How To Boost Self Esteem And Confidence – 5 Tips For Bloggers
As we near the end of another year we should, as bloggers, be setting our goals and plans for the new year ahead. All too often these plans will not include how we are going to keep our self esteem and confidence at a high in order to make sure we keep to the plan and achieve those goals.
Self esteem is a funny old thing that can be ever changing on a daily and even hourly basis. How many times have you started the day at full throttle only to have your self confidence knocked by something said or written.
As bloggers we are putting ourselves out there because we have a message to deliver. A message we truly believe in. The problem is not everyone wants to listen and some want to tell us the message is wrong or question why are we bothering anyway. How many of you heard “yes but it’s not a proper job is it” from our loving family members over the Christmas period?
What we need is a plan to keep our self esteem high so we can stick to our plan and get those goals achieved despite any negativity that is thrown our way. Remembering that sometimes that negativity comes from ourselves. In this post I’ll give you 5 things to put on your daily task list that will keep you sane and focused.
First, let me give you an analogy to help you understand self esteem and confidence. When we are born we have inside of us a bag full of apples. ( stay with me… ) These apples represent self esteem and confidence. When we are a baby we believe ourselves to be the centre of the universe and that bag is jam packed full of juicy apples. When we cry, our needs are met by our carers and we know nothing of the wider world who are not going to be so keen to meet our every need. Our self esteem is at 100%
As we grow into a toddler we are going to get our first maggot and that maggot is going to start chomping away at one of those lovely apples. The first maggots will possibly be something like being shouted at for going near a plug socket. We are not used to being shouted at and it will have an impact. Now these early maggots are required to keep us and others safe. Can you imagine a world where everyone has a 100% self esteem level because no maggots were handed out. We would all be total psychopaths who thought that we could do anything that takes our fancy.
Unfortunately once the early healthy maggots are given to ensure we are a fully fledged rounded member of society the maggots will not stop coming. They will start to come thick and fast and they will chomp at those apples and reduce our confidence and self esteem levels. We may get these from our parents, siblings, teachers or friends. Some will be intentional but most will be totally unintentional. Thankfully these may be balanced out by our self esteem bag being replenished with more apples. These apples will come from the same people in the form of compliments in one form of another.
The challenge most of us have is we allow the maggots to eat more apples than necessary because we replay the insult or negative comment over and over, allowing it to keep eating those apples. We are also predisposed to ignoring compliments or negating them in some way. “they are only saying that because… ” ” I wonder what they want?” ” Yes but, it not as good as so and so’s…” This means the apples given to us that should replenish the bag are rather less juicy than are required.
Honestly how many of us have been given a compliment on what we are wearing and we have thrown that compliment right back by saying ” what this old thing… ” The apple never even hits the bag. And as a result of these two things, the maggots keep on chomping and the apples are never replenished and therefore our self esteem and confidence are not as strong as they could be and it hampers our efforts in making sure our plans and goals are executed and achieved.
So what can we do about it?
1. Put the Maggots in to perspective.
Easier said than done, especially when the maggots hurt us emotionally. It is amazing that a total stranger can leave us a comment on our blog, website or on social media and totally ruin our day. Rather than dealing with it and moving on, we replay the comment in our heads until we convince ourselves that it is true. We let it affect our productivity and sometimes we go totally off plan because of that comment.
An example of mine that sticks out is a comment left for me in a very negative and rude way. It said my website was slow to load and that it was unprofessional. I think it was the way it was written that stuck in my throat rather than what it actually said. Now I answered the comment in a very professional way and I should have left it at that. But no, it kept coming back to me and the more I thought about it, the less productive I became. Now obviously I did due diligence on checking my site speed which was a sensible thing to do in the circumstances. It was okay but not perfect, but who’s is ? Instead of trusting the result, I went on a stupid mission to increase my site speed for nearly two days. Now I learnt some stuff in the process but seriously, two days of changing everything I could to increase my site speed by a few points and all because of some arrogant persons comment. The truth is, it may have been his server that was slow not mine.
