Wednesday, June 03, 2015


8 Ways To Increase Your Self Esteem After a Set-back

From my understanding, our self esteem is a sum of several factors. It is very important to have an optimal level of it for us to function in a healthy manner.

Because self esteem is the product of very sensitive areas of our life such as upbringing and relationship dynamics, it comes to become an integral part of our world-view.  Sure enough our self esteem has it's peaks and troughs but it takes a real decrease when we experience a set-back in life.

What is a set-back?

It is relative for each of us and generic definitions don't really help. It may just be simple to say that it is when our perception of ourself and internal belief are shaken. Such an event which triggers an individual to feel negative about themself affects their confidence, spirituality, creative ability and behaviour. 

Here are 8 ways to increase your self esteem after a set-back:

1. Supplicate and give over your worries to God Almighty rather than engaging in negative self talk. 

This may involve pain, but feeling the Lordship over oneself is quite an empowering position to be in. Understand that failure and success are from God alone. It was never in your hands anyway. Some resources in this area:

 Finding Peace Through 'The Comforter'
17 Benefits of Tribulation

2. Remind yourself of past set-backs and the several hurdles you have crossed thus far.

 You managed to get through them so why do you doubt the Mercy of God Almighty now? If your soul is not given more than it can burden, then why despair? Please see also my previous post.

3. Make a list of what makes you 'you' so that perspective can come your way. 

We all have a heap of abilities, talents and qualities which make us uniquely us - so stop comparing your actions [in the situation] to that of another person. As the great Imam al Ghazali said: “Know, oh beloved, that you were not created in jest or at random, but marvelously made and for some great end.” It's true.  If your set-back was in your line of career, then alongside following appropriate professional protocols, take another look at your CV to see your accomplishments.

4. Surround yourself with people who are good for your being and don't necessarily dance to your tune, agreeing with everything you say. 

I mean those genuinely concerned for your welfare who will give sincere advice. By being in the presence of such individuals you will benefit your spirit immensely. If the nature of your set-back requires a change of scene, then consider volunteering. There are several organisations looking for people like you to make a difference. Volunteering will serve additional purposes: opportunity to meet new people, learning a new skill to expand no.3, and serving others to create even more perspective.

5. Organise your daily routine and set yourself a 'to-do list'. 

Having very low self esteem can lead to both a lack of motivation and productivity. Basic things such as waking up and getting dressed or eating on time can become cumbersome. Whilst organising your routine remember to look at your diet, sleep and exercise too.  Writing down even simple things on a list eg ironing can make us feel that we have done something productive.  Every time an item gets done, tick it off. This will create a sense of acheivement which you can take into the next activity you do. Small steps are key after a set-back otherwise you will create further misery.

6. Become thankful. 

Of course don't use it as a whip to beat yourself or make you feel guilty about. Make a list of things you have rather than the one or two things you don't. "..If you count God's blessing, you will never number it" [14.34 - Quran]. Some resources in this area:

Giving Thanks
A Thanksgiving Prayer
The Attitude Of Gratitude
The Grateful Brain 

Gratitude Jar - Pinterest

7. Start something creative. 

There are many groups which offer the creative offload you may need. If finances are a problem or the idea of joining a group is too difficult right now, then don't despair. There are several inexpensive things you can do from joining the library to following an online tutorial to make something. A creative project will give your mind a break from focusing on the set-back and as in no.5 learning something new will give you a sense of acheivement which you will carry with you into other aspects of your thinking. As a starter you can take a walk outdoors early one morning and listen to the sound of nature before the traffic arrives. When you try something new, you will be allowing yourself the opportunity to open a door to things that you may have otherwise not known.

8. Once you begin to feel better then ask yourself what lessons are to be learnt? 

What will you do different next time? If however, you continue to feel 'low' in yourself after a period has passed, then seek counselling. A counsellor will work with you to identify the deeper reasons for your low self esteem and how to move forward. 

Photos - Wales / English Channel / Tunisia / Yemen 

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