obviously for many reasons and a big one is to be loved. If someone loves you, you did well. You know that and it makes you feel good.
Though, we are all different people, grown up in different realities. That is no science fiction, it is like it is. You like what someone else hates and the other way around. Some people will admire you if you do voluntary work, some people will think you are an idiot for doing unpaid work. You will not be appreciated for who you are if you are not in the right environment. You can do the best you can but you will only hit a cold brick wall. Therefore it is important to create the right universe around you so you can be loved for who you are.
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