Choosing Your Identity to Help Boost Self-Esteem
In my last post, I talked about balancing pressure and self-esteem. I often place so much emphasis on my mental health that it becomes my entire identity, which can potentially negatively affect my self-esteem and denies me the ability to choose my identity.
I recently had a reader reach out to me asking what steps I've taken to stop putting so much pressure on myself. I've been reflecting on that question for a couple of days now and would like to expand on it in today's post.
How to Choose Identity to Help My Self-Esteem
1. Pay attention to your conversations.
The first step for me in identifying self-applied pressure has been understanding the motivations behind specific conversations. My mental health is crucial to talk about with those closest to me; it's how I keep myself in check. However, I started noticing it was becoming the topic of every conversation I was having. I realized that it had infiltrated even joyous occasions, like travel, and was disrupting my inner peace. At that point, I told myself that sometimes I need to accept a given problem as temporary and isolated rather than lumping it into the ongoing problem of low self-esteem.
2. Realize that some situations are isolated problems to be handled immediately, not another thing to add to the growing pile of problems.
The next step in my process is where I began looking at my circumstances as individual incidents rather than a giant storm of issues.
When I was classifying every problem under the I-have-mental-health-problems banner, they continued to grow in number without any solution. Now, I try to focus on each issue I have in an isolated manner. Let's say I made a mistake on a work project, and my boss reprimands me. Before, I probably would have let that negatively affect my self-esteem by thinking I was largely under-qualified for my role because I've made other mistakes at work previously. Now, I choose to look at it as a learning experience because it's an isolated incident in my mind and one that I can grow from.
The two different approaches could have drastically different outcomes. I could potentially worry myself out of a job with the negative method. With the positive method, I become a better employee.
Lumping My Issues Together Was a Bad Habit
Finally, I'd like to talk about breaking the habit of lumping all of my issues together. It's been a tough habit to break with a few bumps along the way, but being able to step back from a situation and confront it in a specific manner has helped me improve my self-esteem.
It also keeps me from letting these issues slip into my identity -- something I've struggled with previously. It allows me to overcome each setback individually rather than pushing it down the line for my future self to deal with. It's a very liberating feeling.
If you have any questions, please reach out to me in the comments below.
Redmond, W. (2022, May 25). Choosing Your Identity to Help Boost Self-Esteem, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, May 30 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/buildingselfesteem/2022/5/choosing-your-identity-to-help-boost-self-esteem