There is a common misconception about happiness. People will usually refer to happiness as the same as fulfillment. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Happiness comes and goes, you can be feeling happy one moment, and it’s gone in the next. Besides, nobody can stay permanently happy, you need to have sad moments in order to experience happiness. Fulfillment, however, is another story. Being fulfilled means that even when you are feeling sad you will still have a sense of reason for being. People don’t strive to be happy, they strive to be fulfilled. With fulfillment comes happiness, but happiness doesn’t necessarily bring fulfillment. This is why self-esteem plays a big part as a molder of fulfillment, you need to be confident in the things you do in order to be fulfilled.
Change Begins with the Self
If you are feeling down, know that things aren’t going to get better by themselves. You need to be the cog in the engine that starts the entire process. Take the initiative and do what you set out to do. This is the main pushing power of self-esteem. Don’t give in to those who want to set you down (although do keep in mind that there is a big difference between constructive criticism and degradation, one is paved with good intentions, while the other is for the sake of entertainment). Stop comparing yourself with others, be the best person that YOU can be.
Think about the positive parts of your life and how you deal with challenging situations. Be more optimistic in life, not everyone wants to hurt you. Being more open and optimistic allows others to see you in a better light, and it will also affect you positively. Be more kind to passing people, spreading hate is a never-ending cycle that just makes the world a worse place. Be the change that you want to see.
A lot of people will tell you: “Do what makes you happy!”. This might come from good intentions but it’s an incredibly careless statement. What makes you happy at the moment can hurt you down the road. If you enjoy video games or eating, that’s cool, but making those your primary source of happiness is detrimental in most cases. You need to maintain discipline with leisurely activities and recognize their flaws. Life is best enjoyed when balanced.
Change Your Inner Circle
Is your group of friends wearing you down? Ridiculing you at every opportunity that you show self-improvement or aspirations? If you’ve answered yes, then it is imperative to cut ties with them. Those kinds of people are usually the type that wallow in self-pity and hate it when anyone tries to leave the pity pit. Work on trying to change things up a bit, join clubs that actively involve talking to people or working together, get together with those people that actively share your interests and are supportive. Traveling is a great way of meeting all kinds of new and unique people with whom you can possibly form bonds for life.
Avoid Unrealistic Expectations
Set yourself a challenge without making them too extreme or unreasonable like: “I will learn German in 5 months!” or “I’ll get abs after 3 weeks”. Those kinds of wishes might come from good intent, but they will only result in you feeling down and disappointed that you couldn’t fulfill any of them. Start with small things like reading 30 pages of a book a day, or doing a 30-minute workout session. Slowly over time as you build confidence, expand on it, and strive for more.
Time for a Lifestyle Change
A balanced diet, regular exercise, proper sleep, even meditation are all ways of improving yourself. Self-confidence doesn’t just mean improving yourself mentally, but physically as well. Being comfortable with your body makes being comfortable with yourself all the easier.
Nobody is perfect, the sooner you realize it, the better. Believe us, tripping or forgetting a word can happen to anyone (and it does). It’s just natural, don’t beat yourself up for making one. Once you get over the anxiety over making mistakes, your self-confidence will rise as a sign of acceptance.
The Small Things in Life Matter
Did you perfect a new recipe? Learned a new word? That’s awesome! Be happy about it. Contrary to popular belief, it’s the small things that make our life. Life is a repetition of days, you will make every day a far better experience by finding happiness in the smaller things. If you are awoken by chirping birds, think of it as a great way to start off the day.
Make a Decision to Work Towards Happiness
You might be thinking: “I am already doing that!”. However, striving to do something isn’t the same as doing it properly. You need to make a clear hierarchy on what fulfills you and what will make you happy. If you want to get smarter, start studying a language or reading a book. If you are not in a financial situation to buy courses or expensive books, that’s okay. We live in the age of digitalization, you have countless materials at your disposal, whether it was for books, languages, education, workouts, or overall living a healthy lifestyle.
Be More Assertive
Don’t be a pushover, people will take advantage of you. It’s a bit cruel to deny people help from time to time, but you have to do it, always put yourself as a first priority. Depending on your nature, changing dramatically can be a seemingly impossible mission, this is why it is advised to take a personal development course if your problems run deeper than you can manage.