Do You Struggle With Self-esteem? 5 Ways To Bounce Back

How to enhance self-esteem

People around me could never hurt my self-esteem, not because I was never in such a situation but because I never let them! Even as a child when I was asked to apologize for no fault of mine, to please somebody’s ego, I refused. I knew I would be punished but I didn’t care!

My mirror has never told me that I am not the best or I can’t excel. I always knew I am much better than many.

Criticism of others affects me in a positive manner. I try to introspect and dismiss the judgment of others as their opinion. I try to work on my imperfections in such a manner that enhances my self-esteem.

What lowers self-esteem?

  • Negative home environment
  • Broken families
  • Bullying
  • Insensitive friends
  • Shaming by a parent or a teacher
  • Self-blaming
  • Intimidating or controlling partner
  • Demanding boss
  • Dwelling on your weaknesses

Self-esteem is not given; it is earned; it is cultivated and it is snatched when others try to smash it.
“One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.” Michael J. Fox

I have faced the worst of criticism and ridicule for being too thin and tall, for failing in Math, for writing beautifully and neatly but not completing a given test within the specified time, for keeping aloof and being arrogant. The list is very lengthy but the reality is that my self-esteem could never get shattered with the insensitivity around me because I knew those were hollow observations of jealous people. I always knew I am enough!

What can help?

Positivity: Read positive quotes, think positive thoughts, spend more time in the company of positive-minded people. Walk away from those who don’t respect your opinion. Try to understand that there is no age for personality enhancement and your growth and development is an ongoing process. Have faith in yourself and your capabilities. Don’t compare yourself to your friends or colleagues. Stop blaming yourself just because others try to shift their responsibilites.

Face your fears: If you let your fears hibernate, if you don’t discuss them even with yourself, they could shrink your heart, wound your spirit and keep consuming the remnants of your mettle to fight them. Let those alligators out of your mind. Discuss them with a confidant or a therapist. Learn to accept the fear of failure because only when we fail do we rise with renewed zeal and energy.

Forgive yourself: Forgiveness is that virtue, which sets us free and acquaints us with the finest emotions. It unshackles the chains of guilt that we weave around us. It soothes our mind. We can emerge out of those dark corridors of fears and insecurities that people around us pushed into. We can see ourselves in a new light. Self-forgiveness, even if we may be guilty of hurting others, is of utmost importance to build our self-esteem.Self-esteem quote

Quit self-criticism: Self-judgment is more detrimental than the nasty remarks of others. It makes us doubt our own intentions, it ruins our confidence, it pulls us back into the dumps of depression and lowers our self-esteem. Self-reflection is good as far as it encourages us to work on our weaknesses. It is better to train your mind to think positive, to remember that those who attack our self-esteem are actually dealing with their own insecurities.

Take pride in pursuing activities you love: Invest in yourself. Search within. Spend time with yourself and indulge in those activities that you enjoy. Stop pleasing people around you. Be proud of yourself and your little accomplishments. Self-love is not being selfish, it is being kind to yourself. Don’t allow anybody to disrespect what you like to do. Count your strengths and your blessings. Be yourself. The best freedom is being you.

Always remember – ‘the more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.’

“Why should we worry about what others think of us, do we have more confidence in their opinions than we do our own?” Brigham Young
Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections, as they are much appreciated.

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Balroop Singh.

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Can Women Escape Domestic Violence? An Emotional Approach…

Domestic Violence

My friend Lisa is writing a story on women’s escape from domestic violence. This post got an inspiration from her unstinted efforts to help ‘The Great Escape’.

Is it possible to escape domestic violence? I have often wondered…

If this could be probable, why would a woman of 21st century swallow everyday abuse, why would she compromise and be told to ‘ADJUST’! Adjust to intimidation and assault? To slapping? To emotional blackmail?

If this could be conceivable, why would female feticide be forced upon a young mother who yearns to hold her child in her hands!

Why would a woman be assaulted or killed for petty demands like dowry or standing up for her rights?

I know I am presenting a very negative picture despite being a robust optimist.

But I have seen domestic violence, its shapes and shades. I have seen it grow and flourish despite laws against it.

Domestic violence is not just perpetrated by a husband or a partner. Families too are a party to it. To my mind, violation of basic human rights by anybody around us – a parent, a sibling or a relative – is domestic violence.

According to National Coalition Against Domestic Violence ( NCADV ) Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse.

I have seen so many women in such situations. They don’t even think that a mistreatment in a family means domestic violence. They don’t have the courage and the confidence to confront it.

Not just a husband unleashes domestic violence upon her; his mother is more to blame for nagging, verbally and physically abusing, making her work like a slave and not giving her enough to eat.

This is the story of most of the homes in many Asian countries.

Real story:

I had seen this woman in my early childhood…working all day, carrying out all the odd jobs of the house, from looking after the cattle of the house to cooking for the family as well as all those who worked in the fields. My most vivid memories are of those days when it would be raining heavily and continuously but she would be as active as ever, with just a gunny bag on her head, attending to the milking of the cows, early in the morning.

Abandoned by her husband at the young age of 25, she chose to live in his home all her life, probably due to societal pressures. She devoted all her life to her only child and grand children, giving them all they needed, without even a single word of complaint.

As I look back now, trying to understand the definition of domestic violence, this image seems to be more disturbing than physical violence in the homes. This memory is etched in my mind. The emotional wounds that I can feel even today for my aunt, after almost 5o years are irreparable.

Even today I can hear that unspoken message…where can I go?

Even today I can see that agony in her eyes saying…what can I do?

Who is responsible?

Women too are equally to blame for accepting such a behavior. Fifty years ago when economic independence and social taboos didn’t let them take any action, it could be understood but in the present era when there are no such constraints, women accept domestic violence as part of their life and destiny.

The sordid saga continues…

Domestic Violence

Another real story:

She is a highly educated, successful doctor and financially independent woman. There was a time when she could take her own decisions, when she was single though many of her friends couldn’t.

She married according to her own wishes, having found her soul mate at the age of 20. She has been living with domestic violence of unspeakable volumes but could never gather the courage of reporting it, stepping out of her marriage or divorcing her husband. She is a widely travelled woman but cannot step out of her own home, without her husband.

People say women have been empowered and emancipated! Really?

“We live in a world in which women are battered and are unable to flee from the men who beat them, although their door is theoretically standing wide open. One out of every four women becomes a victim of severe violence. One out of every two will be confronted by sexual harassment over her lifetime. These crimes are everywhere and can take place behind any front door in the country, every day, and barely elicit much more than a shrug of the shoulders and superficial dismay.”Natascha Kampusch

Who can help?

No soft words or empathy, no laws or stern action against those who inflict such a cowardly act can help.

Only women, yes those women or victims who accept such a beastly behavior can help.

Unless you help yourself, all others effort go futile:

  • Refuse to tolerate domestic violence
  • Never hide it to protect your self-esteem
  • Stand up for your rights
  • Don’t equate it with destiny
  • Communicate your dissent the very first time
  • Speak your mind out loudly and clearly
  • Seek help
  • If the perpetrator doesn’t change, be bold
  • Never believe in their false promises
  • Never give a second chance to such offenders
  • Be firm and take your own decision
  • Walk out of such relationships as soon as you can!

Do you know that 603 million women live where domestic violence is not considered a crime!!

If you are living in a country that recognizes domestic violence as a serious offence, you must report it.

My dearest friend Kim supports this cause most vociferously at her website. You can visit her for advice and help.

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Thank you for your support. Please add your valuable comments, they are much appreciated.

Balroop Singh