Every influencer using social media as a platform to reach out to the masses has a goal to spread positivity via quotes that one can simply find by typing in “inspirational/motivational quotes” on either google images or pinterest. “Believe in yourself” is something we’re told every time people see us doubting our capabilities. But does it actually work?
Growing up in a society where every single step that one takes, is compared to someone who did it first and did it better. The fact that the idea of a collectivist society has grew its roots so deep into the ground that we have ignored that people function as individuals as well. Everybody expects us to be the best at everything we do, and by “best” they mean the standards that they have set for us, for instance getting a graduate degree at a certain age, getting married at a certain age, have kids and so on. What they don’t understand is that we all live our lives where we move towards success at our own pace, and the idea of success on its own it quite subjective as well, and when people fail to meet the goals that others expects them to achieve, that start questioning themselves and that’s when their “self-esteem” gets affected.
Even as children, remember getting report cards at the end of the term that said “you can do better”, even though your academic performance clearly improved overtime. The issue here is that we all love criticizing people but what we fail to understand is that how we our words are unintentionally making them feel worthless, making them feel that no matter what they do, it is never going to be enough in the eyes of the people around them. A quick question, has anyone ever talked about your strengths? Even our parents talk about stuff we’re not good at every time the family gets together, and when I say family, you do realize how many people I’m talking about.
A couple of years ago I was introduced to a branch of psychology known as the “positive psychology” where psychologists focus on one’s strengths in order for them to fight their weaknesses. It tells us that if you boost one’s self-esteem, they will eventually feel motivated to do better. Tell a student that you appreciated their effort on a test and the next time they’ll do better. Tell a person that you love how creative he/she and they’ll think of themselves as talented, which will result in quality work.
The issue with doubting oneself is that once people walk down the dark aisle of negativity, the journey back gets tough. People, who get lost in this darkness, end up losing themselves. So many artists gone, so many dreams shattered, once people start questioning their potential. So here are 5 things you can do to boost someone’s self-esteem:
- STOP COMPARING THEM TO OTHERS: if their life choices make them happy, let them be. Nobody cares about what “sharma ki ka beta” did. He has his own set of goals to achieve; the other person has their own. For the love of GOD, stop comparing one soul to another.
- CELEBRATE DIFFERENCES: if every single person was doing the same thing as the other, there would be no diversity, no new experiences, and no new colors. What’s the point of living such a bland life? New ideas are born once we celebrate differences as they lead to great discovers that have the potential of changing history.
- APPRECIATE THEIR EFFORTS: ever saw a post where a plant was told all negative stuff each day and at the end it wilted. No? Well then google it.
- COMPLIMENT THEM: try telling people something that you like about them and then see how their expression changes. The awkwardness that follow as they try to thank you tells us how much we’re so used to hearing everything bad about us, that when we hear something good about our self, there is a glitch in our system and we fail to respond to the compliment, resulting in us feeling uncomfortable in that moment.
- CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM: telling someone that they did something wrong is fine, we all make mistakes and we learn from them. But when it comes to criticism, the choice of words and the tone used to deliver those, matter A LOT! You could either make them, or break them. Therefore take your time before you speak.
I’m going to end this by saying: “Believe in yourself guys”.
Written by: Izza Raza