The lesson here is to take on board a comment, rationalise it, check it out if necessary. Sometimes they are right but there is still no excuse for arrogance or rudeness. Do not let the maggot get to you. If it keeps on playing on your mind, write them an all singing, all dancing, rude letter back. JUST DON’T SEND IT. This works if someone has said something verbally to you too. Don’t give them the satisfaction of rising to the bait, reply with a thank you for your comments and say you’ll take it on board. Then get out your notebook and write down exactly what you would have liked to have said. You will be surprised at how cathartic this can be. Reacting badly by fighting fire with fire will only leave you with another maggot to deal with because you will only hate yourself for reacting badly. The other person may have been doing it on purpose and enjoyed the fight.
2. Take on Board the Apples
When you are given a compliment, practice saying “Thank you” You will be surprised at how many times you say anything but “Thank you” Very often we take the compliment and throw it right back at the sender by effectively telling them they are wrong to think good things about you.
Read back over your replies to people’s comments either on your site or your social media. Are you really just saying thank you or are you negating the compliment. All too often I will see replies that say “thank you” but then go on to say ” but it’s only what anyone would do ” or ” it’s nothing” Even when we just say “Thank you” do you really take on board the compliment? Or are you just paying it lip service? Be honest with yourself and try to ingest the great comments and compliments you get and believe them to be true. Give yourself at least five minutes to bask in the glory of some really positive feedback.
3. Give out Apples, not Maggots
This is a total win win in building your self esteem. Being nice makes you feel good so by giving out a compliment or an apple you give yourself an apple too. Giving out maggots to others may feel okay in the moment but you will regret it later and other people will see your comments and think not too kindly of you either. This will result in fewer apples coming your way.
Don’t be Mrs or Mr Negative. If you haven’t got anything nice to say, say nothing at all.
4. Practice Self Care
So many bloggers are women and traditionally we are the carers whether we have children or not. We spend so much time looking after everyone else and catering to their needs we do not have time to look after ourselves. Well you need to make time. You may need to learn a little known word called ” No” to create yourself some “Me” time but it’s okay you have my permission. If you don’t look after yourself there will come a time when there is nothing left of you to help anyone else. Take it from someone who knows. A lifetime of acting like superwoman and neglecting myself eventually led to a nervous breakdown. Do not go there. Whilst it is possible to get back up from that, as I am testament to, it is a lot easier to not go there in the first place.
Obviously Men need to take this on board too as they may also give up too much of their selves in favour of others needs. Male or Female, do something just for yourself at least once a week. Put the time in your weekly schedule. It can be virtually anything you enjoy doing but it has to be for you and you alone. Do not think but I don’t have time. Do not give up your time in favour of someone else that wants something from you. If you had a work meeting in your schedule you wouldn’t give that up because a family member decided they needed a lift somewhere so don’t give up your “Me” time either.
5. Keep a Gratitude Journal
Now this is something I have done on and off since my early twenties. I haven’t always stuck to it but I know that when I do it religiously then things seem to fall into place much easier and I feel happier and more content.
A gratitude journal is what it sounds like. Some form of written journal about the things you are grateful for. You should do it every day, preferably at the end of each day. Take time to reflect on what you have been grateful for in that day. You will be surprised at how many positives there are even in a really rubbish day. All the small and big things count.
Over the years, I have used many different mediums to write my gratitude journal. A plain notebook, fancy bound notebooks and even notes on my smartphone. It doesn’t really matter what you use as long as you try to find 5 things you are grateful for in each day and write them down.
This year I will be using a Guided Gratitude Journal that was a Christmas gift. It looks beautiful and has pages to take my usual lists of things I am grateful for a step further. Alongside a page for things I am grateful for it also has goal lists for each day and questions about what would make me happy and what do I need to learn. My favourite addition is a page which asks me “what delightful, what challenging, what spontaneous, what purposeful, what magical and what delicious thing happened to me today ” I am looking forward to starting and ending the days with this beautiful book as a way of setting goals and reflecting on what I am grateful for.
I was unable to find the book I have for sale so I have created my own printable version for you to download here.
Practicing these five things until they become natural too you will help build your self esteem and confidence. It may seem difficult at first. Any change takes time to become a habit but don’t give up if you don’t get it all done every day. Each day is a new day and each time you do these five things, the more natural they will become. If you don’t raise your self esteem and confidence in yourself you will struggle to keep to your work plan and achieve those goals.
If you have any questions or want to leave a comment please do so below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
Here’s to a successful New Year for all of us.
With Grace and Gratitude
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